ATTENTION REGION OF QUEENS WATER UTILITY CUSTOMERS

Boil Water Advisory Removed

October 5, 2023; 11:05 a.m.: Customers of Region of Queens Municipality’s Water Utility are advised that the Boil Water Advisory has been approved to be removed by Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Climate Change.  Following assessment of the Municipality’s Direct Responsible Charge, the Municipality has confirmed that water quality production issues are resolved, and Utility is again meeting regulatory requirements. 

If there are questions, please contact Region of Queens Municipality’s Department of Engineering and Public Works at 902-354-7170.

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South Queens Water Treatment Facility Water Utility Update

Thursday, September 28, 2023; 3:00 p.m.:  As reported in the updates issued on September 21 & 22, Region of Queens Municipality has hired a consulting company to act as the Direct Responsible Charge (DRC) to facilitate lifting the boil water advisory currently in place for customers of Region of Queens Municipality’s Water Utility.  This week, the consulting company spent two days on-site, reviewing and assessing the South Queens Water Treatment Facility’s design and operation.  Next steps for the consultants will be to complete additional samples and monitor the treatment and distribution systems to ensure there is a high level of confidence that the plant is operating consistently in compliance, effectively and there are no system deficiencies prior to confirming that the boil water advisory can be lifted.

Use of a consulting firm to fulfill the position of DRC is not a long-term solution; however, there is currently no one on municipal staff that meets requirements.  Staff of the South Queens Water Treatment Facility and Engineering and Public Works will continue to undertake training courses and work towards increased certification levels, and the municipality will continue to advertise to fill the vacancies that currently exist.

Region of Queens Municipality reminds customers of the water utility that the boil water advisory will remain in effect until at least October 5, 2023; if using water produced by the water utility, please boil for at least one minute prior to uses for human consumption.  The municipality also operates a public potable water source at Cowie Well, 733 Main St., Liverpool, where the public can fill their own containers free of charge.

The results of water tests completed on the Municipal Water Utility and at Cowie Well, Liverpool can be found on line: https://www.regionofqueens.com/municipal-services/works/public-works-3

If members of the public have questions or concerns about the South Queens Water Treatment Facility, or the current boil water advisory in place, please contact Region of Queens Municipality at 902-354-7170, or email: publicworks@regionofqueens.com.

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Update:  September 28, 2023

A boil water advisory continues to be in effect for Region of Queens Water Utility customers due to water quality problems and the possibility of unsafe water.  Consumers are advised to boil water for at least 1 minute before drinking, preparing infant formulas, preparing juices, and ice cubes, washing fruits and vegetables, cooking, dental hygiene, and any other activity of requiring human consumption. This is to be done until further notice.

At this time, it is anticipated the boil water advisory for Region of Queens Water Utility Customers will continue until at least Thursday, October 5, 2023.  Additional details can be found at https://www.regionofqueens.com/council-governance/press-releases-for-cg/2256-attention-region-of-queens-water-utility-customers

The Region of Queens Water Utility thanks customers for their patience during this time.

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September 22, 2023; 12:05 p.m.:  Pertaining to the update released yesterday regarding the current situation with the South Queens Water Utility, Region of Queens Municipality regrets that it may have caused some confusion or misinterpretation of the role the Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Climate Change has in the operation of  municipal water and wastewater facilities.  

Region of Queens Municipality owns and operates the South Queens Water Treatment Facility, and is responsible for its operation including staffing, maintenance, and regulatory compliance. Region of Queens Municipality will continue to follow all health and safety regulations to ensure the health and safety of its employees and the public. Region of Queens Municipality’s staff and Council continue to hold public safety paramount.

If members of the public have questions or concerns about the South Queens Water Treatment Facility, or the current boil water advisory in place, please contact Region of Queens Municipality at 902-354-7170, or email: publicworks@regionofqueens.com.  

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September 21, 2023; 4:00 p.m.: One last hurdle remains prior to the Department of Environment and Climate Change lifting the Boil Water Advisory which has been in place since August 9, 2023 for customers of Region of Queens Water Utility.

Repairs have been made to the South Queens Water Treatment Facility and it is operating as designed, however, the advisory remains in place until Region of Queens Municipality meets all regulatory requirements. Staff are confident the plant is producing safe drinking water; however the Boil Water Advisory remains in place until the Water Utility is approved to rescind.

This last requirement is the appointment of an individual to act in Direct Responsible Charge (DRC) of the Facility. Specialized positions such as this require years of training and operational experience and can be either an employee or a contractor.  At present, the position is vacant for all Municipal Facilities despite advertising. A contractor has been hired to act as the Municipality’s DRC. This contractor has considerable experience operating in a similar capacity for other Utilities in NS and is prepared to begin work in the next week. Potentially the advisory could be lifted shortly thereafter.

During a Boil Water Advisory, the public are advised to boil water for at least one minute before drinking, preparing infant formulas, preparing juices, and ice cubes, washing fruits and vegetables, cooking, dental hygiene, and any other activity of which the water is being used for human consumption.  

