It looks like Quesnel City Council is going down the road of chlorinating the water system.
Urban Systems presented a water treatment conceptual design to the local politicians at Tuesday (Feb 21) night’s meeting.
Lisa Thompson, a Drinking Water Engineer, says they looked at four options and are recommending what’s called a type of treatment called Pyrolusite Filtration.
“It’s a really simple process. You add sodium hypochlorite (chlorine) in a really low level and then the water flows through this media, these vessels, that absorbs the manganese and then it’s removed.”
The estimated cost of this system however, in 2020 dollars, is between 16 and 25 million dollars.
Robert D’Amours, the Project Engineer, says the full project costs covers a variety of things.
“We’re talking about building three water treatment plants, the Two Mile Flat area, North Quesnel and the west region (West Quesnel) where there are wells, so there would be a plant in each location. It also includes the design, the site investigations, like geotechnical survey etc, permitting and a variety of other things.”
D’Amours says they also looked at other options besides biological treatment and pyrolusite filtration.
“We assessed other options along the way too including point of use and point of entry systems, so small systems at each service location, at each water user site. Part of the assessment was to look at the feasibility and the requirements and the cost. Point of use and point of entry were ruled out as feasible because of the number of water users in the city, the capital costs and the issues with maintenance and access long term.”
The report indicated that sampling of Quesnel’s water system showed that the groundwater quality was excellent and plentiful, but that the one area of concern was the amount of manganese in it.
Health Canada came out with new guidelines for manganese in 2019 stating that the maximum accepted concentration was .12 milligrams per litre from a health perspective and just .02 from an aesthetic objective which is things like discoloration and staining of fixtures.
Quesnel concentrations range from .01 to .6 milligrams per litre.
Councillors asked a lot of questions about cost at Tuesday night’s meeting, but something that was missing was any objection to the idea.