Cherry Creek remains under a boil water advisory more than two weeks after a critical water main break on its main supply line.
The break was discovered on March 7 and fixed by March 8, however, due to the severity of the break and its location “we were required to put the boil water advisory out,” said Wes Kovacs, interim administrator with the Cherry Creek Waterworks District. The advisory is due to turbidity in the water, which means the water is cloudy.
Under provincial water regulations the district is required to have two consecutive tests that are at zero particulates in the water. This is more strict than usual due to the severity of the main break, Kovacs explained. One reading taken following repairs came back with reading of 1 NTU (an abbreviation for Nephelometric Turbidity Units, the unit in which turbidity is measured, according to B.C.’s water quality guidelines), so more testing was necessary.
For comparison, Kovacs said a serious reading would be 100 or 500 NTU.
He is hoping to receive final results by early next week, at which time the district will be able to remove the advisory.
“The frustrating part is that under normal circumstances we have allowances (for turbidity) but to get off a boil water advisory we have to be at zero.”
The break occurred on the main supply line that comes down from the reservoir where Cherry Creek Waterworks District draws its water, Kovacs said. “Most of our system is over 60 years old. It was an unfortunate weak spot in the system.
“We periodically experience breaks throughout the system in Cherry Creek which is normal for the age of our system.”
The break was discovered when the flow rate monitoring system indicated a high flow rate. The water operator notified Kovacs and the break was found quickly.
Kovacs said the district is looking at replacing its entire system. “Our main focus right now is getting a new treatment plant in place.”
Approximately 1.5 kilometres of water mains were replaced two years ago out of a total of 16 kms of piping. “It sounds like a lot but it’s not as much as it sounds. We’ve got quite a few sections that have been replaced and been upgraded.”
Water mains are replaced on a regular maintenance schedule, he added.
Residents will receive an alert when the boil advisory is declared over. Until then, they must continue to boil water intended for drinking or cooking.
Cherry Creek residents may register for alerts on the Cherry Creek Waterworks District website, www.cherrycreekwater.com, or at the office, 5920-A Cherry Creek Rd. at the volunteer fire department complex. Once registered people will receive updates through e-mail or text within minutes regarding restrictions, line breaks and planned outages. Only emergency notifications and important information is sent using this system.