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Building leaders today prepares us for future

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The municipality has reapplied for a rural infrastructure grant to two-thirds of the cost of connecting 39 properties along Alta Lake Road to the municipal sewer system. Council resolved that this project is a priority for a grant. The estimated project cost is $3.2 million. Though a decision has not yet been made about this project, sewer installations in other neighbourhoods were funded by grants, with the remainding cost shared between property owners and the municipality.

A concern about swimmer’s itch in Alta Lake has also been expressed. Swimmer’s itch is not related to the septic fields on Alta Lake Road. The major cause of swimmer's itch is microscopic parasites of aquatic, migrating birds and some mammals. A larval parasite, called a cercaria, is released by snails and can mistakenly penetrate a person's skin rather than its rightful host, usually a duck. Swimmer's itch occurs in both freshwater and marine coastal environments.

The parasite dies upon entering our skin. Unfortunately, our bodies still treat it as infectious and send antibodies to the affected areas. The uncomfortable result is itchy, swelling red welts that can last for a few days, up to a week. More severe cases are rare. Itching can be reduced by using anti-itch lotions, taking a shallow bath with 3 tablespoons of baking soda, and/or taking antihistamines, if permitted.

Swimmer’s itch can be avoided by towelling off vigorously or showering immediately after leaving the water. The municipality has installed outdoor showers at Lost Lake and Wayside Parks. They will be installed at Rainbow and Lakeside Parks over the week, and in the meantime, the rinse stations are operable. Wearing waterproof sunscreen may also help to reduce the potential of swimmer’s itch, but it won’t fully protect you.

We hope this clarifies some misunderstanding about the public health and water quality concerns with Alta Lake.

Diana Waltmann

Information Officer

Resort Municipality of Whistler

There still are people who care

It is so good to know that there are still people out there in our community who really care.

This past Saturday I wanted to check out a garage sale in Nordic and decided to make a morning out of it and bike to the sale. After having what I thought was “my workout for the day,” I arrived only to feel very dizzy and nauseous, but still managed to pick some things out. Even after sitting down and gulping down some water it was then that I realized something wasn’t right and I needed some medical attention.

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