On Wednesday, November 1, the Town of Olds said that the boil water advisory was lifted.

Previously, the Town of Olds provided more details on a boil water advisory that was issued on Sunday, October 29

The Town noted that a 'best case scenario' would mean that the advisory will be lifted sometime Monday afternoon.

"However, there is a chance that this will not occur until Tuesday. We apologize to everyone inconvenienced by this, especially our local restaurants, and we thank citizens and businesses for their patience and cooperation with this situation."

According to town officials, on Friday evening, the Mountain View Regional Water Services Commission’s treatment plant outside of Innisfail experienced a prolonged power outage. The Mountain View Regional Water Services Commission serves 30,000 people in the six communities, including Innisfail, Bowden, Olds, Didsbury, Carstairs and Crossfield.

"As we understand it, upon restarting the system, the pressure was enough to push existing sediment and sludge down the main line. Unfortunately for Olds, we are at the end of the older of the two main lines, meaning everything ended up here, filling our reservoirs with sediment," a press release from the town stated.

Crossfield did not experience significant issues, as it appears the newer line handled the restart better than the older line.

"The Town will be meeting with the commission once the response is concluded to determine how exactly this happened and what we can do to prevent it from happening again."

On Sunday afternoon, Olds Town crews and Olds Fire Department (OFD) members began flushing our water system, stopping around 3:00 PM to allow the water commission to flush the main line.

"This stoppage was to prevent our reservoirs from becoming too depleted. Flushing caused a short-term loss of water pressure for most of the Town, but it only lasted approximately 1 hour. "

At approximately 4:00 PM on Sunday, Alberta Health Services (AHS) public health contacted the Town stating that a boil water advisory was to be issued due to the continued discolouration (also called ‘turbidity’).

"The Town had been testing the water throughout the day and felt the water was safe for use, despite the discoloration. AHS felt that it was best from a precautionary standpoint to issue the advisory until the turbidity could be reduced. Once the commission ended its flushing, we resumed our flushing program around 7:00 PM Sunday evening."

However, it was underlined that because the fire department was called out to an emergency response, flushing efforts had to be halted by 8:30 PM.

"We will be evaluating the situation Monday morning to see where our turbidity levels sit and again resume our flushing program. Public Works crews will be out sanding early Monday morning as much of this flushed water will freeze on the roadway."

The Town continues to work with AHS Public Health to provide them with the information they need to determine the state of our drinking water. The Town’s next update will be Monday afternoon at approximately 3:00 PM.  

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