A boil water order was put into place by the Village of McBride during the BKB Cedar fire over a concern of possible cross-contamination between the water system and the use of a sewer truck that carried water from the system to the fire.
Possibility of contamination in this scenario would arise from backflow from the truck into the main water system.
On the recommendation of R. Radloff and Associates, Public Works employee Matthew Slaney called Northern Health to report his concerns, and they suggested that a boil water order be issued to the public as a precaution until water samples could be tested for contamination. Notices were handed out to homes, although some residents said they did not receive the notice, and made the discovery from social media.
As an extra precaution Slaney also increased the chlorine dosage to the town water.
In his report to Council, he recommended that a permanent back flow preventer be installed at the McBride fire hall in order to prevent this type of situation from recurring.
Tests came back clear on April 8 and the boil water notice was lifted.
In response to queries about the potential for cross-contamination, Fire Chief Dave Hruby stated that procedures have been in place at the fire hall since it opened. When filling a truck with the two and a half inch water line, a hose clamp is to be placed on the backside in order to maintain pressure on the line. This provides protection to the main water line from backflow issues. If any other smaller water line is used to fill a truck tank, an air gap is maintained to protect from any backflow.
After the event a backflow protector from the Village was installed by Village staff.