A boil water advisory that was originally expected to end on Thursday wound up spilling into Friday before being lifted by Tofino’s district office.
“The District of Tofino has lifted the Boil Water Advisory for all users of the Tofino water system, effective immediately,” read a statement posted to Tofino’s website late Friday afternoon.
Tofino’s district office announced the advisory on May 13, explaining that the town’s chlorination system had failed overnight.
“Water is now being safely treated, however we require a minimum of 48 hours to confirm whether water is safe for consumption,” read the notice. “District of Tofino staff are continually monitoring the water supply system and working with Island Health to gather information.”
Mayor Josie Osborne told the Westerly News that the advisory was caused by an “unprecedented” chain of events. She said the district is transitioning one of its two water treatment plants to a liquid-chlorine system that, she said, will be more reliable and safe than the current chlorine gas system.
“Some elements of the District’s water system were down for maintenance longer than expected and some of the ‘fail-safe mechanisms’ failed, including a low-chlorine alarm,” she said. “The Public Works staff has repaired and re-established the alarms that notify us when chlorine levels are low, which should help avoid this problem in the future.”
She added district staff are reviewing what happened and investigating the reliability of the town’s approach to its water system.
“This might result in some changes to further reduce risks,” she said. “I recognize that a precautionary boil water advisory is not only a concern for some of our town’s more vulnerable residents such as babies, seniors or those with compromised immune systems, but it has also been a massive inconvenience for businesses.”