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Water Quality

Drinking Water Quality

Greater Vernon Water (GVW) is a complex water system that relies on two main water sources; Kalamalka Lake and Duteau Creek, to provide drinking water to approximately 53,000 users in the Greater Vernon water service area. There are 73 sampling sites in the water distribution as well as 20 raw water sample sites.

Water Quality Monitoring

Drinking Water Quality is monitored at the source, during treatment, after treatment and within the distribution system,  as set out in the annual program.  Samples are taken at the intakes, at the treatment plant and at distribution sites and then sent to certified laboratories for testing.  Some tests are conducted on site, such as, chlorine analysis and online monitoring instruments that can continuously monitor parameters such as turbidity and free chlorine residual.  Most chemical and microbiological tests are conducted at a certified laboratory.  There are over 2,000 bacterial samples tested for the GVW water system annually.  Other tests include metals, nitrates and disinfection by products such as trihalomethanes.

Immediate reporting is required under section 12 of the BC Drinking Water Protection Act. If the water quality standards in Schedule A for the fecal coliform bacteria or Escherichia coli are not met, an investigation is conducted.  Occasionally standards are not met as a result of contamination during the sampling process but if there is evidence that the community is at risk from the exposure of waterborne pathogens, a public notice will advise people to take additional precautions with their drinking water and extra sampling will be completed.  Where chemical contaminants exceed the maximum acceptable concentrations, the public will be notified of any potential health risk.

GVW is responsible for developing a water quality program which is reviewed by Interior Health. The GVW water quality program ensures that our potable water supply meets Canadian Drinking Water Quality Guidelines and the BC Drinking Water Protection Act and Regulations.

Provincial & Federal Regulations

All pubic drinking water systems in British Columbia must comply with the BC Drinking Water Protection Act and the BC Drinking Water Protection Regulation.  In addition, water suppliers use the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality as criteria that must be met if possible.

Other Guidance

The BC Ministry of Health has provided guidance documents to assist water utilities and drinking water officers.

Please direct enquiries to:

Phone:  250-550-3700
Fax:      250-550-3701
E-mail:  [email protected]