Boil water advisory shuts down much of Gravenhurst, schools remain open

A boil water advisory (BWA) remains in effect for the town of Gravenhurst following a complete shutoff to water access on Saturday.

 According to officials, the advisory is expected to remain in effect until at least midday on Tues. Nov. 30.

 It comes after district staff responded to a low fluoride monitoring alarm from the Gravenhurst Water Treatment Plant early Saturday morning. After the issue was resolved, staff noticed a fluoride container that was not labelled correctly.

 "That had to be tested and so in order to do so, because if there was something other than fluoride that went in it, they had to make sure that there wasn't anything that impacted the entire community," Gravenhurst Mayor Paul Kelly tells CTV News.

 Water must be boiled for at least one minute and cooled before the following activities:

  • Drinking
  • Brushing teeth or rinsing dentures
  • Preparing food
  • Making ice, beverages or other mixes
  • Drinking water for pets

Officials advise residents to wash dishes with soap and water, rinse them and then sanitize them in a separate sink with some bleach.

 Many businesses have been forced to close as a result of the issue.

 "Just another hurdle we have to go through, but that's life, I guess," says Nancy Magdalinos, the manager of Rombo's restaurant. "I understand it, and it is a loss of business, but what are you going to do really just kinda move and hope it gets better right?"

 While water that has not been boiled can be used for showers, it is recommended that small children be given sponge baths as the water is not to be consumed in any way.

 According to the town, laundry activities are also permitted.

Schools in Gravenhurst will remain open on Monday, despite the boil water advisory.

In a release sent Sunday evening, the Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) says schools will continue to operate as usual.

Staff will supply bottled water to students while the drinking fountains are turned off.

Washroom facilities are functioning normally and are safe to use. The schools will continue to supply students with clean drinking water until the BWA is lifted.

 Anyone in need of additional support can contact housingsupport@muskoka.on.ca or 705-645-2412.

 

With files from CTV's Kraig Krause