02/26/2013 03:55 EST | Updated 04/28/2013 05:12 EDT

Water Chlorination Plan Raises Ire Of Chilliwack MLA


Chilliwack MLA John Les is siding with the city's mayor in opposing the regional health authority's desire to chlorinate the water supply as a preventative health measure.

"I refer to it as polluting our water supply," he said.

Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz has said Chilliwack residents are proud of their water, and furious about the idea of adding chlorine.

But the Fraser Health Authority wants the City of Chilliwack to start adding chlorine to its drinking water as a condition of its permit to operate a municipal drinking water supply system.

The E. coli bacterium has been found three times in samples taken over the past few years, and that is too many times for the health authority.

Les says most people who drink the water, including himself, oppose the idea of changing anything.

"In the main water system itself there has never been a case of any contamination. So why would we add a chemical to the water?" he asked.

Les says the three cases of E. coli detection were in isolated reservoirs and the contamination was dealt with before anybody got sick.

Dr. Paul Van Buynder, chief medical officer of Fraser Health, is hosting a public information session on the chlorination of Chilliwack’s water system Tuesday night at 7 p.m. PT at the Chilliwack Alliance Church at 8700 Young Road.

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