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UPDATE: Contamination contained at Janvier Water Treatment Plant

Last Updated Jan 28, 2020 at 11:10 pm MST

IMAGE. Supplied the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.

The Municipality announced they contained the contamination at the Janvier Water Treatment Plant.

Crews continue their cleanup efforts at the Plant by removing the chemical, cleaning the reservoir, and reinstalling the tank.

In a statement, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo said at 10:00 a.m. on Jan. 24, 2020, a mix of chemicals transferred to the hamlet’s Water Treatment Plant.

They believe a chemical used in water filtration called Polyaluminum Chloride mixed with the disinfectant, Sodium Hypochlorite.

The investigation is ongoing.

Meanwhile, Northland School Division announced they closed Father R. Perin School from Jan. 27-31 as a precaution.

Officials ceased water distribution from the plant to homes in Janvier until they receive regulatory approval.

This incident did not impact homes receiving trucked water to their cistern before 8:00 a.m. on the day of the incident.

However, RMWB said homes and building within the First Nation and Municipal Hamlet may be at risk.

The Municipality asks residents connected to the Janvier Water Treatment Plant to stop using water immediately.

Regional Emergency Services’ Dangerous Goods personnel and equipment are on-site and consultations with provincial partners are also underway.

Mayor Don Scott said the Municipality is in daily discussions with the hamlet.

“We have been in non-stop talks with the people of Janvier. In fact, the last call I had before coming to Council was with some people from Janvier, so we are very on top of the situation.”

For information about this incident, please visit the Janvier Municipal Office or contact Pulse at (780) 743-7000.

Water advisory

Alberta Health Services (AHS) issued a water advisory for the rural hamlet of Janvier.

The “Do Not Consume” advisory will remain in effect until further notice.

Serving as a precautionary measure, AHS said residents must not use tap water for the following:

  • Drinking
  • Cooking, making ice cubes, soups, juices, or other mixes, or food preparation including washing fruits and vegetables
  • Feeding pets
  • Gargling or brushing teeth or dentures
  • Preparing baby food or infant formula

 

AHS also recommends sterilized, bottled water for feeding infants and toddlers.

For infants less than six months old, they recommend breastfeeding.

Bottled water pickup for residents in Janvier is available at the Municipal office, starting at 8:00 a.m.

The office will remain open daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., but if you’re unable to pick up water jugs, contact Pulse to arrange bottled water delivery.

Washroom services are also available at the office and Multiplex.

Plus, residents may use the mobile shower cart at the Health Centre on the First Nation.

For cleaning hands, use alcohol-based hand disinfectants with more than 70 per cent alcohol.

“We know not everybody is going to be happy with everything’s that happened.” Said Mayor Don Scott. “We’re doing our best to make sure everyone stays safe and is well looked after.”

Mayor Don Scott said there would be a full investigation into the incident, processes, and controls to prevent another similar incident in future.

Residents looking for more information may contact Health Link toll-free at 811.

Cleanup is expected to take seven to 10 days.