April 17, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - New Brunswickers are reminded to take precautions during the flood season to ensure their water is safe before using it. Dr. Eilish Cleary, chief medical officer of health, issued this reminder today.
"All New Brunswickers, whether they are using a private or public water supply, should take steps to ensure the quality of their drinking water and take steps to reduce possible risks to their health," said Cleary. "Knowing more about the quality of the water we drink may alert homeowners to a potential problem and provide them with peace of mind when problems do not exist."
Private water testing
New Brunswickers using private water supplies should test their water. Testing for bacteria is recommended at least twice a year - after the spring thaw and during the fall rainy season. All private water supplies, no matter what water treatment device is installed, should be tested.
Health Protection branch offices provide information on water supply testing and information on how to remediate any problem the tests show. Additional information is available online, including information on health risks associated with flood waters and measures to take before and after a flood.
Those using public water supplies should respect boil water advisories. A list of boil water advisories may be found online.
The Department of Health issues a boil water advisory when it receives information indicating that a public water supply poses a health risk for consumers. During a boil water advisory, it is important that all water be held at a rolling boil for one minute before using it for drinking, preparing infant formulas and juices, washing fruits and vegetables, cooking and dental hygiene.
Adults, adolescents and older children may shower, bathe or wash using tap water but should avoid swallowing the water. Toddlers and infants should be sponge-bathed, and caregivers need to ensure that no water is swallowed. Dishes and laundry may be hand- or machine-washed in tap water unless the Department of Health otherwise advises.
Water for drinking and personal use should be stored in clean, covered containers after being brought to a rolling boil for at least one minute. Water may also be obtained from an alternate safe supply.
MEDIA CONTACT: Meghan Cumby, communications, Department of Health, 506-457-3522.