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Emergency chlorination in Chilliwack after E.coli detected

Chlorination is coming for Chilliwack
Chlorination is coming for Chilliwack's drinking water system after notification by health officials during Tuesday's city council meeting.
— image credit: JENNA HAUCK/ PROGRESS FILE

Just as the topic of chlorination reached a fever pitch in Chilliwack after the public meeting Tuesday, a positive E.coli test result came through Wednesday morning for the area of Greendale.

It's the first known positive on the valley floor, said officials.

City of Chilliwack has issued a Water Quality Advisory for residents in Greendale on the heels of a "count one" result, which is the absolute lowest detectable level of the contaminant.

"The City has activated its standby chlorination system and is flushing the pipes in the area," said Mayor Sharon Gaetz, calling it "ironic" coming the morning after the big public meeting on chlorination.

She said in a conference call it could be a false positive, coming from contamination outside the system, but they're taking it seriously and taking precautions.

The chlorine was expected to take about 12 hours to reach Greendale, but it only took about four, said officials.

"Once the chlorine is present, residents are advised to run the water in their pipes to flush the chlorinated water through the system."

In order to chlorinate the Greendale area, the system will distribute chlorinated water to all areas of Chilliwack, which officials said was unavoidable, as it was the only way to reach the western most edge of the system.

City and Fraser Health officials said they would re-test the water to confirm results, which should be available by Thursday afternoon.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

twitter.com/chwkjourno

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