Janvier residents return home after evacuation, but they can’t drink the water, Residents left voluntarily on Jan. 27 after a chemical mix-up at the water plant by Jamie Malbeuf, CBC News, Feb 05, 2020
Janvier residents returned to their community Tuesday afte a water shutdown due to a chemical mix-up prompted an evacuation.
But a “do not consume” advisory remains in effect and boiling the water doesn’t make it safe for consumption, the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo cautioned residents in an incident update Tuesday.
Some 147 evacuees returned to the community in northern Alberta after being gone for a week.
Shirley Montgrand, 49, said her brother, Peter Janvier, hasn’t returned. Janvier is quadriplegic and had to evacuate to Fort McMurray’s hospital because it was the only place that could accommodate him.
He is still waiting for an ambulance to take him home. His sister said people need answers as to what happened on Jan. 24 at the water plant.
“I just hope to God that people don’t sweep it underneath the rug and forget it,” Montgrand said. “No. This is something you don’t forget.”
Residents left voluntarily on Jan. 27 after a chemical mix-up at the water plant caused the regional municipality to shut off the water, leaving 113 homes without running water — 107 in the Chipewyan Prairie First Nation community and six in the hamlet.
The Chipewyan Prairie First Nation led the evacuation, with the municipality offering support with busing services and security to help with the relocation.
The municipality announced on Monday it would turn the water back on. With full water pressure returned, the community has fire protection, however the “do not consume” advisory remains in effect.
Scott Davis, the municipality’s director of emergency management, said water samples have been sent to Alberta Health Services for analysis.
As of Tuesday evening, residents could use the water but they can’t drink it, cook with it or give it to their pets.
Water samples are being sent to the First Nations and Inuit health branch of Indigenous Services Canada, according to the municipality.
“The cleaning is completed,” said Scott Davis, the municipality’s director of emergency management.
The municipality is waiting to hear back from AHS about what needs to be done before people can drink the water.
But there’s no estimate on when the results from the samples will be ready.
Incident still under investigation
Davis said the municipality is still investigating the incident “to ensure that we understand how this happened and prevent a reoccurrence.”
Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo charged in 2017 chlorine gas release
No one drank any contaminated water, said Davis.
This is not the first time the municipality has had an issue with its water plants.
In 2017, sodium hypochlorite was accidentally transferred into the tank holding polyaluminium chloride at the Fort McMurray water treatment plant.
That created chlorine gas that was released into the air.
The municipality is facing four environmental charges for the 2017 incident.
[Super special “Rule of Law” for petroleum industry law-violating polluters: Authorities in Alberta intentionally helped Encana (Ovintiv) cover-up and escape its crimes, frac’ing Rosebud’s drinking water aquifers, contaminating them. No warnings from any authority to residents not to drink or live with their frac’d water, not even after the community’s drinking water reservoir exploded from an apparent accumulation of gases (the purpose of hydraulic fracturing is to force gases to let go from tight formations). Two of the worst enablers, Bev Yee was appointed recently by the Alberta govt’ to Chair the energy deregulator, the AER, and Peter Watson continues to lead the CER (prev NEB) after ex PM Steve Harper appointed him there, apparently to reward him for covering-up for Encana and trying to bully Ernst silent]
The municipality said in a statement that “to the best of our knowledge” those same chemicals were mixed in Janvier.
Janvier is about 400 kilometres northeast of Edmonton.
Refer also to:
2020 01 26: Oil & gas industry frac chemical or waste water mix up? As done to Ponoka landowner, Ann Craft? Water cut off for Janvier & Chipewyan Prairie First Nation after chemical “transfer” into water plant. “Emergency services’ Dangerous Goods personnel and equipment” on site. That’s some toxic mix-up.