The Capital Regional District (CRD), B.C., has released its 2016 Annual Report on Greater Victoria Drinking Water Quality this week, providing an overview of water quality testing conducted in 2016 across the Regional Water Supply System serving Greater Victoria.
Results included in the report indicate that the regions drinking water continues to be of excellent quality and safe to drink.
The CRD’s aim is to undertake a comprehensive water quality monitoring program as part of its multi-barrier approach to providing a safe drinking water supply to Greater Victoria. The key aspects of the program are:
- to ensure that the source water is of good quality;
- that treatment is effective;
- that residual chlorine levels throughout the system are adequate to prevent bacteriological contamination;
- that there are no pathogens in the treated water; and
- that the water is free of any aesthetic concerns.
The program is designed to meet the requirements of the provincial regulatory framework, which is defined by the BC Drinking Water Protection Act and Drinking Water Protection Regulation, as well as follow the federal Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality.
The report summarizes results from water quality samples taken from source drinking water reservoirs and throughout the water supply system. Staff collect approximately 6,500 samples and conduct over 28,000 individual analyses for a variety of bacteriological, physical, chemical, and radiological parameters every year.
The region’s drinking water supply is sourced from approximately 11,000 hectares of the Sooke and Goldstream watersheds. The report did, however, note that: “CRD Sooke/East Sooke Distribution System and the Central Saanich Distribution System met the monthly sampling requirements but had total coliform exceedances above the limits listed in the BC Drinking Water Protection Regulation.” As well, biological lead concentrations exceeded national regulatory standards. Action is being taken to respond to the anomalous lead concentrations.
The CRD works closely with Island Health, who oversees compliance with drinking water standards and provincial regulations, along with staff in CRD facilities and across all local municipalities, who rely on the information to properly operate and maintain the overall system.
The full report is available on the CRD’s website.