The City of Quesnel is taking steps to address high levels of manganese in its water system.
Council has approved $298,000 from the Water Capital Reserve Fund to fund the design of a Water Treatment System for the city’s future potable water system. The objective is to have a grant-ready project developed which will be ready for the submission for the next round of federal/provincial infrastructure grant program.
The city’s drinking water no longer meets Health Canada’s maximum acceptable concentration of manganese in the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines of 0.12 mg/L. Water samples for manganese at the city water wells vary between 0.014 mg/L and 0.582 mg/L. Expanded water sampling for manganese at additional locations is underway and Northern Health has been engaged regarding the updated guidelines.
In addition to the manganese issue, the city does not currently treat to prevent microbiological contamination. Even with the city’s track record of high quality untreated water, the trend from the health authorities has been towards chlorination treatment to provide a higher level of assurance of non-contamination.
Next steps for this fall/winter include:
- Public engagement to let the public learn more about the proposed water treatment options
- Urban Systems to start design work of a Water Treatment System and pilot testing of the design