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Box 2003
Weyburn, Saskatchewan
S4H 2Z9
Tel: (306) 842-8399
For General Inquiries:
info@schr.sk.ca

What is a precautionary drinking water advisory?

What is the difference between a Precautionary Drinking Water Advisory (PDWA) and an Emergency Boil Water Order (EBWO) 

A Precautionary Drinking Water Advisory (PDWA) is used when there is a concern that water quality problems (due to microbial or chemical contamination) may exist. 

An Emergency Boil Water Order (EBWO) is issued when there are confirmed public health threats due to microbial contamination of the drinking water supply. 

PDWAs are used when there is evidence of:

•           Significant deterioration in the quality of the source water for the drinking water supply - for example high turbidity;

•           Malfunctions in the water treatment plant or disinfection system;

•           The drinking water distribution system is not able to meet the standards for chlorine in the system;

•           Bacteriological monitoring of the drinking water shows some coliform bacteria;

•           Concerns about chemical parameters of the drinking water;

•           Contamination within the drinking water distribution system; or,

•           Failure to submit the water samples required by the Health Hazard Regulations or local health region.

EBWOs are used when there are confirmed public health threats due to microbial contamination of drinking water and they will be used on evidence of: 

•           Confirmed presence of E.coli in the drinking water;

•           Confirmed presence of fecal coliforms in the drinking water; or,

•           Where epidemiological evidence indicates that the drinking water is responsible for an outbreak of illness.

Thinking about PDWAs versus EBWOs is similar to the difference between a weather watch and a weather warning.

Update – June 22

Based on the initial state of flooding, residents of the City of Weyburn were provided with information that indicated that 1 micron cartridge filters could be used to treat domestic  water. While the usage of cartridge type water filters can be sufficient in removing cysts that can cause illness, based on our further assessment of the flooding and extent of the flood waters sole usage of cartridge filters is no longer recommended in order to ensure the safety of our residents. Residents should review their manufacturer’s specifications.

Contact Public Health Inspectors at (306) 637-3626 or (306) 842-8618 or the Medical Health Officer at 842-8618. 

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