A sample of water found in the taps of the diabetes office on the fourth floor of the Prince Rupert Regional Hospital. (Northern Health photo)

Drinking water concerns at northern B.C hospital

Northern Health say the results of the Prince Rupert Hospital water study not due until fall

For more than two weeks, the ice and water machine in the patient care unit has been broken and it may not be fixed until the fall, or later.

Since the machine broke, health care practioners have been bringing in flats of bottled water to the approximately 30 patients on the third level.

President of the BC Nurses’ Union, Christine Sorensen, is concerned about the situation.

“I think it’s very concerning that the patients and staff have been impacted by a broken filtered water system for more than a month. Really, there were no immediate actions taken by the health authority until the nurses started to press the issue,” Sorensen said.

Northern Health said the water machine won’t be replaced until an ongoing water study is complete.

“The use and provision of bottled water in the facility is an interim measure while we await the results of the water assessment, for which a RFP [request for proposal] was issued earlier this year (in March),” said Eryn Collins, a communications officer with Northern Health.

“I don’t have a firm ETA on the assessment results; the water study is underway, and results are expected in the fall.”

READ MORE: Muddy water found in taps at Prince Rupert hospital prompts investigation

Collins added the ice and water machine won’t be replaced until the health authority receives the results of the study. Staff and patients will be provided bottled water until they have more information on what they should do.

In April, Northern Health hired a consultant to examine three of its facilities — the hospital, Acropolis Manor and Summit Residences — for potential contamination.

Sorensen is a public health nurse, and said that the water at the hospital is “brownish, it has a taste, it has odour. People say that they feel unwell after. At the very least, I think the water needs to be tested by an environmental health officer.”

The study was instigated after muddy water was found in the occupational therapist room, on the second floor in the doctors’ office and the fourth floor in the diabetes office.

“People come to the hospital because it’s a place where they can be cared for. We should expect that the water in the hospital that’s provided is safe to drink, safe to utilize. Nurses have to wash their hands frequently. While we have a short-term plan in place to provide filtered bottled drinking water, the question we have is what is the long-term plan that the health authority has?” Sorensen said.

RELATED: Bill introduces calls for water testing at schools



shannon.lough@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Masset dodges empty-ballot bullet

After an extended deadline, Masset now has enough candidates for council

Sunny skies for Terry Fox Run

Queen Charlotte and Masset runs raise nearly $3,000 for cancer research

Masset short on council candidates, other communities okay

Nominations deadline for Masset council extended to 4 p.m. Monday

Fishing boat ‘Haida Legend’ sinks off Langara Island

All crew rescued by nearby sport fishers, boat was re-fitted in late 2016

Last day to run for Oct. 20 election

Candidates have until 4 p.m. today to file nomination packages

Canning sockeye by hand in North Coast B.C.

Arnie Nagy teaches the Northern View how to can salmon in Prince Rupert

Parents of B.C. toddler who died in unlicensed daycare sue over negligence

‘Baby Mac’ was only 16 months old when he died in a Vancouver daycare

Syrian family can, finally, feel safe after settling in B.C.

Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity White Rock meets sponsored family for the first time

1st private moon flight passenger to invite creative guests

The Big Falcon Rocket is scheduled to make the trip in 2023, SpaceX founder Elon Musk announced at an event Monday at its headquarters near Los Angeles.

‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Mrs. Maisel’ triumph at Emmys

In a ceremony that started out congratulating TV academy voters for the most historically diverse field of nominees yet, the early awards all went solely to whites.

Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang for potentially tough talks

South Korean President Moon Jae-in began his third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday.

Russia blames Israel for plane shot down by Syrian missile

A Russian reconnaissance aircraft was brought down over the Mediterranean Sea as it was returning to its home base inside Syria, killing all 15 people on board.

Vancouver park board passes motion to learn Indigenous place names

The name of Vancouver’s Stanley Park is now up for debate as the city’s park board confronts its colonial past and pursues reconciliation.

Champ golfer from Spain killed in Iowa; suspect charged

Police said Celia Barquin Arozamena was found dead Monday morning at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, about 30 miles north of Des Moines.

Most Read