CORNWALL, Ontario – The Eastern Ontario Health Unit issued a ‘Do Not Use Water’ advisory for South Glengarry residents starting Tuesday, as the Canadian Coast Guard leads the cleanup of a fuel oil spill in the St. Lawrence River after two tugboats recently capsized near Cornwall.
EOHU officials said that the advisory is for residents whose private water system or small drinking water system draws from the river between Glen Walter and South Lancaster.
According to the statement: “It is anticipated that diesel and other chemical contaminants could leak from the tugboats during the rescue operation and affect the water supply households located downstream.
The potential risk to shoreline from release of diesel is considered minimal given the current information. However, in the event that there could be some movement of diesel near shore, the Do Not Use Water advisory is being issued as a precaution.
The water advisory does not apply to residents using the municipal drinking water supply or using deep well water sources.”
Until further notice, residents should close their water intake and use an alternate source of safe water or bottled water for all their water needs, including: drinking, making ice cubes, juices or other mixes, preparing baby food or infant formula, food preparation, including washing fruits and vegetables, gargling or brushing teeth or dentures, washing your hands (you may also use alcohol-based hand disinfectants, containing more than 70 per cent alcohol, in situations where an alternate water source is not available.), washing disheshousehold cleaning, doing the laundry, taking a shower or a bath, swimming, any other use.
Affected residents will be advised when they can resume using water from their private water system or small drinking water system.
The ‘Do Not Use Water’ advisory for South Glengarry was issued on Sunday (July 5) afternoon, but only goes into effect on Tuesday (July 7).
For more information, call Joanne Haley, GM – Community Services at the Township of South Glengarry at 613-347-1166 ext. 231. For health-related questions, call the EOHU at 613-933-1375 or 1-800-267-7120 and ask for the health line.