Extensive prairie flooding has prompted a water-boiling advisory from Manitoba health officials, who also said the province will pay for water testing once the floods recede.
The province’s Water Stewardship and Manitoba Health departments are advising Canadians who use “private water supplies including wells, cisterns or unfiltered surface-water sources affected by flooding to boil their water before consumption or use a safe alternative such as bottled water,” the province said in a release on April 21, reiterating an April 8 warning.
“If it is suspected that a private drinking water source has been affected by flooding, the water should be boiled for at least one minute or an alternative source of water such as bottled water should be used for consumption. This includes water for preparing food, beverages, baby formula or ice, and brushing teeth,” the province said. “Water can continue to be used for laundry, washing dishes or bathing. Care should be taken to avoid children getting water in their mouths while bathing. Infants and toddlers should be sponge bathed.”
Once the flood waters recede—which could happen as late as May—bacteria tests should be done before normal water consumption is resumed, the health officials said.
The province also released a Flooding and Well Water Safety fact sheet with detailed information on how to treat possibly flood-contaminated water for consumption.