Since November 22, the City’s wastewater treatment plant has been fully operational. Fully treated effluent is being discharged into the river, as the City’s rapid infiltration basins are still being repaired. Water quality tests have been completed and the quality and quantity of treated water flowing into the river has been approved by Environment BC
Given the restricted water supply, residents returning to the city are encouraged to restrict their water use, especially for uses like showers, baths, dishwashing, and clothes washing.
It might seem counterintuitive, but it is actually beneficial for residents to continue using their toilets. Biosolids contain bacteria that feed the ecosystem of our wastewater treatment plant and keeps the germ-fighting bacteria alive.
The City will provide updates as we work to repair the damage to our water system and rapid infiltration basins, and will continue consulting with Interior Health and BC Environment and communicating with downstream communities to ensure we are following safe procedures as we bring residents home.
Earlier today, a leak in a main meant that water was out from Grimmett St to Walters St, and up Walters St. City crews worked to get it restored today. Water all through the city remains on a boil water advisory.
At today’s press meeting (available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6tOIg0cJ3mo&ab_channel=CityofMerrittMeetings ) CAO Sean Smith said that testing continues to appropriate health standard levels in the 3 different phase-areas, and that — as well as repairing & flushing water & sewage lines — will be what will allow Phase 3 neighbourhoods that weren’t affected by flooding to get back again for good. Phase 2 neighbourhoods will be able to return tomorrow.
Still no word on when non-flood-impacted Phase 3 neighbourhoods, as well as downtown, might start going back during daytime to begin clean-up & retrieval of possessions.