Laurel Point Park, Victoria BC (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Victoria’s drinking water is supplied primarily from the Sooke Lake watershed and several smaller water supply sources including the Goldstream catchment. There are several disinfection stations that add chlorine and ammonia for the creation of chloramines, but drinking water is currently not filtered before distribution. The Capital Regional District, or CRD, relies on watershed management to ensure that drinking water quality is maintained.
If Water is Not Filtered, How Safe is it?
The Sooke lake watershed rests in CRD owned land, but is not isolated and therefore the CRD most work in concert with the nearby private and commercial landowners to ensure that the watershed remains pristine. There are several factors that threaten drinking water quality in Victoria. Wildfire and erosion are listed first on the CRD website and note that these can cause an increase in sediment and debris within the water supply. The heavier silt and sediment are removed through the process of settling when the drinking water stands in the many reservoirs throughout the city, but the finer particulates can remain suspended, causing water to sometimes look cloudy.
Waterborne pathogens and algae blooms are also listed as potential threats to consumer health, but maintenance of the watershed and the addition of the disinfectants chlorine and ammonia are felt to be enough to ensure public safety. Algal blooms can cause drinking water to taste or smell slightly earthy or musty, but any health threats are neutralised by the additives introduced in the disinfection plants.
Victoria water is tested according to Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality, and complies with the BC Drinking Water Protection Act and the BC Drinking Water Protection Regulation. Even though it is not required, the CRD complies with many of the rules established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Since the nuclear plant in Fukushima was irrevocably damaged during the earthquake 2012, CRD has also been resting for radioactivity in Greater Victoria drinking water supplies. All reports are available for perusal.
What Can I Do to Ensure There Are No Contaminants in my Drinking Water?
The use of chlorimination is an alternative to the usual chlorination in order to reduce the production of disinfection by-products. This process produces less of the regulated by-products like THM’s. However, unlike chlorine, allowing drinking water to sit and breathe will not cause the chloramine to dissipate as quickly. It can take a number of days for this to occur, so a home water filtration system – especially one with an activated carbon filter, such as a reverse osmosis water filtration system can remove the chloramine faster and more effectively, improving the taste and quality of your drinking water. A home water filtration system also has the added benefit of removing any trace elements (like lead, from lead pipes in older buildings), particulates and organic matter that may be present in your tap water. Even though they are not considered harmful, if not well within the allowable parameters, why take a risk? Improve the taste and quality of your drinking water today, visit our online store or contact us now for more information on how a reverse osmosis water filtration system can benefit your family.
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