Tests came back clear but chlorine stays on in Chilliwack

Resampling of the water on Thursday came back clear, "with zero E.coli detected" in the Chilliwack water system

The emergency chlorination system, activated in the wake of a report of E.coli in Chillliwack this week is going to stay in operation.

Resampling tests of the water on Thursday came back clear, “with zero E.coli detected.”

“Today’s clear test results do not mean the prior test was incorrect,” says Glen MacPherson, Chilliwack’s director of public works. “At this time we don’t know what caused the original test result to be positive, but we will continue investigating to determine a cause.”

Once city officials were notified of a positive result, crews retested the water and activated the city’s standby chlorination system. They flushed the lines and asked Greendale residents to flush the chorine through their lines.

“As a precautionary measure, Greendale residents were advised to boil their drinking water,” he said.

Chlorine reached Greendale within a few hours, a community on the western edge of Chilliwack which is on the valley floor.

Since the drinking water distribution system is interconnected, the entire system therefore had to be chlorinated.

“We are reassured by the test results today, but we certainly look forward to finding out the results of the investigation,” said Mayor Gaetz. “This is the first time we have had to activate standby chlorination, but our staff was well prepared and responded immediately. We will work cooperatively with the Fraser Health Authority and ensure our drinking water is safe.”

The Boil Water Advisory for Greendale will be lifted by the end of Thursday, February 28.

“The water in Chilliwack remains safe to drink.”

Fraser Heath has advised the city to investigate the incident, and to leave the standby chlorination system in operation “until further notice,” according to the city release.