City Conducting Flushing, Boil Notice Downgraded to Water Quality Advisory January 25th

Fri, December 14, 2018

Please see the latest notice for information on the downgrading of the Boil Water Notice to a Water Quality Advisory, which occurred January 25th. 


UPDATE - January 22nd, 2019

Notice of Flushing

The Boil Water Notice remains in effect, but you may notice that City crews are out starting today to begin to flush local watermains. This step assists in removing stale or stagnant water from pipes, and will speed up the process of downgrading of the Notice,  in the event that Northern Health provides approval. Please note that flushing may impact the aesthetic quality of the water during flushing activities. It is possible the water may look a little milky, or there may be sediment stirred up. Run taps until they are clear if you experience this.

The City has seen significant improvements in test results, and will be meeting with Northern Health mid-week to determine if these results are satisfactory to downgrade the Notice to a Water Quality Advisory.


What is the difference between a Boil Water Notice versus a Water Quality Advisory?

A Boil Water Notice is issued when a health risk is determined in the drinking water source. As has been the case during our current Notice, it is recommended to boil water for a minimum of 1 minute when used for:

  • Drinking
  • Cooking (if not boiled)
  • Brushing teeth
  • Washing dishes
  • Washing fruits & vegetables to be eaten raw

A Water Quality Advisory indicates a level of risk associated with consuming the drinking water, but the conditions do not warrant a boil water notice or do-not-use water notice. It is the lowest level notification, and is issued as a precautionary measure (particularly to those with compromised immune systems that they should take appropriate steps, such as boiling their water prior to consuming). The advisory will describe the nature of the risk and what actions a consumer can take to reduce the risk.

In conjunction with Northern Health, the City will continue to closely monitor test results, retaining a test schedule of 2X a week for the near future. Health care providers also continue to monitor for any illnesses directly related to water quality.  Northern Health is currently working to determine an appropriate test schedule over the longer term.

We thank the residents for your patience during this time, and look forward to downgrading the Notice as soon as possible.


UPDATE - January 14th, 2019

At the January 14th, 2019 Council Meeting, additional information was shared regarding the current Boil Water Notice. Please see below for a list of Frequently Asked Questions, and a Report on our Community Watershed.

Frequently Asked Questions - January 14th, 2019

City of Prince Rupert 2019 Watershed Report

Please note that the Boil Water Notice remains in effect.


UPDATE - January 11th, 2019

Please note that following delays in test results over Christmas, the City is  now receiving results back from the lab that has been testing our continuous water sampling.  Results are improving and we look forward to receiving permission to lift the Boil Water Notice as soon as Northern Health determines enough clear samples have been returned. 

The Boil Water Notice does remain in effect, and all precautions noted in the original Notice should still be followed. Thank you for your patience.


UPDATE - December 28th, 2018

Please note that the Boil Water Notice remains in effect until further notice.

Unfortunately, there are no treatment options available to the City to remove cryptosporidium at the source supply, and therefore there is currently no way to prevent or manage the issue other than to wait for the water to clear itself.  As previously noted, the spike in levels of cryptosporidium and giardia were related to a dry summer followed by recent storm surge events. Water testing results will continue to be closely monitored until Northern Health determines the water meets acceptable standards. Please continue to boil all consumable water and take the necessary precautions outlined by Northern Health and attached in our original notice:  .

As previously noted, the City applied for funding in August to implement a new $30 million multiple phased water treatment facility. Multiple treatment barriers will reduce the risk from cryptosporidium in the future, if we are successful in achieving the grant.

We are working closely with Northern Health to continuously monitor water quality, and will  remove the Notice when multiple clear results are received. We thank you for your patience, and apologize for the inconvenience.


UPDATE Posted Thursday, December 20th, 2018:

Please be advised that the Boil Water Notice will remain in effect until the City and Northern Health provide notification that it has been removed. 

The Notice is still in effect and will most likely continue for another week at minimum. Because tests need to be sent to Vancouver, there is a minimum three day turnaround for each test result. In the interests of public health, the City and Northern Health will be waiting until a number of clear test results are received before the notice will be lifted. Thank you for your patience, and we apologize for the inconvenience.


ORIGINAL NOTICE, posted December 14th, 2018:

Prince Rupert residents and businesses are advised that a Boil Water Notice is now in effect for Prince Rupert until further notice. Residents are directed to boil water continuously for one minute prior to drinking. Seniors, children, and people with compromised immune systems are at higher risk. It is anticipated that the notice will be in effect for over a week.

Samples have indicated cryptosporidium and giardia levels higher than acceptable. Clean water is paramount. For this reason, a community-wide notice will be in effect until future samples return to acceptable levels. Please note that home water filtration systems are not considered effective in restoring water quality in this instance.

This year a dry summer followed by a storm surge event resulted in debris in the water supply, which has contributed to the notice. The City and Northern Health will be consistently sampling and monitoring the supply, and will remove the notice once bacterial components are lowered to acceptable levels.

In August of this year, the City applied for funding to implement a two-phased water treatment system and replace the submarine line that carries our potable water beneath the harbour from Woodworth and Shawatlans lakes. This represents the final phase of the City’s water infrastructure replacement project – which has seen the replacement and the burial of the supply line to the dam, and will see the 100 year old dam replaced this year.

The City has sent this notice to local media and directly to residents via our municipal app and Connect Rocket emergency alert program. If you or someone you know have not subscribed to these services, please do so at



A boil water notice is issued when a health risk is determined in the drinking water source. We recommend boiling the water for a minimum of 1 minute when used for:

  • Drinking
  • Cooking (if not boiled)
  • Brushing teeth
  • Washing dishes
  • Washing fruits & vegetables to be eaten raw
  • Water for pet consumption


Northern Health has provided a number of additional resources to help direct the public on how to use water safely during a Boil Water Notice.

Boil Water Notice - Frequently Asked Questions

Operation of a Food Premise Under a Boil Water Advisory


The Provincial HealthLink BC call-in line is also available if the above resources do not answer your question.  Call 8-1-1 for support.




Veronika Stewart, Communications Manager

City of Prince Rupert

(778) 884 6285


Press Release - Boil Water Notice in Effect