Health / Environment

Update: Chromium trioxide spill / Fredericton area (08/10/31)

NB 1615

Oct. 31, 2008

FREDERICTON (CNB) - Drinking water will be provided by the Department of Environment beginning today to homes and businesses affected by the chromium trioxide spill near Fredericton on Monday, Oct. 27.

The Department of Health continues to advise 10 homeowners and 20 businesses in the Evergreen Park area not to consume their well water or use it for cooking, bathing or any other use that would bring the water into contact with their bodies.

All homes or businesses considered at risk have been notified by public health inspectors. Anyone in the area who has not been notified may continue to consume their well water.

It is anticipated it will be two to three weeks before the advisory not to consume or use the well water will be removed.

"The potential severity of adverse health effects if someone drinks or comes in contact with water contaminated with this chemical requires much prudence," said Dr. Denis Allard, medical officer of health. "It is therefore imperative that people in the affected homes and businesses not use this water until the advisory is rescinded."

Testing of well water continues on a regular basis. So far, test results on well water from the residences show levels of chromium in the well water to be within acceptable levels.

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.

08/10/31

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

08/10/31