The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) issued a boil water notice on January 2nd in conjunction with Island Health.
CVRD says the advisory is due to high turbidity levels in Comox Lake and Puntledge River, brought on by intense snow and rainfall.
High turbidity can interfere with chlorination processes which are used to disinfect the drinking water.
All 45,000 residents served by the Comox Valley water system are advised to boil water until further notice.
The system services the City of Courtenay, the Town of Comox, as well as several local service areas which are listed on the CVRD website.
During the advisory Island Health says residents should boil water that is used for drinking purposes, food preparation, brushing teeth, or for pets.
Ice made from potentially contaminated water should be discarded. Home canning and beer and wine-making activities should be postponed until the notice is rescinded.
Tap water should be boiled for one minute using any clean pot or kettle. Water can then be cooled by leaving it on the counter or in the refrigerator in covered containers.
Boiled water can be stored in food-grade containers at room temperature or in the refrigerator.
After the notice is lifted, Island Health says that water-using fixtures should be flushed for one minute. Water softeners should be run through a regeneration cycle, and hot water tanks should be drained and refilled with temperatures set below 45 C.
Pre-treatment filters should also be changed after the notice is lifted, including sediment filters or carbon blocks.
Updates on the advisory will be posted on the CVRD website.