Island Health says water is safe for consumption after an industrial fire last week caused concerns around potential contamination of drinking water.
A fire at Schnitzer Steel’s facility near Nanaimo Airport Sept. 10-11 drew a response from numerous fire crews. The Cowichan Valley Regional District subsequently issued a press release warning that “groundwater contamination as a result of the fire was a significant concern and highly likely,” based on information from crews at the scene.
In a letter to the Cowichan Valley and Nanaimo regional districts dated Friday, Sept. 18, Dr. Michael Benusic, medical health officer for the Nanaimo area, and Dr. Shannon Waters, medical health officer for the Cowichan Valley region, said they and an environmental health team have “determined the chemical results are safely within the maximum allowable concentrations” set in Canadian drinking water guidelines.
Furthermore, Island Health said there are no advisories to issue related to wells or “broader aquifers” in the area and reiterated water is safe for consumption.
Island Health and stakeholders are working on an ongoing plan to monitor drinking water, ensuring it remains safe for drinking, the press release said.