CUMBERLAND, B.C. – The Village of Cumberland is assuring its residents that its water is safe to drink.

Each summer as levels begin to drop in Cumberland’s surface reservoirs, operations staff adjust the water flows for conservation purposes. 

The village says this can affect how its water tastes. 

“The water is tested weekly for bacteria and is safe to drink,” the village said in a notice on its website.

Last week, the new booster station for Coal Valley Estates was commissioned, which increased flows in some of the water lines, causing discolouration for some residents.

Over the past few weeks, the water flow rate from the Coal Creek well and the Cumberland Creek reservoirs was reduced, and as a result, the flow from Allen Lake reservoir was increased.

To keep the village’s drinking water supplies safe, people are being urged to minimize activity around the lakes in the watershed. 

People are urged not to swim, camp or walk dogs close to any of the reservoirs, including Allen Lake, Stevens Lake, Henderson Lake, Hamilton Lake, and the No. 2 dam reservoir. 

“This will reduce the potential for the introduction of fecal contaminants that can enter the water through stormwater runoff,” the village notice said.

Cumberland’s new water treatment plant is expected to be commissioned this summer, which the village says will further improve the quality and safety of its water.

Meanwhile, the village’s manager of operations Rob Crisfield said there is no danger of a water shortage, despite a very dry spring and early summer in the valley.

“For the last number of years, the village has been proactive and moved to Stage 1 water restrictions on May 1st each year,” he said. “That helps and with the implementation of water meters (in 2013), we saw almost a 50 percent reduction in summer demands which is nice.”