CANMORE – A sign was recently installed by the Town of Canmore to warn people about the risk of drinking untreated water from a popular spring along Palliser Trail.
For decades people have been drinking water from the natural spring claiming it is safe, despite the fact the water is not properly tested for harmful bacteria.
Andreas Comeau, public works manager, said the sign was installed at the end of July following a request from Alberta Health Services (AHS).
“My understanding is that it is a known source of water that people are collecting for the purposes of drinking, so it was prudent to advise people in case they did not know that the water source is not tested or treated,” said Comeau.
A spokeswoman for AHS said surface water, including water from natural springs, can be contaminated and recommended that the public avoid drinking the water.
"While these water sources may appear pristine, unseen hazards may include bacteria, viruses, and parasites (giardia, cryptosporidium), which can cause gastrointestinal illness such as vomiting and diarrhea in humans," wrote Melanie Veriotes with AHS.
"It is AHS’s responsibility to ensure that people are aware of these potential risks before they decide to drink the water from this stream."