(Black Press file photo).

CVRD testing Shawnigan water after complaints of metallic taste, odour

“This type of problem has come up a number of times in summers in the past”

The metallic taste and odour some customers who are using Shawnigan Lake’s North water system are reportedly experiencing is likely the result of algae blooms, according to a statement from the Cowichan Valley Regional District.

The statement said the CVRD’s engineering services department has received a number of inquiries from customers of the water system, whose water originates from Shawnigan Lake, and that many similar concerns have been expressed to other water utilities serving the Shawnigan Lake area and to Island Health.

“This type of problem has come up a number of times in summers in the past and has been determined to be the result of an algae bloom in the lake water,” the statement said.

“A water sample has been taken by CVRD staff and sent to a lab for analysis. This will confirm the algae species involved. Results are expected in about a week.”

The statement said that in prior summers, the primary algae present has been a brown algae which does not present any risk to health.

It said some customers have inquired whether the algae could be blue-green algae which may be toxic.

“Blue-green algae is favoured where the water is warm, shallow and rich in nutrients; particularly phosphorus,” the statement said.

“Due to the high level of replacement of existing water with runoff occurring in Shawnigan Lake, these conditions are not prevalent. In the past, lab testing of samples have shown only very low levels of blue-green algae constituting no risk to human health. So there is nothing to indicate the algae to be blue-green algae. However, this is expected to be confirmed by the lab testing which will be made publicly available on our website and shared with Island Health.”

The statement said there is no simple treatment, such as boiling or filtering, that would remove the toxins if the algae were blue-green algae.

“The only precaution would be to not drink the water until testing results are available,” the statement said.

“Should you have any further questions, please call the Engineering Services Department at 250-746-2530.”

Drinking water

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

RCMP cruiser damaged while responding to second of three Sidney crashes

Multiple crashes cause delays in both directions on Highway 17

MISSING: Victoria woman dubbed high-risk, last seen mid-June

Kristy Bolton is known to frequent the Rock Bay area

Police use tear gas to apprehend Saanich woman threatening neighbours, police

Woman facing possible criminal charges after standoff with police

West Shore RCMP looking for suspects after $3,000 worth of cosmetics stolen

Suspects allegedly stole high-end beauty products from Langford Shoppers Drug Mart

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Budget officer pegs cost of basic income as calls for it grow due to COVID-19

Planned federal spending to date on pandemic-related aid now tops about $174 billion

Sexologist likens face mask debate to condom debate: What can we learn from it?

Society’s approach to condom usage since the 1980s can be applied to face masks today, one expert says

Langford teens reunited with family after rescue near Chemainus

Friends spent night in missing truck, spotted by RCMP helicopter

B.C. homeowners plead for action on condo insurance crisis

Strata property fees growing bigger than mortgage payments

Indigenous man behind complaint of BC Transplant’s alcohol abstinence policy has died

David Dennis, who is Nuu-chah-nulth, argued that six-month sobriety policy is a ‘lethal form of racism’

ICBC to resume road tests in July with priority for rebookings, health-care workers

Tests have been on hold for four months due to COVID-19

Restaurant to be converted into housing for people experiencing homelessness

BC Housing buys popular Campbell River eatery for $985,000 to serve as bridge housing

Most Read