Montrose sits out water competition

After finding coliform in drinking water, village looking at water system upgrades.

Montrose pulled its bid for gold in a water tasting competition, after two months of testing revealed village water to be contaminated.On Monday, council officially rescinded a motion to participate in the Berkley Springs International Water Tasting competition, a contest that has in past awarded the village four silver medals for its drinking water.But two weeks ago, Interior Health released test results that found coliform bacteria in the water supply, prompting council to reconsider its entry in the 2011 competition.“We’re planning now to disinfect our wells and disinfect the distribution system and the reservoir storage,” said administrator Kevin Chartres.At its highest, the tests found six parts coliform bacteria per 100-millilitre water sample, not a grievous amount but enough to issue a boil-water advisory. Montrose and last year’s silver medal winner — Beaver Falls — are two of only a handful of water suppliers in B.C. that don’t treat their water, however recent problems may change that.Chartres noted the village applied for “a couple of different grants and in both of those applications, treatment was a component of construction.”The gas tax grant and towns for tomorrow grant would give the village almost $2 million to upgrade its water system with the option of treating water through chlorination. “We have budgeted to at least get going; we’d like to get one well drilled at least this year,” he said.With the grants, Montrose can proceed with replacing both wells and completely overhaul its water system.Residents should continue to boil water until disinfecting the system is completed sometime in March.