(Black Press file photo).

CVRD testing Shawnigan water after complaints of metallic taste, odour

“This type of problem has come up a number of times in summers in the past”

The metallic taste and odour some customers who are using Shawnigan Lake’s North water system are reportedly experiencing is likely the result of algae blooms, according to a statement from the Cowichan Valley Regional District.

The statement said the CVRD’s engineering services department has received a number of inquiries from customers of the water system, whose water originates from Shawnigan Lake, and that many similar concerns have been expressed to other water utilities serving the Shawnigan Lake area and to Island Health.

“This type of problem has come up a number of times in summers in the past and has been determined to be the result of an algae bloom in the lake water,” the statement said.

“A water sample has been taken by CVRD staff and sent to a lab for analysis. This will confirm the algae species involved. Results are expected in about a week.”

The statement said that in prior summers, the primary algae present has been a brown algae which does not present any risk to health.

It said some customers have inquired whether the algae could be blue-green algae which may be toxic.

“Blue-green algae is favoured where the water is warm, shallow and rich in nutrients; particularly phosphorus,” the statement said.

“Due to the high level of replacement of existing water with runoff occurring in Shawnigan Lake, these conditions are not prevalent. In the past, lab testing of samples have shown only very low levels of blue-green algae constituting no risk to human health. So there is nothing to indicate the algae to be blue-green algae. However, this is expected to be confirmed by the lab testing which will be made publicly available on our website and shared with Island Health.”

The statement said there is no simple treatment, such as boiling or filtering, that would remove the toxins if the algae were blue-green algae.

“The only precaution would be to not drink the water until testing results are available,” the statement said.

“Should you have any further questions, please call the Engineering Services Department at 250-746-2530.”

Drinking water

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Sooke and T’Sou’ke Nation receive financial boost for projects

Provincial, federal governments invest millions towards Greater Victoria infrastructure

Victoria man collects 28 bags of trash along two-kilometre stretch of highway

20-year-old spent 12 hours collecting garbage near Thetis Lake

Ryan Reynolds matching fundraising dollars for B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest

Vancouver-born actor appeals to the public with Make Ryan Pay! campaign

Owners say loss of parking pushes businesses to the brink

New Penny Farthing patio ‘will be like New Orleans, or Las Vegas’

Greater Victoria infrastructure get millions in investments to help with economic recovery

New community spaces, health centre, turf fields coming for region

13 new B.C. COVID-19 cases, Langley Lodge outbreak ends

Health care outbreaks down to four, 162 cases active

Alberta health minister orders review into response after noose found in hospital in 2016

A piece of rope tied into a noose was found taped to the door of an operating room at the Grande Prairie Hospital in 2016

B.C.’s major rivers surge, sparking flood warnings

A persistent low pressure system over Alberta has led to several days of heavy rain

B.C.’s Indigenous rights law faces 2020 implementation deadline

Pipeline projects carry on as B.C. works on UN goals

‘Mind boggling’: B.C. man $1 million richer after winning Lotto 6/49 a second time

David O’Brien hopes to use his winnings to travel and of course keep playing the lottery

White-throated sparrows have changed their tune, B.C. study unveils

Study marks an unprecedented development scientists say has caused them to sit up and take note

B.C. teacher loses licence after sexual relationships with two recently-graduated students

The teacher won’t be allowed to apply for a teaching certificate until 2035

Lower Mainland teacher facing child pornography charges

Elazar Reshef, 52, has worked in the Delta School District

All community COVID-19 outbreaks declared over in B.C.

Abbotsford manufacturer cleared by Dr. Bonnie Henry

Most Read