Thursday, March 7, 2013

 

City Hall News

A Drop to Drink

Resident's utility bills to rise 3 per cent to pay for chlorine upgrade

Released by the City of Chilliwack

 

he Fraser Health Authority (FHA) has issued formal notice under Section 8 (3) of the Drinking Water Protection Act (DWPA) that as of today, a secondary disinfectant is required in Chilliwack’s drinking water system. This condition has been added to Chilliwack’s permit to operate a drinking water system and is effective immediately.

The City of Chilliwack is a water supplier as defined under the DWPA. All water suppliers are issued an annual permit to operate by the Drinking Water Officer. Water suppliers are required to remain in compliance with conditions of permit at all times. The City’s drinking water is currently being chlorinated as a result of the water quality incident last week. Fraser Health now requires chlorination to continue on permanent basis, with a minimum target residual disinfection at the tap of 0.2 mg/L .

“Council is extremely disappointed to hear this news, but we have no option but to comply with the Fraser Health Authority mandate,” says Mayor Sharon Gaetz. “Thank you to the thousands of residents who made your voices heard and fought for Chilliwack’s water. I know this news will initially be difficult for many to accept.”

Following a preliminary investigation, City of Chilliwack staff have identified several conditions that could have had potential to cause a positive E.coli test result; however it is not possible to determine the source of the E.coli bacteria with complete certainty.

The City will now need to plan for the upgrade from our current standby chlorination to a permanent full time system. The full time system has a projected cost of $1.5 million so the City will research grant programs to potentially assist with this cost. The City will also require an estimated increase of 3% to the water user fees to pay for the ongoing costs of chlorinating the water.

“Council has faced challenges recently working with the FHA over such a sensitive issue as drinking water chlorination,” says Gaetz. “However, Council is hopeful that we can work cooperatively with the Fraser Health Authority to address the community’s concerns about Metro’s proposed incineration plans.”

For further information please visit the City’s website at http://www.chilliwack.com/Chlorination.

If you have any health related issues or questions about chlorination, please contact Fraser Health at 604.870.7919 or by email: feedback@fraserhealth.ca

 

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