UPDATE: Boil Water Advisory may be in effect until late Friday


Stores  in Petrolia and Central Lambton report most bottled water has been scooped up as people deal with a Boil Water Advisory.

The Town of Petrolia issued a boil water advisory around noon today (Wednesday). Tests from water taken after a water main break on Petrolia Line early Monday showed the presence of eColi bacteria. The advisory was extended to Enniskillen, Oil Springs and Dawn-Euphemia (who buy water from Petrolia’s system) about three hours after it was issued. Officials say it may be Friday afternoon before the advisory is lifted. Town officials say there must be two water samples tested without the presence of eColi before the advisory can be lifted.

Phil Powers of the water department in Petrolia says the levels of chlorine in the sample was still at acceptable limits indicating the eColi presence may have come when the water main rupture was being repaired.

Officials with Lambton Public Health say so far, no one is known to be ill because of the bacteria in the water. While humans carry some forms of eColi in their stomach, it can cause illnesses such as stomach cramps and diarrhea and vomiting. In the most severe cases of contamination, the bacteria can cause long-term kidney problems.

So as soon as the advisory to boil water was issued, the shelves at Heidi’s Independent began to empty. Terri Lynn Taylor, the supervisor on duty at the store, says people were already scooping up bottled water when she arrived just before one. By supper time, the shelves were empty although a shipment is expected tomorrow.

In Wyoming, customers were grabbing up shopping carts full of bottled water. Supplies are also low at the supermarket in Dresden as people from Dawn-Euphemia who are also under the advisory pick up cases of water there. Firefighters in Lambton’s most southerly municipality went door -to-door to inform people to boil their water.

Lambton Public Health issued the following tips during the advisory:

Bring your water to a rolling boil for at least one minute (or you may use bottled water) and allow the water to cool before using it to:

  • Drink;
  • Gargle, spray or brush your teeth, or rinse dentures;
  • Wash fruit, vegetables, and other food;
  • Make ice, juices, puddings, or other mixes; and
  • Preparing infant food and formula.

For bathing and washing:

  • Adults, teens and older children can still use tap water for baths and showers.
  • Young children can be given sponge-baths instead of tub baths or showers.
  • Do not swallow any tap water used for showers and baths.

There have been no known reports of illness associated with this incident. Should you or someone in your family become ill, you should:

  • Seek medical advice immediately for the elderly, infants, and those with weakened immune systems.
  • Others that experience diarrhea for more than 48 hours should also seek medical advice.

Lambton Public Health will send notice when this advisory is lifted.

Questions related to the adverse incident can be directed to Phil Powers, Water Department ORO at 519-490-4612.

Visit the Safe Water section of the Lambton Public Health website atwww.lambtonhealth.on.ca for Boil Water Advisory information including advice on how to use water if a Boil Water Advisory is issued. For more information contact a Public Health Inspector at Lambton Public Health by calling 519-383-8331 or 1-800-667-1839.