Granisle’s latest boil water advisory, which has been in effect since Nov. 23, 2018, is creating unease among some residents.
The advisory is due to a break in the village’s water mains, which potentially caused contaminated water to enter Granisle’s distribution system.
“There is a significant risk that the drinking water may contain disease-causing organisms,” states the advisory. “These organisms include bacteria, viruses and parasites, which can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, cramps, headaches, nausea or other symptoms.”
Although the village states that boiling the water is enough to kill these organisms, some residents are skeptical.
“Even when you boil it, it’s still got a brown colour, and we don’t know how much chlorine is in it,” said David Labatte, a longtime Granisle resident, adding that he’s been using bottled water for cooking.
“It’s a real pain.”
Lorraine Wanke, another longtime Granisle resident, said she won’t even let her cat drink water that’s been boiled.
Tom Barna, who moved to Granisle six months ago, said one of the reasons he moved to the community was because the village is advertised as an ideal place for seniors.
“But it seems like they [municipal leaders] are not putting money on infrastructure,” he says. “If you want people to move here, you need infrastructure.”
He added that it’s been hard to find up-to-date information about the advisory.
“Nobody seems to know what’s going on up here; we pay for our water here and we shouldn’t have to be paying these fees if we don’t have drinkable water.”
Granisle Mayor Linda McGuire said the boil water advisory is expected to be lifted “early in the new year.”
“The water mains have been repaired,” she explained. “However, we’re working with Northern Health now to achieve safe potable water.”
“The village is working with our engineers and plumbers to make sure the necessary chlorination is for safe drinking water,” she continued. “So until that happens, the boil water advisory will be in effect.”
According to McGuire, the municipality immediately went door-to-door to notify residents after the advisory was issued, and several posters were placed throughout the community.
“I personally have boiled the water, let it cool down and drank it with no issue,” she added.
Earlier this year the village secured over $5 million through federal grants to build a new water treatment plant, which will provide secondary treatment of the village’s potable water. The plant is expected to be completed early next summer.
Granisle, which is now 47 years old, has faced many challenges with its aging infrastructure, which was built to last 25 years.