Vavenby residents given the all clear to resume using water system

Water samples turn up no trace of contamination following a semi truck crashing into the river and spilling fuel.

Interior Health has rescinded its do not use water advisory for users of the Vavenby Community Water System as no contamination was found following a semi-truck crashing into the North Thompson River.

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The truck was travelling along Highway 5 North when it entered the river Sunday, spilling diesel fuel from a punctured gas tank into the river north of the water system’s intake.

Test results from water samples taken at various locations near the system indicated it had not been contaminated, stated a Thompson-Nicola Regional District press release issued Friday afternoon, confirming residents can resume using the water as normal.

The truck and trailer were removed from the river a few days following the crash and the fuel tanks were found to be empty, meaning approximately 350 litres of diesel likely leaked into the river upon impact, according to the TNRD.

According to IH, water sampling conducted by the Ministry of Environment and an environmental consultant have shown the risk of contamination from the spill to the river is low.

“However, if users notice any changes in the water, such as a fuel odour or an oil-sheen in the water, users are advised to stop using the water and have their water tested,” an IH press release stated.

IH issued the advisory following the single vehicle crash for residents who draw water from the North Thompson River, between 10 kilometres south of Avola, down through Clearwater to the confluence of the North Thompson and Clearwater Rivers.

The communities of Clearwater and Avola themselves were not impacted.

While the community of Vavenby and other water users remained under the water advisory, bottled and bulk water was made available at the Vavenby Fire Department.

“We appreciate the patience of the community and the co-operation of the various government agencies who responded so quickly during this incident,” the TNRD release goes on to state.

© Kamloops This Week

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