Drinking Water Quality Information
Drinking Water in Chilliwack
In Chilliwack, we have good reason to be proud of our drinking water. In 1997 and 1999 (the last year of the contest), the City of Chilliwack received an award from the Canadian Water Resource Association for having the "best drinking water in Canada". In 1998, the City received the second-place award. Although the Sardis-Vedder Aquifer currently provides excellent quality water, it is highly vulnerable to contamination.
If an aquifer becomes polluted, it is difficult, or sometimes impossible, to restore its original quality. Therefore, it is important to adopt groundwater protection measures in our everyday activities.
The City of Chilliwack took an important step in groundwater protection in 1997, with the implementation of its current Groundwater Protection Plan. As part of this plan, the City of Chilliwack maintains an extensive water sampling and monitoring program to ensure that Chilliwack's drinking water remains a safe and healthy resource.
The City of Chilliwack currently adds no chemicals to the drinking water supply. The use of chlorine in the drinking water system ceased in 1998 when the City closed down its surface water intakes and transferred 100% of its drinking water production efforts to the wells located within the Sardis-Vedder Aquifer. The water produced by the wells is of high quality. The City's drinking water quality assurance program helps maintain the high quality of the water all the way to the consumer's tap without the use of chemical disinfectants (chlorine).
To report any drinking water problems or concerns, contact the City of Chilliwack at (604) 793-2810.
There are ten monitoring sites in Chilliwack from which drinking water is sampled and tested for chemical content levels. These ten locations include production wells and monitoring wells.
Groundwater samples from the Sardis-Vedder Aquifer are analyzed every two months for over 250 parameters, including:
- Physical characteristics, such as pH, conductivity and hardness
- Inorganics, such as carbonate and hydroxide
- Anions, such as chloride and fluoride
- Metals, such as arsenic, lead, mercury, potassium and sodium
- Herbicides and pesticides
- Semi-volatile and volatile organics
The parameter levels in the water are compared to maximum allowable limits specified in the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines. The concentrations of each of the parameters in the sampled drinking water were all within the limits defined by the federal guidelines. The BC provincial government is currently working towards creating standards for British Columbia.
Drinking water from over 40 sampling points in Chilliwack is tested for potential bacteria content. Sampling points include the production wells, reservoirs and numerous standpoints and faucets. The bacteriological tests are conducted on a weekly basis.
The bacteriological test analyzes the water sample for the presence of total coliform and fecal coliform bacteria. If coliform bacteria is detected in the water sample in a concentration above acceptable limits, possible adverse effects to human health could result from consumption of the water.
Chilliwack's drinking water supply source remains in compliance with the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines. If any positive tests occur, the City of Chilliwack Engineering and Operations Department has in place an emergency plan which can be implemented to rectify the problem.
DID YOU KNOW?...
On average, Chilliwack residents use a combined total of 25 million litres of water every day. This total is projected to increase to 34 million litres per day by the year 2010!
Approximately 60,000 residents (85% of Chilliwack's total population) are serviced by the municipal production wells.
For Further Information,
Drinking Water in the City of Chilliwack
City of Chilliwack
8550 Young Road
Chilliwack, BC V2P 8A4
Water, Land and Air Protection in BC
Ministry of Environment
Watershed Management Section
Surrey, BC V3R 0Y3