Montrose water supply improvements almost complete

After over 2 years being under a Boil Water Advisory, Montrose's water will be back on tap after samples are taken and approved by the IHA.

Soon to be on tap, a cleaner and more reliable source of drinking water for the residents of Montrose.

“The Village of Montrose water supply improvements project is nearing completion,” said Kevin Chartres, chief administrative officer for the village.

All four pumps, which include two new and two refurbished, were up and running last night (Monday), he said.

“The project will be substantially complete when the chlorination goes on-line later this week.”

However, the boil water advisory will not be lifted for another month.

“The chlorine has to run and samples have to be collected for a period of weeks,” explained Chartres.

Once the samples are back, and determined to be clear, the results will then submitted to a drinking water official from the Interior Health Authority (IHA).

Chartres said that it is the responsibility of IHA to lift the advisory, but first, clean samples, collected over a period of time, have to be provided.

“Even though the pumps are working and the chlorination begins this week, a series of tests have to be passed to lift the boil water advisory and that could be a month down the road.”

Once the chlorination process begins, residents may notice a strong odour in the tap water.

Chartres said it will take some time to obtain a consistent level of chlorine in the system, and levels could fluctuate from 0.2 to 1.5 parts per million (ppm), with 0.2 ppm being the minimum chlorine residual required at the distribution extremities.

“Don’t be alarmed if you are hit with a strong smell of chlorine, there will be different residual levels in the distribution system at first.”

A “Water Condition Normal Notice” will be issued when the drinking water official is satisfied the water quality meets the requirements issued by the BC Drinking Water Protection Regulation.

Since February 2011, the Village has been on a “Boil Water Notice” imposed by IHA because sample tests detected persistent low levels of total coliforms, a bacterial indicator of water contamination.

The majority of the coliforms were recorded at the well site, however the distribution system also revealed the presence of coliforms during sampling.

Later that year, $17,000 was spent on water tests to prepare for the new well and chlorination facility.

In January 2012, the village received federal assistance with these infrastructure costs when they were granted $1.3 million from the Gas Tax Fund to replace the failing well and build a chlorination facility.