Mayor's Report - June 2011


2010 Annual Water Quality Report

Mayor Ralph Drew

On May 18th the 2010 Annual Water Quality Report (Volume 1 and Volume 2) was presented to the Metro Vancouver Water Committee along with a PowerPoint Summary of the report. The annual report summarizes the information gathered through the various monitoring programs carried-out by the GVWD, and provides an assessment of drinking water quality relative to drinking water guidelines, highlights unusual occurrences, and discusses municipal monitoring results where relevant.

Monitoring by Metro Vancouver of the Source Water showed that the quality was good for all three source supplies (Capilano, Seymour & Coquitlam):

  • Bacteriological Quality – Good for all three sources; no change from previous years;
  • Cryptosporidium & Giardia – Good for all three sources; no change from previous years;
  • Herbicides, Pesticides, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) – Not detected in any of the three sources; no change from previous years;
  • Radionuclides – Background levels at, or just above, detection levels for all three sources; no change from previous years.
  • Water Treatment highlights can be summarized as follows:

  • Primary Treatment – Capilano performed well, but Coquitlam had a number of ozone outages due to power interruptions; although there were fewer outages than in 2009.
  • Secondary Disinfection – All facilities working as designed; operation under low flow conditions continues to be an issue. Performance at facilities improves with successful modifications.
  • Seymour–Capilano Filtration Plant (SCFP) – The SCFP went to full filtration on January 15th, 2010, and operated successfully throughout 2010. The average turbidity of water leaving the Clearwells to enter the GVWD transmission system was 0.05 NTU and never more than 0.19 NTU in 2010. Aluminum levels were consistently below the operational guideline of 0.2 mg/L.

    One of the most important benefits of the new SCFP facility is the effect of filtration on the rate of chlorine decay in the treated water which results in a significantly slower rate of chlorine decay due to the purity of the water (low chlorine demand):

    Effect of Filtration on the Decay Rate of Chlorine

    As a result of filtered water having a very low chlorine demand, there are multiple benefits, such as:

  • Adding less chlorine at the source;
  • Less reliance on secondary rechlorination facilities;
  • Improved chlorine residuals to the ends of municipal systems;
  • Reservoirs require less cycling to maintain water quality; and
  • Decreased disinfection by-products in our drinking water.
  • In conclusion, the 2010 Annual Water Quality Report can be summarized as follows:

  • System-wide, delivered water quality was good in 2010;
  • Except for a few days in January 2010 before full filtration of the Seymour source, the daily average turbidity of the delivered water was less than 1 NTU;
  • Filtration of Seymour water has resulted in significant changes in the quality of the delivered water:
    -- Turbidity in the filtered water is not an issue;
    -- The colour of the water is lower;
    -- Significantly lower disinfection by-products; and
    -- The staying-power of the added chlorine is much greater, with less chlorine needed to maintain a chlorine residual throughout the distribution system.
  • The "bottom line" is that Belcarra residents can look forward to obtaining the world's best quality drinking water from the Seymour–Capilano Filtration Plant when Belcarra's new water distribution system comes into service next year.

    RALPH DREW
    MAYOR


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