City Councillor Ron Paull raised the issue at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting…
“Certainly the prospect of chlorinating our beautiful water is a real concern to me and I am sure it’s a real concern to the average Quesnel citizen. We’ve prided ourselves on having absolutely pristine water forever. It would be interesting to know what percentage of Canadian municipalities are potentially affected by this new regulation because I can see, we’re saying we can get a grant, but potentially every municipality in the country that dopesn’t have chlorination is going to be looking for a grant.”
City Manager Byron Johnson noted that a report would be coming back to Council…
“This report is going to be coming back fairly quickly and it look at what the options are for treating to bring the manganese to within acceptable levels and it will also be looking at does that treatment have to include chlorination, what are the options around that, what are the costs around those various types of systems, and then we’ll be doing everything required essentially to get grant ready.”
Johnson says there will also be a community session on what the plans are, as well as a workshop for Council to get familiar with it and understand it.
The issue of treating Quesnel’s water came to the forefront in May of this year when Health Canada updated the maximum acceptable concentration of manganese in the Canadian Drinking Water guidelines to .12 milligrams per litre.
Chris Coben, the Director of Capital Works and Infrastructure, told Council that water samples for manganese at the city wells vary between .014 and .582 milligrams per litre.