Municipality of Oliver Paipoonge - March 16, 2023
On March 9th results from routine testing for arsenic of raw water drawn from the south well revealed a reading of 0.016 mg/l. Since the allowable limit is 0.01 mg/l that evening the Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) issued a Drinking Water Advisory hand delivered to every home on the water system advising users not to consume the water.
Exposure to high levels of arsenic can have health effects. Please click the link below to access an information brochure on arsenic published by Health Canada.
Since the system water is not to be consumed, the Municipality is providing bottled water to system users. The Municipality is asking users to come between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with a water bill to pick up water. If you do not have a water bill please bring photo ID indicating you reside at a water system service address. Please call the office if you want to come at an alternate time to ensure water will be available.
The Municipality and system operator Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA) are working to find a solution to lift the Drinking Water Advisory. Recently the north well of the water system had readings above the allowable limit but for the last few months the readings have been below the allowable limit. Nonetheless the Municipality has to obtain approval from TBDHU and the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) to begin using the north well.
A reverse osmosis treatment system for the raw water can remove arsenic. The Municipality and OCWA are exploring this option. Funding for a reverse osmosis treatment system would also need to be identified.
It is possible that arsenic may be present in other wells in the Rosslyn Village area. Property owners who wish to test their wells for arsenic should call TBDHU @ 625-5900 for more information.