B.C. warns of possible water contamination following flooding

British Columbia

Anyone who owns a drinking water well in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley is being asked to assess it for possible water contamination.

A barn sits surrounded by floodwater in the Sumas Prairie flood zone in Abbotsford, B.C., on Nov. 29.(Ben Nelms/CBC)

British Columbia's Ministry of Health is warning residents in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley of possible water contamination connected to the recent flooding in the province.

Record-setting precipitation fell between Nov. 14 and Dec. 2 in southwestern B.C., causing severe flooding that destroyed homes and farms, and caused landslides that killed several people.

Officials say heavy rain may have caused overflow or failure of liquid manure storage systems in the region. The province says it is working with farm operators to reduce the risks of possible overflow.

The province says private drinking water wells may be at risk, and owners need to assess their wells and ensure anyone using them is protected from contaminated water.

Financial assistance

The B.C. government also announced on Sunday that it is expanding financial assistance for those impacted by flooding and landslides over the past few weeks.

Those eligible include anyone living in the northwest, southwest, central and southeast areas of the province, including Vancouver Island, who suffered loss because of the severe weather in B.C. from Nov. 15 to Dec. 2. It includes all homeowners, residential tenants, business owners, farmers and charitable organizations that did not have access to insurance to cover those costs.

Applications can be made until March 3, 2022.

The province's disaster financial assistance will cover up to 80 per cent of the amount of total eligible damage over $1,000, up to $300,000.

The Canadian Red Cross has also been providing assistance of up to $2,000 to those forced to evacuate their homes from Nov. 14 to 16 because of flooding.

Trans Mountain pipeline restarts

The Trans Mountain pipeline has restarted after being shut down for three weeks, which will eventually bring relief to parts of the province dealing with gas shortages.

The pipeline was shut down as a precaution amid concerns about safety during flooding, and landslides exposed sections of the 1,150-kilometre pipeline that carries 300,000 barrels per day of petroleum products from Alberta to B.C.

Trans Mountain Corp. said it continues to monitor the pipeline on the ground, by air and through its control centre.

The provincial government has extended fuel restrictions, which include the south coast, Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands, until Dec. 14. The rationing applies to both gas and diesel and limits buyers to 30 litres per trip to gas stations and fuel suppliers in the aforementioned areas.

With files from The Canadian Press and Karin Larsen

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Credit belongs to : www.cbc.ca

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