Allowable uses of water during a Boil Water Advisory include bathing/showering, washing laundry, toilet flushing, cooking (if the water is allowed to boil for 1 full minute prior to adding food), and washing dishes in a dishwasher (or washing dishes by hand if a sanitization step is added at the end).    

The equipment failure and subsequent work to repair and meet regulatory requirements has been a long process, and Council and staff understand the stresses and costs for customers of the utility due to this unexpected incident. Since the water utility is a regulated activity, Council and staff are investigating with the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board whether temporary financial relief for customers is an option.  Updates on the outcome will be provided as information is available.

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Update:  September 20, 2023

A boil water advisory continues to be in effect for Region of Queens Water Utility customers due to water quality problems and the possibility of unsafe water.  Consumers are advised to boil water for at least 1 minute before drinking, preparing infant formulas, preparing juices, and ice cubes, washing fruits and vegetables, cooking, dental hygiene, and any other activity of requiring human consumption. This is to be done until further notice.

At this time, it is anticipated the boil water advisory for Region of Queens Water Utility Customers will continue until at least Thursday, September 28, 2023.  Additional details can be found at https://www.regionofqueens.com/council-governance/press-releases-for-cg/2256-attention-region-of-queens-water-utility-customers

The Region of Queens Water Utility thanks customers for their patience during this time.

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Update:  September 14, 2023

A boil water advisory continues to be in effect for Region of Queens Water Utility customers due to water quality problems and the possibility of unsafe water.  Consumers are advised to boil water for at least 1 minute before drinking, preparing infant formulas, preparing juices, and ice cubes, washing fruits and vegetables, cooking, dental hygiene, and any other activity of requiring human consumption. This is to be done until further notice.

At this time, it is anticipated the boil water advisory for Region of Queens Water Utility Customers will continue until at least Thursday, September 21, 2023.  Additional details can be found at https://www.regionofqueens.com/council-governance/press-releases-for-cg/2256-attention-region-of-queens-water-utility-customers

The Region of Queens Water Utility thanks customers for their patience during this time.

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Update:  September 7, 2023:

A boil water advisory continues to be in effect for Region of Queens Water Utility customers due to water quality problems and the possibility of unsafe water.  Consumers are advised to boil water for at least 1 minute before drinking, preparing infant formulas, preparing juices, and ice cubes, washing fruits and vegetables, cooking, dental hygiene, and any other activity of requiring human consumption. This is to be done until further notice.

At this time, it is anticipated the boil water advisory for Region of Queens Water Utility Customers will continue until at least Thursday, September 14, 2023.  Additional details can be found at https://www.regionofqueens.com/council-governance/press-releases-for-cg/2256-attention-region-of-queens-water-utility-customers

The Region of Queens Water Utility thanks customers for their patience during this time.

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Update September 1, 2023:

A boil water advisory continues to be in effect for Region of Queens Water Utility customers due to water quality problems and the possibility of unsafe water.  Consumers are advised to boil water for at least 1 minute before drinking, preparing infant formulas, preparing juices, and ice cubes, washing fruits and vegetables, cooking, dental hygiene, and any other activity of requiring human consumption. This is to be done until further notice.

At this time, it is anticipated the boil water advisory for Region of Queens Water Utility Customers will continue until at least Thursday, September 7, 2023.

Despite the continued promotion of the Boil Water Advisory through all available outlets, we have been advised that water has been consumed inadvertently or unknowingly of the advisory.

Since the initial advisory on August 9th, the Utility has been working with the Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Climate Change as well as third-party consultants, specifically officers, engineers, health officials and specialists in the drinking water field to ensure the highest level of public protection. We are all in agreement that the risk customers could have ingested a significant waterborne germ or disease such as giardia or crypto is extremely low. Despite this, the advisory continues due to the lack of disinfection residual that occurred in the distribution system on August 9th. This water quality parameter is required to prevent microbial development in the distribution system.

Disinfection residual was re-established and confirmed through the system in the days following the initial advisory. It is reasonable to expect the likelihood of adverse effects from consumption was not ever existent, and if existed, the probability was the highest in the first days and has reduced significantly since. Despite that, we need to continue to advise consumers to take precautions until laboratory results can confirm the boil advisory is no longer necessary.

Rumours are circulating as to the cause of this incident and we can assure you that it is not due to a lack of competent staff, or human error, or dead wildlife in the source water. A passing electrical storm on August 8th and 9th compromised electrical components, crucial to the Facility’s operation and communication. Our operators took necessary measures to ensure that at no time untreated water was able to enter the distribution system and potentially impact customers. The operation continues to remain committed to producing clean, safe drinking water that exceeds Provincial and Federal requirements for all customers and consumers.

The Utility thanks you for your continued patience.

