Wow, it’s been wet. Vancouver has had, apparently, 237 mm of rain this month. The record rainfall for the month is 351 mm, set in 1983. Note, however, that we still have half a month to go.

So, that’s a lot of rain. And it’s been coming in very un-typical winter storms. It’s not unheard of, but usually the rain comes down in a constant, but reasonably light, drizzle. Not this month. This month, we’ve been having what would be typical Atlantic winter storms. The one yesterday packed quite a punch, stopping the ferries, knocking out power to over 150,000 Lower Mainland residents (in fact, that’s the number that didn’t have power this morning, some 18 hours after the worst of the storm had passed), flooding various areas, knocking down a steel-framed building under construction, and just generally causing a nuisance.

That much rain in a short period of time has kicked up quite the mess on the local mountains too. The three reservoirs (Capilano, Cypress, and Seymour) are over-full and all riled up. So much so that the water supply has high turbidity. Now, in my civil engineering courses, they taught us all about turbidity. Unsurprisingly, I remember very little about it — the “water” speciality never held any of my interest. My friend Audrey, who now is Operations Manger for the City (?) of Sydney, Nova Scotia (now, apparently the Cape Breton Regional Municipality), knows all about it and I’m sure could tell you more than you ever wanted to know. From me, all you’ll get is a link to Wikipedia: turbidity.

So why am I telling you this? Because, in this day and age, this modern world in which we live (sorry, Paul, it’s not in this world in which we live in), in this modern city, we should *not* be under a boil water advisory. That’s right. The GVRD is *suggesting* (it’s not an order yet) that we boil our water before consuming. That we don’t bathe our children, only showers. Tooth brushing in boiled water only. Washing of fruit and vegetables with boiled water only. Fun stuff! It turns out that the turbidity of our water is currently in the 80s (NTU) , when it is usually around 1 NTU. And, you can tell. Or, at least, it’s become quite obvious over the past few hours. The water in the toilet has gone from crystal-clean to incredibly cloudy. Oddly, it’s not as “dirty” as I would expect — it’s not brownish — but still, it’s pretty obviously abnormal.

Hopefully this only lasts a short while. However, we have another major storm expected on Sunday, so it could be a rough month!