Wednesday, February 6, 2013


City Hall News

Aquifer Water Not Good Enough

Fraser Health lowers the boom on Chilliwack's un-chlorinated drinking water

Released by Zoya Stoochnoff/Voice photos


he Fraser Health Authority (FHA) has notified the City, that new conditions will be added to the City of Chilliwack's permit to operate a municipal drinking water system.


The new conditions will require that a secondary disinfectant be added to the water, which is currently supplied chemical-free to consumers.


Dr. Marcus Lem, FHA Medical Health Officer talks about a secondary disinfectant system Tuesday at City Hall.

"Protecting public health and our resources are top priorities, but Council is concerned about how adding a disinfectant such as chlorine, could affect the quality of our award winning water," says Mayor Sharon Gaetz. "We have asked that the FHA allow a review of all options before ordering the addition of a secondary disinfectant in to our drinking water system."

To ensure Chilliwack's water is clean, safe and remains at a very high quality, the City follows a stringent and comprehensive water quality assurance program, and has an emergency standby chlorination system in place. The water system is operated with great care by highly qualified staff.

Mayor Sharon Gaetz shows she isn't afraid of Chilliwack water. Below, councillor Popove pours a glass of aquifer water.

While Fraser Health recognizes the City's "exceptional efforts" to ensure high quality drinking water, they are concerned that Chilliwack's projected population growth over the next decade will increase water infrastructure, and consequently, the associated risks to the water distribution system.

The FHA says secondary disinfection is common practice in Canadian municipal drinking water systems the size of Chilliwack's.

FHA stated at today's Council meeting that they will exercise their legislative responsibility to protect public health and impose secondary disinfection.

Council advised FHA that the citizens of Chilliwack need to be given the opportunity to comment on the chlorination of their drinking water through a public consultation process. FHA stated that they would participate fully in this process to explain the reasons for the order.

In the meantime, the City continues to be dedicated to monitoring, protecting, and conserving this award winning resource. Chilliwack consumers can be confident their drinking water remains clean, safe, and of a very high quality.


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