High turbidity in Kamloops Lake has prompted the Thompson-Nicola Regional District to issue a water-quality advisory for residents who access the Savona Community Water System.
Turbidity is a measure of the degree to which water loses its transparency due to the presence of suspended particulates.
The regional district said the health risk as a result of the cloudy water is low, but is advising those with compromised immune systems to boil their water or use bottled water.
Tyrone McCabe, the regional district’s manager of utility services, said water quality advisories are annual events for the Savona system, noting turbidity issues are caused by the runoff of creeks during snowmelt.
He said it is difficult to predict for how long the advisory will be in place, noting upper-elevation snowpack melt is yet to come.
This year’s advisory came about a month earlier than last year.
“2018 was a strange year,” McCabe said, noting the upper and lower elevation snowmelt occurred simultaneously within a three-week stretch when temperatures suddenly rose in May.
Last year, Savona water system users were under an advisory on May 3, followed by a boil-water notice on May 7 that lasted to the end of June. In 2016, a boil-water notice was issued in early April, with an advisory in place from May to October.
The Savona water system serves about 300 customers and was constructed in 1977, with upgrades in 1996, 2010 and 2017, the latter including a new reservoir and new water mains. The system draws water from Kamloops Lake, with the treatment process being disinfection with sodium hypochlorite.
More information can be obtained by calling 1-877-377-8673.