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A broken beaver damn Friday morning on the Shebeshekong River has prompted the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit to issue a boil water advisory.

The health unit is advising residents of Carling Township who draw drinking water directly from the Shebeshekong River to take extra precautions and to boil their water.

"A beaver dam let go early this morning discharging a significant amount of pond water into the Shebeshekong River," the health unit said in a news release. "Residents may have an increased risk of contracting Giardia Lamblia (beaver fever)."

Residents covered by the advisory should boil their water for a full minute before using it for drinking, washing fruits and vegetables, and brushing teeth.

"Residents are also reminded that not all home water treatment and filter systems remove Giardia," the release said.

Only filters with the following labels are designed to remove the parasite:

- Reverse osmosis

- Absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller

- Tested and certified by NSF–Standard 53 for cyst removal

- Tested and certified by NSF–Standard 53 for cyst reduction.

The health unit is also encouraging Carling Township residents who develop bacteria-related symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal cramps, bloating and fatigue to contact their health care provider and seek medical attention.

Residents with questions can call the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit at 1-800-563-2808 or 705-474-1400 ext. 5400 to speak with a public health inspector.