White Rock is under a boil-water advisory

White Rock is under a boil-water advisory

White Rock boil-water advisory still in effect

White Rock water levels at full-capacity after crews battling Five Corners fire deplete reserves, causing bacteria concerns.

The City of White Rock’s boil-water advisory is still in place as of Wednesday morning, but staff say it is expected to be lifted “very soon.”

The advisory was put in place shortly before noon Sunday, as the city’s water reserves were depleted while crews worked to extinguish a large fire at Five Corners.

Wednesday morning, city staff were awaiting a second round of testing results before the advisory would be lifted, according to city manager Dan Bottrill. The first round of samples, taken Monday morning and posted on the city’s website Tuesday afternoon,  did not show any bacterial contamination in the system.

The boil-water advisory was put in place as a result of concerns that the low water level could create negative pressure in the lines, which could result in bacterial contamination entering the system, city staff said Sunday.

By Monday morning, White Rock’s reservoirs were back at full capacity, Bottrill said, and water samples had been taken to the lab for testing.

“It takes approximately 18 hours to incubate to determine if there’s any bacteria,” Bottrill said, noting results would not be available until Tuesday morning.

“At that time, we’ll have a better idea if there is any bacteria that was able to come into the line as result of that low pressure.”

At the height of the blaze Sunday morning, fire crews were forced to connect to Surrey water lines, for a period of “at least six hours,” after water levels in White Rock began to recede, Bottrill said.

Bottrill said the amount of water used to extinguish the fire was “unprecedented” for the city, and though it was cause for concern, Bottrill said the water levels were not “a danger.”

“We were certainly concerned, and we took steps to mitigate that,” Bottrill said. “It was a phenomenal amount of water that was being used on that fire event.

“We are going to be reviewing our infrastructure to determine whether or not there are things that we could do to be better-positioned.”

Surrey North Delta Leader