Water Treatment

water treatment plant

The White Rock Water Treatment Plant is designed to treat the City’s existing groundwater supplies to remove naturally occurring manganese and arsenic to ensure that it meets the guidelines and aesthetic objectives.  The drinking water sources are the Sunnyside Uplands Aquifer and 7 wells located throughout the City.

The Water Treatment Plant process is a multi-stage process and includes the following key treatment components: 

  • Pre-Oxidation with ozone for arsenic and manganese in the raw water supply
  • Ferric Chloride added to the process
  • Removal of manganese using Greensand Plus media filters
  • Removal of arsenic using Bayoxide E33 media filters

Water Treatment Objectives

The treatment objectives of the White Rock WTP are to deliver drinking water meeting the following operational targets: 

  • Mn < 0.02 mg/L 
  • As < 0.002 mg/L (95% of time, 0.005 mg/L for 5% of operation) 

All other water quality parameters shall meet the objectives of the Guidelines for Canadian Water Quality (GCDWQ).

Secondary Disinfectant

As part of its acquisition and operation of the water utility, the City is under mandate by the Fraser Health Authority to implement a secondary form of water disinfection. The work is necessary to treat the water supply and upgrade critical infrastructure in the White Rock system. 

Secondary disinfection provides long-lasting water treatment as the water moves through pipes to consumers. It also maintains water quality by killing potentially harmful organisms. Both monochloramine and chlorine are secondary disinfectants. Metro Vancouver’s water system uses chlorine as a secondary disinfectant which will react with the naturally occurring manganese that has built up in the City's water distribution system for decades from the previous water utility providers. 

The City of White Rock uses monochloramine as a secondary disinfectant and is used safely in Canada and the United States. Monochloramine is approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Health Canada, and the World Health Organization among others. Monochloramine lasts longer in the distribution system, and does a better job killing bacteria in areas of the water distribution system that are near the end of the pipes, or areas that do not have as high of flow as other areas. Monochloramine-treated water does not have as strong of a taste as chlorine-treated water.


The City is committed to providing safe and clean water to its water users, adhering to mandates issued by Fraser Health, and meeting the requirements of Health Canada’s Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality. In 2017, the City was awarded nearly $12 million, in government grant funds, through the Clean Water and WasteWater Fund (CWWF) for the construction of a water treatment plant. The CWWF covered 83% of the total project costs for the City’s first ever water treatment plant.

To ensure the City implemented the right technologies to reach its water quality goals, the City partnered with water quality research group, RES’EAU-WaterNET who created a custom fit mobile research lab that helped reflect the City’s specific water-related needs. This in turn helped identify the best technologies and solutions to address the naturally occurring arsenic and manganese in the City’s water. 

The Water Treatment Plant started operation in March 2019. Water services in White Rock had been previously owned and operated by private owners until the City acquired it in October 2015. Since taking over the operations, the City has taken many steps to improve the water quality. 

Aquifer Protection Plan

White Rock's water is obtained from the Sunnyside Uplands Aquifer and seven wells located throughout the city. The Sunnyside Aquifer is an important natural resource that is used as the water supply source for the City of White Rock. 

The City developed an Aquifer Protection Plan in 2018, as a key component in protecting the community’s water supply source. Groundwater protection goals include stakeholder engagement, advancing the understanding of the aquifer characteristics, protecting groundwater quality from contamination, and ensuring future withdrawals sustainably meet future demands.