Only ‘at risk’ need to boil water under Water Quality Advisory

I was concerned to read the Capital News story on the Water Quality Advisory (WQA) for the McKinley Landing area.

To the editor:

I was concerned to read the Capital News story on the Water Quality Advisory (WQA) for the McKinley Landing area published on Friday, May 4.

While the phrase water quality advisory was retained in the article, the message that was delivered to McKinley residents by the Kelowna Capital News was that all residents should boil their water. In the course of your editing of the press release issued by GEID, instructions regarding precautions for at-risk populations were retained, but the critical part of a WQA—identification of the at-risk population (elderly, children, immunocompromised)—was left out.

This missing information means that some people may have boiled their water without any need to do so, and also could have left customers uncertain about the actual level of advisory.

Although GEID and other water suppliers have long-standing concerns about message confusion between Water Quality Advisory and Boil Water Notices, the Capital News should be familiar with both types of notification after six years, and able to distinguish between the two.

Under a WQA, only the at-risk population is advised to boil their water and other water users are unaffected, while Interior Health recommends that everyone boil their water under a boil water notice.

It would be prudent to publish a correction outlining the distinction, along with an apology to the affected residents.

In addition, I suggest that you review the various stages of water quality notifications with your staff to prevent this sort of situation again in the future. A brief summary of the different levels is available on the Interior Health website:

Due to the length, I understand that space may not permit replication of the entire Water Quality Advisory notice in newspaper articles. However, please feel free to contact GEID via telephone in the future if you have any questions regarding a notification, or if you would like GEID to review any article about water quality notifications that you publish.

GEID and other water suppliers depend on the local media outlets to assist us in notifying our customers of changes to water quality, and working with you to deliver clear, consistent and accurate messages is a priority for all of our staff.

Darren Schlamp,

Glenmore-Ellison Improvement District,


Just Posted

Kids, the great outdoors and technology

UBCO study says send your kids outside but let them take their electronic devices

Fundraising for Freedom House gets $10,000 boost

Plans for recovery program apartment building in Kelowna moving ahead

Rutland accident slows traffic

Kelowna - A two-vehicle accident has caused traffic to slow along Highway 33

Kelowna woman makes Top 100 power list

“We also need champions (both male and female) to help high-performing females rise more quickly…”

More Kelowna kids living in poverty

2017 BC Child Poverty Report Card paints a dismal picture of life in B.C.

Tattooing couple opens new shop in Lake Country

Cody and Fabiana Philpott opened NSI Tattoo in August

Cougar judged risk to public shot and killed in Clearwater

Animal was seen prowling through a subdivision, had killed a house cat

Curtis Sagmoen to appear in Vernon court

The man associated with an Silver Creek farm where human remains were found last month is set to appear in court

Vernon high school theatre reignites classic pirate tale

Seaton Secondary’s 27th Street Theatre Co. presents The Pirates of Penzance Dec. 5-9 and 12-16.

B.C. snow plow operator helps save elderly man

The 73-year-old man had fallen at his isolated home, and finally was able to call for help

Wildlife group challenges B.C.’s interpretation of law on destroying bears

Fur-Bearers are challenging a conservation officer’s decision to kill a bear cub near Dawson Creek

Penticton man fights to stay in Canada, keep life-saving health care

If Kris Reyes is denied permanent residency, the cost of his dialysis would run too high to keep up

Tourism numbers continue to climb in B.C.

The majority of international travellers to British Columbia are coming from Australia

Canadian screen stars want ‘action’ from industry meeting on sexual misconduct

‘Of course there’s been sexual harassment here. Absolutely. No question.’

Most Read