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HomeNewsThe C-Word came up again at last night's City Council meeting in...

The C-Word came up again at last night’s City Council meeting in Quesnel

Urban Systems provided an update on water treatment, and the potential of using chlorine was once again raised by several members of Council, including Ron Paull…

“Is serious and meaningful consideration being given to an alternate to chlorination ? Because I have to say it’s not in our nature to contaminate our pristine water with chemicals, and I would be very enthusiastic to look at an alternative.”

Robert D’amours is an Engineer in Training with Urban Systems…

“The answer to that question is yes, other options are being examined and that’s why at this early stage it is important to diligently examine all reasonable options. It is important to note though, we’ve been talking about this a lot, we want to go with the technology that is tried and true, so it’s been used throughout BC and it’s reliable. We’re focusing on options that are reliable, and are relatively simple to operate. Some of the other options that are advertised, such as packaged biological plants, are much more complicated. You have to sustain a biological culture, and it’s more onerous.”

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Councillor Laurey-Anne Roodenburg wondered if they would even have a choice in the end…

“Chlorination is a word that scares people in this community, it has for years. From day one being on Council I remember that were some Councillors who were I think ready to die on that sword many times over. We may not have a say in it down the road. When we talk to Northern Health, because there has always been this lingering piece up here about just chlorinating the water period, never mind because of this particular issue.”

The plan is for the City of Quesnel to be ready to make a grant application for a water treatment system by the end of February.

D’amours provided an update on the timeline at Tuesday night’s meeting as well…

“The intent is to do the pilot testing in November-December and then January and early February have the preliminary design completed, so that will be diving a little bit deeper into developing site plans, site layouts and what not. An important step though between now and advancing through preliminary design is going to be coming back to Council and reviewing, providing recommendations, getting feedback and understanding what’s going to work, so I want to make sure that’s very clear this is just an update, sort of an introduction to what it is we’re doing, and there is going to be further discussions to where we go into more detail and we make sure that we address all questions.”

D’amours said the pilot testing involves the installation of temporary water treatment systems at the actual sites…

“It’s like something the size of perhaps a fridge, and the point of doing pilot testing is to see how different treatment technologies actually deal with the water coming from the sources, and you gather important data to help you size your water treatment systems properly, and understand the operational needs that will come when the system is actually brought on-line.”

Health Canada came out with new guidelines for manganese back in May.

D’amours noted that the majority of the city’s wells have manganese levels higher than what is now allowed under these new guidelines.

A flood of funding applications are expected across the country once money becomes available, which is why many communities, like Quesnel, are now scrambling to be ready.

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