The BC government warns lower-continental residents who depend on private wells that liquid manure may have contaminated their water supply.
Catastrophic floods in the month of November may have caused liquid manure storage systems to overflow, the health ministry said on Saturday.
Residents of Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley regional districts are being advised to assess their wells and “take action to protect the people who use water from the well,” the health ministry wrote in a news release.
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According to the province, liquid manure may have been released through the movement of animals, the disposal of milk in manure storage systems or excessive rainfall in the storage systems.
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Consumption of water contaminated with fecal material, which contains harmful bacteria, can lead to gastrointestinal diseases, says the HealthLink BC website.
Symptoms of E coli infection includes nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea, but the infection will usually go away on its own if a patient drinks a lot of water.
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The Ministry of the Environment requires that flood-affected agricultural operators whose slurry storage systems may have run over must report to the ministry by 19 December.
About 628,000 chickens, 420 dairy cattle and 12,000 pigs died during the floods, and thousands more were evacuated along with residents in hard-hit communities.
More information on disinfection of private wells can be found on the Danish Environmental Protection Agency’s website.
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