AHS says the potential contaminant is Sulfolane, an industrial solvent used to purify natural gas.
The government says residents located within five kilometres of the South Rosevear Gas Plant in Yellowhead County near Edson should get drinking water from other sources than their private wells.
AHS says foods can be cooked in well water only if water will be fully drained before serving, such as boiled eggs, and well water can be used for showering or bathing, because Sulfolane is not absorbed through skin, and cannot be inhaled through water vapours.
Agricultural producers may want to use an alternative water source for their animals if one is available.
AHS says testing of private water wells has started and Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development will work with the plant operators to ensure that proper mitigation and remediation plans are in place and implemented.
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