WATER NEWS

Summer Water Challenge

July 30th, 2019

If you are a freshwater lover and enthusiast here is a fun new challenge being launched this summer! The #SummerWaterChallenge is a social media contest to encourage ... More »

Rain, Turbidity and Boil Water Advisories

If you are a resident of Greater Vancouver you may have recently noticed a more pronounced smell of chlorine in your drinking water and while showering. ‘Eau-de-chlorine’ is not a tantalizing scent to most of us. Why is there suddenly more of it in our tap water?

More rain means more chlorine.

The rainy season has arrived again here in the Vancouver area. Rain washes sediment into our watersheds creating a condition called turbidity. Turbidity is the presence of fine particulate and suspended matter (usually just silt) that makes water cloudy. This phenomenon, harmless in itself, can mask the presence of harmful micro-organisms like bacteria and cysts. When turbidity increases, our water district adds more chlorine to the municipal water treatment system to make sure it is properly disinfected.

Turbidity and boil water advisories again this year?

Most of us became very familiar with that ‘dirty’ word, turbidity, last November (2006) when we experienced an unprecedented drinking water crisis. Are we going to encounter more turbidity events and boil water advisories again this year?

Because of our rainy climate and water sourced from open wilderness reservoirs, Greater Vancouver has always experienced increases in turbidity in the fall and winter months. This is the reason for the construction of our new Seymour-Capilano Water Filtration Plant. Until this project is completed (now anticipated in 2010), we can expect turbidity issues to re-occur. The severity of these occurrences cannot be predicted.