Health / Environment

Update / Chromium trioxide spill in Fredericton area (08/10/29)

NB 1595

Oct. 29, 2008

FREDERICTON (CNB) - The Department of Health continues to advise about a dozen homeowners and several businesses in the Evergreen Park area outside Fredericton not to consume their well water, or use it for cooking, bathing or any other use which would bring it into contact with their body.

The advisory was delivered to the affected homes and businesses following a spill of chromium trioxide in the area on Monday. All homes or businesses considered at risk have been notified by public health inspectors. Those in the area who have not been notified may continue to consume their well water.

Preliminary test results from water samples collected at the affected homes and businesses found levels of chromium trioxide within acceptable levels. However, the Department of Health continues to advise affected homeowners and business owners not to consume or use their water for cooking or bathing.

"The initial test results are considered baseline levels, and more testing is necessary before the Department of Health can assess future risk and consider lifting the advisory to the affected homes and businesses, "said Dr. Denis Allard, medical officer of health.

The departments of Environment and Health are continuing to work together to determine the impact of the spill on groundwater supplies.

Monitoring wells have been drilled to determine the extent of contamination, and provide for accurate measurements of direction and flow of groundwater. This will allow appropriate action.

Affected and area residents will be notified of any further developments.

08/10/29

MEDIA CONTACTS: Johanne Le Blanc, communications, Department of Health, 506-457-3513; Jennifer Graham, communications, Department of Environment, 506-457-7206.

08/10/29