A sample of water found in the taps of the diabetes office on the fourth floor of the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital. (Northern Health photo)

Drinking water concerns at northern B.C hospital

Northern Health say the results of the Prince Rupert Hospital water study not due until fall

For more than two weeks, the ice and water machine in the patient care unit has been broken and it may not be fixed until the fall, or later.

Since the machine broke, health care practioners have been bringing in flats of bottled water to the approximately 30 patients on the third level.

President of the BC Nurses’ Union, Christine Sorensen, is concerned about the situation.

“I think it’s very concerning that the patients and staff have been impacted by a broken filtered water system for more than a month. Really, there were no immediate actions taken by the health authority until the nurses started to press the issue,” Sorensen said.

Northern Health said the water machine won’t be replaced until an ongoing water study is complete.

“The use and provision of bottled water in the facility is an interim measure while we await the results of the water assessment, for which a RFP [request for proposal] was issued earlier this year (in March),” said Eryn Collins, a communications officer with Northern Health.

“I don’t have a firm ETA on the assessment results; the water study is underway, and results are expected in the fall.”

READ MORE: Muddy water found in taps at Prince Rupert hospital prompts investigation

Collins added the ice and water machine won’t be replaced until the health authority receives the results of the study. Staff and patients will be provided bottled water until they have more information on what they should do.

In April, Northern Health hired a consultant to examine three of its facilities — the hospital, Acropolis Manor and Summit Residences — for potential contamination.

Sorensen is a public health nurse, and said that the water at the hospital is “brownish, it has a taste, it has odour. People say that they feel unwell after. At the very least, I think the water needs to be tested by an environmental health officer.”

The study was instigated after muddy water was found in the occupational therapist room, on the second floor in the doctors’ office and the fourth floor in the diabetes office.

“People come to the hospital because it’s a place where they can be cared for. We should expect that the water in the hospital that’s provided is safe to drink, safe to utilize. Nurses have to wash their hands frequently. While we have a short-term plan in place to provide filtered bottled drinking water, the question we have is what is the long-term plan that the health authority has?” Sorensen said.

RELATED: Bill introduces calls for water testing at schools



shannon.lough@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

William Griffin arrested in Houston homicide

RCMP have now arrested William Griffin, the man wanted in connection to… Continue reading

UNBC faculty strike enters second week in Terrace

Students, BC Nurses Union, and MP Taylor Bachrach visited picketing lines Friday

Family of Terrace man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Hwy 16 traffic delay due to washout between Terrace and Prince Rupert

Alternating single-lane traffic is in effect, 66 km west of Terrace

Coast Mountain College’s indigenization efforts recognized at international symposium

Collaboration and community are key to Indigenous reconciliation in education, CMTN says

VIDEO: B.C. couple creates three-storey ‘doggie mansion’ for their five pups

Group of seven, who Kylee Ryan has dubbed as the ‘wandering paws,’ have a neat setup in Jade City

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

B.C. municipality wants ALC to reconsider their decision in regard to pipeline work camp

The ALC had rejected the construction of the Coastal GasLink work camp behind the Vanderhoof airport in October

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

B.C. First Nations drop out of court challenge, sign deals with Trans Mountain

Upper Nicola Band says deal represents a ‘significant step forward’

VIDEO: B.C. man trapped under ATV for days shows promise at Victoria hospital

Out of induced coma, 41-year-old is smiling, squeezing hands and enjoying sunshine

Most Read