The City of Kimberley has released their annual Drinking Water Report for 2017, which is required by Interior Health as a component of the City’s operating permit.
Senior Manager of Operations Chris Mummery says that the analysis is required by Interior Health and is intended to keep residents informed on what the City is doing to keep our water clean and sage for drinking.
Kimberley saw a 14.9 per cent increase in water consumption from the previous year, compared to a 3.1 decrease in 2016.
A total of 44 service lines were repaired or replaced in 2017, along with 39 new water services installed and nine water mains repaired or replaced.
The total volume of water used in both systems in 2017 was 3,534,414 cubic metres (m3), compared to 3,075,626 m3 in 2016.
From May 2017 to October 2017 there were five water quality advisories issued for the Mark Creek system and three boil water advisories. In the same time frame, there was one boil water notice issued for the Matthew Creek system.
During the spring, Kimberley’s drinking water tends to increase in turbidity as the freshet picks up.
According to Interior Health, if the water turbidity reading is anything over five, it is a poor rating, resulting in a boil water notice. Anything between one and five could trigger a water quality advisory. The City monitors turbidity and receives updates every 15 minutes. The level of turbidity could fluctuate from one to five or higher, in a matter of hours, depending on the weather.
Mummery says that both water conservation and quality are in good shape, and the City is constantly working towards improving water quality and infrastructure.
“The City continued extensive leak locating this year throughout the water system and worked diligently to repair any leaks found or reported in an efficient and timely manner,” wrote Mummery in the report.
He adds that the City has a comprehensive water quality testing program that includes daily tests to ensure the delivery of a safe and reliable water supply.
“The City’s aging infrastructure continues to be an ongoing challenge,” said Mummery. “This same challenge is faced by most communities in the area. Striving to improve water quality and upgrade the water distribution system is a goal that is in the forefront for the City of Kimberley. Engaging in numerous capital improvements and in ongoing system repairs has helped the City of Kimberley to work towards these goals.”
All of Kimberley’s water is supplied through Mark and Matthew Creeks. The main source is the Mark Creek Watershed north of Kimberley, which supplies approximately 80 per cent of the City’s population. Matthew Creek supplies the remaining 20 per cent.
The Mark Creek supply goes through the dam located upstream of Kimberley, and is then piped through a mainline to the Mark Creek Chlorination station. At this location, water is chlorinated and monitored. When turbidity levels rise in the spring due to the freshet, this is the place that it becomes discovered.
The Matthew Creek supply is also piped through a mainline to the Matthew Creek Chlorination Station, where water is chlorinated and monitored in a similar manor.
For those interested in seeing first hand where our drinking water comes from, the City hosts a tour of the Mark Creek Dam once a year, in the spring, alongside Public Works Day. This is the only time of the year that City residents can view the dam, as it is located on mine property and closed to public access.
The tour is approximately two hours long, starting at the City Works Yard, taking a bus up to the watershed and a short hike down to the dam. The tour also takes you to the Mark Creek Chlorination Station where residents can view and learn about the chlorination process. The next tour will take place in the spring of 2019.