The City of Trail and Interior Health issued a water quality advisory to homes and businesses in the Waneta Junction area this week. (Sheri Regnier photo)

Water quality advisory issued for Waneta Junction

Low level coliform bacteria were detected within the Green Gables reservoir distribution system.

Homes and businesses in Waneta Junction were issued a water quality advisory on Tuesday.

Low level coliform bacteria were detected within the Green Gables reservoir distribution system, located above Trail Canadian Tire, which services over 60 properties along Highway 22A.

The City of Trail and Interior Health advises those with weakened or immature immunity to boil water for at least one minute, and exercise precautions when drinking, washing produce, making beverages and ice, or when brushing teeth.

The advisory remains in effect until further notice.

A water quality advisory indicates a level of risk associated with consuming drinking water, but the conditions do not warrant a boil water notice or do-not-use water notice.

“It should be noted the level of coliform count is very low, five and below,” confirmed Chris McIsaac, director of Trail public works.

“It’s just a water quality advisory on right now … not a boil water notice …,” he clarified. “Just in case somebody does have a compromised immune system (or young children) they might want to boil water or use a bottled water source.”

In water, coliform bacteria have no taste, smell, or colour, and can only be detected through a laboratory test. Although Green Gables is testing low, the advisory is in place because the Canadian Drinking Water Quality Guideline for total coliforms is none detectable per 100 mL.

Three reservoirs, including Green Gables, pull and store water from the Bear Creek Well, located just off Highway 3B near the city’s RV Park.

Notably, the water itself is not the source of bacteria – the other reservoirs are presently clear.

“We sample that whole area weekly,” McIsaac explained. “It’s not the water coming out of the well that is the problem, there’s coliform in the Green Gables reservoir or in the distribution system below the reservoir – it’s not coming out of the well.”

Public works will be flushing respective mains with chlorine while the city investigates where the coliform originates.

“We are going to do some research in the next week or two and hopefully narrow down the source,” McIsaac said. “The thought right now is that there is bacterial grown on the pipe walls and in the spring time when the temperature changes, you get a biggest draw on the water system,” he added.

“That increases the velocity of the water coming through the pipe, pulls a little bit of that bacterial growth away from the wall, and it gets distributed.”

Once the system is flushed, the city will pull samples to send for testing at a certified lab.

McIsaac added, “By Monday or on Monday, we should have an answer.”

Commonly used as an indicator of sanitary quality of foods and water, coliforms are a rod-shaped Gram-negative bacteria.

Coliforms can be found in the aquatic environment, in soil and on vegetation, and are universally present in large numbers in the feces of warm-blooded animals. Generally, coliforms themselves are not normally causes of serious illness, but they are easy to culture, and their presence is used to indicate that other pathogenic organisms of fecal origin may be present. Such pathogens include disease-causing bacteria, viruses, or protozoa and many multicellular parasites.

Just Posted

What you see …

If you have a recent photo to share email it to

Storm the Stairs and Trail Kidney Walk this weekend

Grapevine: Events in the Trail area for the week of Sept. 20 to Sept. 26

Kootenay Robusters end 18th paddling season

Women of Trail, Castlegar, Rossland, Christina Lake and Grand Forks came together in 2001

Military exercises may be audible in Trail

The exercises will be conducted in the Trail area from Thursday to Sunday

Council rollover inspires crop of hopeful politicians

Fourteen people vying for six council seats

Watch out for Pavement Patty: Drivers warned outside B.C. elementary school

New survey reveals unsafe school zones during 2018 back-to-school week

Update: Search called off for missing plane between Edmonton and Chilliwack

Search efforts were concentrated along the Highway 5 corridor between Valemount and Kamloops

Why Whistler for ski jumping in 2026? Calgary proposal gets pushback

Calgary 2026 proposes re-using the 2010 ski jumping venue Whistler for that sport and nordic

Despite progress, threat of 232 tariffs dominates NAFTA negotiations

Any deal is seen to require congressional approval before Dec. 1 to survive new Mexican government

VIDEO: Hundreds line highway as family brings home body of B.C. teen

Northern B.C. showed their support by lining Hwy 16 as Jessica Patrick’s body returned to Smithers.

B.C. MP Todd Doherty receives award for saving man who collapsed on a plane

Conservative MP was flying from Vancouver to Prince George, B.C., in June last year

Alleged border jumper from Oregon facing 2 charges after police chase in B.C.

Colin Patrick Wilson charged with dangerous operation of motor vehicle, flight from a peace officer

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

‘Hero’ kid fighting cancer helping with B.C. Children’s Hospital fundraiser

Penticton’s Wills Hodgkinson helping raise funds for B.C. Children’s Hospital

Most Read