Following a pilot study on water treatment technologies, the City of White Rock will move forward with a water treatment plant situated on the Oxford Pumping Station Site to significantly reduce the naturally occurring arsenic and manganese levels in the water.
The water treatment plant will blend the water from the City’s seven wells and provide the treatment processes required to ensure that the same high quality water will be achieved throughout the City.
To remove both arsenic and manganese, the treatment process best for White Rock will be pre-oxidation with ozone followed by oxidation/filtration followed by adsorption for the removal of both manganese and arsenic. This process will also remove naturally occurring ammonia and iron.
The research and data which supports this option was conducted over the last few months by City Staff and RES’EAU WaterNET, a research group based at the University of British Columbia with a network of 18 world-class scientists from 8 universities across Canada. This collaboration included investigating the efficacy of different technologies to provide a successful and sustainable solution to address the water quality parameters of concern.
After completion of the pilot plant study and analysis of the collected data, a report was prepared that included all the treatment processes considered in the experimental project. The report will be made available on the website shortly.
“Water chemistry can be unique from one site to another which is why thorough research must be conducted to ensure that the treatment processes we put in place for White Rock are right for our water,” said Dr. Saad Jasim, Manager of Utilities with the City of White Rock, and President-Elect of the International Ozone Association. “We base our actions and recommendations regarding water quality on science, data, and research which is held to international standards. By partnering with RES’EAU WaterNET and through the testing of various technologies and processes, I am confident that we have achieved a solution which will provide White Rock residents with an even higher quality of drinking water for years to come.”
The contract for the design and build of the water treatment plant was awarded at the November 6, 2017, Regular Council Meeting to NAC Construction Ltd. at a cost of $12,611,000. With the inclusion of other costs associated with this project, the total estimated cost comes in at just over $14 million – nearly $12 million of which will be paid for through grant funding awarded to the City of White Rock earlier in 2017 through the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund.
“The awarding of the contract for the treatment plant with the majority of the cost covered by senior government grant funding marks another significant milestone accomplished within just two years of owning the water utility,” said Mayor Wayne Baldwin. “The previous, private owners of the water utility did not plan to take steps to significantly reduce the levels of arsenic and manganese unless required by Fraser Health and would not have had access to government grant funding. The City is committed to improving water quality far beyond what is mandated and to do so in the most efficient and economical way.”
The water treatment plant is expected to be in operation in 2019.