UPDATE 1:45 p.m.: As a result of the diesel spill earlier today, Interior Health has issued a “Do Not Use” Order for users of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District’s Vavenby Community Water System.
The duration of this order is unknown and subject to the results of the water samples being collected.
The regional district was set hold a public meeting for users of the Vavenby Community Water System to provide any additional information about the “Do Not Use” Order on Sunday, Dec. 30, at 6:30 p.m. at the Vavenby Community Hall.
Interior Health issued a warning after a semi-trailer crashed into the North Thompson River early Sunday morning and spilled diesel fuel into the water.
About 250 people who draw their water from that river between the spill site, 10 kilometres south of the community of Avola, down through Clearwater to the confluence of the North Thompson and Clearwater Rivers, are asked to check their water for any signs of contamination.
Residents should not use the water if it smells or tastes like fuel or has a sheen. That means no drinking, showering, bathing or brushing teeth.
“Diesel fuel can pose a health risk following ingestion, inhalation or skin absorption,” Interior Health said.
Staff with the Thompson Nicola Regional District will provide bottled and bulk water at the fire hall in the community of Vavenby for those who use that water system, which is downstream from the spill.
The Avola water system, which draws from Avola Creek, is not affected.
Staff with the Ministry of Environment are working with an environmental consultant who is collecting water samples.