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Update:  August 31, 2023:

A boil water advisory continues to be in effect for Region of Queens Water Utility customers due to water quality problems and the possibility of unsafe water.  Consumers are advised to boil water for at least 1 minute before drinking, preparing infant formulas, preparing juices, and ice cubes, washing fruits and vegetables, cooking, dental hygiene, and any other activity of requiring human consumption. This is to be done until further notice.

At this time, it is anticipated the boil water advisory for Region of Queens Water Utility Customers will continue until at least Thursday, September 7, 2023.  Additional details can be found at https://www.regionofqueens.com/council-governance/press-releases-for-cg/2256-attention-region-of-queens-water-utility-customers

The Region of Queens Water Utility thanks customers for their patience during this time.

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Update:  August 23, 2023:

A boil water advisory continues to be in effect for Region of Queens Water Utility customers due to water quality problems and the possibility of unsafe water.  Consumers are advised to boil water for at least 1 minute before drinking, preparing infant formulas, preparing juices, and ice cubes, washing fruits and vegetables, cooking, dental hygiene, and any other activity of requiring human consumption. This is to be done until further notice.

At this time, it is anticipated the boil water advisory for Region of Queens Water Utility Customers will continue until at least Thursday, August 31, 2023.  Additional details can be found at https://www.regionofqueens.com/council-governance/press-releases-for-cg/2256-attention-region-of-queens-water-utility-customers

The Region of Queens Water Utility thanks customers for their patience during this time.

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Update:  August 16, 2023; 4:00 pm:

A boil water advisory continues to be in effect for Region of Queens Water Utility customers due to water quality problems and the possibility of unsafe water.  Consumers are advised to boil water for at least 1 minute before drinking, preparing infant formulas, preparing juices, and ice cubes, washing fruits and vegetables, cooking, dental hygiene, and any other activity of requiring human consumption. This is to be done until further notice.

At this time, it is anticipated the boil water advisory for Region of Queens Water Utility Customers will continue until at least Thursday, August 24, 2023.  Additional details can be found below. 

The Region of Queens Water Utility thanks customers for their patience during this time.

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Update:  August 15, 2023

On the morning of August 9th, a passing electrical storm impacted the South Queens Water Treatment Facility. Lightning strikes caused damage to key infrastructure within the treatment facility causing disruptions to the treatment process. The disruption of the treatment process led to a lack of disinfection (chlorine) residual throughout the water distribution network, as per the Water Utility’s Operational Procedures the Department of Environment was notified and a boil water advisory was issued. The water treatment facility is operational, and Region of Queens Water Utility Staff continue to monitor water quality throughout the system. The boil water advisory will remain in effect until adequate disinfection residual is restored throughout the system and testing is completed as per the Department of Environment. We wish to thank you for your patience during this time.

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Update:  August 11, 2023; 2:00pm:

A boil water advisory has been issued due to water quality problems and the possibility of unsafe water, consumers are advised to boil water for at least 1 minute before drinking, preparing infant formulas, preparing juices, and ice cubes, washing fruits and vegetables, cooking, dental hygiene, and any other activity of requiring human consumption. This is to be done until further notice.

At this time, it is anticipated the boil water advisory for Region of Queens Water Utility Customers will continue until at least Thursday, August 17, 2023.  The Region of Queens Water Utility thanks customers for their patience during this time.

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Update:  August 10, 2023; 3:30pm:

A boil water advisory has been issued due to water quality problems and the possibility of unsafe water, consumers are advised to boil water for at least 1 minute before drinking, preparing infant formulas, preparing juices, and ice cubes, washing fruits and vegetables, cooking, dental hygiene, and any other activity of requiring human consumption. This is to be done until further notice.

The water conservation directive for Region of Queens Water Utility Customers has been lifted.  The Boil Water Advisory for Region of Queens Customers remains in affect.

The Spray Pad at Etli Militam’mk Universally-Designed Play Park has re-opened for use. 

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Update:  August 9, 2023; 2:30pm:

A boil water advisory has been issued due to water quality problems and the possibility of unsafe water, consumers are advised to boil water for at least 1 minute before drinking, preparing infant formulas, preparing juices, and ice cubes, washing fruits and vegetables, cooking, dental hygiene, and any other activity of requiring human consumption. This is to be done until further notice.

The Region of Queens Water Utility is asking customers of the system to immediately conserve water until further notice.  This includes avoiding activities that use unnecessary water, such as washing your vehicle, as well as water lawns and gardens.  

The Region of Queens Water Utility thanks customers in advance for their cooperation at this time and for using water resources in a responsible manner.

Please note the Spray Pad at Etil Militam’mk Universally-Designed Play Park will be closed to conserve water until further notice.

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August 9, 2023:

A boil water advisory has been issued due to water quality problems and the possibility of unsafe water, consumers are advised to boil water for at least 1 minute before drinking, preparing infant formulas, preparing juices, and ice cubes, washing fruits and vegetables, cooking, dental hygiene, and any other activity of requiring human consumption. This is to be done until further notice.