Pemberton North Water System - Water Conditioning Project Update

May 17, 2017
Affected Communities: 
Electoral Area C

The Village of Pemberton recently advised that it plans to begin implementation of its water conditioning project during the week of May 8 - 12, 2017.

The objective of the project is to adjust the pH and alkalinity to make the water less corrosive, while meeting the Aesthetic Objectives of the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines (aesthetic objectives relate to factors that may impact the taste, smell or colour of water but do not cause adverse health effects.)

Once the injection system has been activated, Village of Pemberton operators will begin to add increments of soda ash to the system and ten test the water before it reaches the distribution system. Once it's had the opportunity to circulate through the system, pH and alkalinity will be continually monitored. Should the pH levels need to increase for optimal corrosion control, the operators will add more soda ash and continue to test until optimal pH levels have been achieved. 

Once the ideal soda ash dosage has been achieved, the system will need to run for one to two weeks to circulate the soda ash (at the appropriate level) to realize the optimuum results of achieving pH levels between 7.5 - 9.5, which is an acceptable range according to the Canadian Drinking Water Guidlines. 

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) recommends that all water system users should flush their water, regardless of the quality. While the Village’s water will not be considered corrosive after treatment implementation, it’s almost impossible to know what infrastructure each household has and what condition it is in. Houses with fittings, fixtures and/or pipes that contain lead could still result in increased metals in tap water, even though the water is being treated for corrosion control.

So, for optimal water quality out of the tap, VCH is recommending that everyone in their region flush their taps until the water turns cold in the morning prior to consumption. Flushing isn’t just about controlling metals in drinking water; it’s also good practice for getting fresh from your tap, rather than drinking stagnant water that has sat in household pipes for longer durations.  To conserve water, you can use your ‘first draw’ water from the tap for watering houseplants or washing dishes.

The Village has issued an information sheet, which includes a detailed project timeline and related FAQs.

Village of Pemberton Project Update: Water Conditioning Project 

Questions?

Please contact the Village of Pemberton directly:

Telephone: (604) 894-6135
Email: admin@pemberton.ca 

Background

The SLRD purchases water from the Village of Pemberton for the Pemberton North Water System, which comprises about 160 service connections in Electoral Area C, near the Village of Pemberton.

In March 2016, the Village of Pemberton issued a Drinking Water Quality Notice advising of the results of a water conditioning assessment that was conducted as a first step in determining how to improve the aesthetic quality of Pemberton's drinking water. The results revealed that the low pH and alkalinity of Pemberton's water was, in some cases, interacting with the plumbing fittings and fixtures to produce elevated levels of lead in drinking water. In consultation with Vancouver Coastal Health and the Ministry of Health, the Village of Pemberton advised residents to flush their tap water until it turns cold prior to drinking it or using it for cooking. Download the news release. 

Immediately following this, the Village of Pemberton delivered a Drinking Water Quality Advisory and Fact Sheet to residents of Pemberton and Pemberton North.

In May 2016, the Village of Pemberton determined that installing a Soda Ash conditioning system would be the best course of action to treat the low pH and alkalinity of Village drinking water. The control of pH and alkalinity is one of the most effective ways of minimizing leaching from building plumbing systems and components. Download the news release. 

Visit the Village of Pemberton's Drinking Water Updates & Information page for additional background. 

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