Gravenhurst Gets The OK To Use Municipal Water - But Boil First
Water service has been restored to municipal water customers in the Town of Gravenhurst, however the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit has issued a Boil Water Advisory, which is a standard procedure after the water system has been restored.
Out of an abundance of caution, the District turned the taps off to municipal water customers in Gravenhurst early this morning to investigate chemical levels in response to a monitoring alarm.
Testing has shown that the chemical composition of our water is safe. However, when the water system is de-pressurized (i.e. when we shut off the taps), we need to make sure that no bacteria has entered the system – this is why we need you to boil it, before drinking it.
What does this mean?
Water pressure is gradually being restored to customers – this does not mean it is safe to drink. Residents are advised to boil their water before use or, as an alternative, use bottled water or commercially treated water from an approved source until the boil water advisory has been lifted by Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.
Free cases of bottled water and water trucks are stationed at Canadian Tire on Talisman Road in Gravenhurst at the Auto Centre entrance. Volunteers will be handing out free water and allowing access to fill containers until 6:00 p.m. Saturday, and will return at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow (Sunday) morning.
We are anticipating that municipal water users in the Town of Gravenhurst will need to boil their water until at least midday Tuesday. Official notice will be given when lab results are received and the order is lifted by the Medical Officer of Health confirming that the water is safe to consume.
To prepare your water for use, bring water to a rolling boil for at least one minute. Allow it to cool before:
- brushing teeth or rinsing dentures;
- preparing food, wash fruits, vegetables, and other food;
- preparing infant formula;
- making ice, beverages, or other mixes; and
- washing dishes: wash dishes with soap and water, rinse them and then sanitize them in a separate sink with a capful of bleach mixed with a sink full of clear water.
This advice also extends to drinking water for pets.
Adults, teens and older children can use water that has not been boiled for baths and showers. Small children can be given sponge-baths. Do not swallow any water used for showers or baths. It is safe to do laundry with the water.
Hand hygiene is important for preventing the spread of germs and should continue during a Boil Water Advisory:
- use an alcohol-based hand rub (60-90% alcohol) for hands that are not visibly soiled;
- if hands are visibly soiled, clean them with a disposable wet wipe, then follow with an alcohol-based hand rub; or
- if disposable hand wipes are not available, hands should be washed with water and soap, dried, and then followed with an alcohol-based hand rub.