The Fraser Health Authority's (FHA) chief medical health officer should expect a large, passionate group at the public meeting to discuss water chlorination Tuesday evening.
Dr. Paul Van Buynder will be at the Chilliwack Alliance Church Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. to discuss the controversial water chlorination edict that the city was given three weeks ago.
Chilliwack's drinking water comes from the Sardis/Vedder aquifer, a source of high-quality water that has never been treated.
Mayor Sharon Gaetz has accused the FHA of fear-mongering and has defended the drinking water system against criticism after three isolated cases of E. coli were detected in hillside reservoirs since 2009.
The FHA medical health officer first on the file, Dr. Marcus Lem, came to city council on Feb. 5 and, among other things, has said the city had "poo in its water" and that he wouldn't let his daughter drink it.
That prompted former mayor Chilliwack MLA John Les to defend the water system, calling Lem's words "alarmist" and the edict "the epitome of lunacy."
A petition at www.chilliwackwater.com started on Feb. 9 had 3,918 signatures by 3 p.m. Monday.
Local filmmaker Matthew Hawkins has helped the petition group with a short video titled "Say NO to Chlorination."
A longer video about Chilliwack's water is posted on the city's website.
Expecting a large turnout for Tuesday's meeting, Gaetz said the city chose the biggest venue they could find at Chilliwack Alliance Church.
City staff have been back and forth with the FHA and asked if chlorination of the hillside areas could be done considering there has never been a case of E. coli detected in the main distribution system that serves 97 per cent of the city.
? The FHA meeting is scheduled for Feb. 26 at 7 p.m. at Chilliwack Alliance Church.