Water Quality

Introduction

Our water is drawn from Kemp Lake. The water shed of Kemp Lake is all private land and the district has virtually no control over what happens in this water shed. In fact the majority of the water shed is completely outside of the Kemp Lake Waterworks District.  As a result, there is a greater risk of contamination then with under ground wells.

The district hired an Environmental Engineering firm to study the risks related to using Kemp Lake water. The report, titled 'Risk Assessment of Kemp Lake Water as a Raw Water Source", was completed in December 2003. As a result of this report a number of initatives were undertaken. Concrete barriers were installed to prevent vehicle traffic from accessing the shoreline near our water intake. As well, signs were posted at both accesses to the lake advising the public that the lake is a community drinking water source. Signs were also posted on Otter Point Road and Kemp Lake Road at the points of entering the watershed area.

The district undertakes a number of monitoring and public awareness activities related to water quality.

Bacterialogical Analysis

A chlorination system using industrial bleach is used to kill bacteria. This chlorination system is checked daily and chlorine residual tests are done. Under the direction of the Vancouver Island Health Authority water samples are taken weekly within the water distribution system and are tested for E.Coli and total coliform. If there is a problem with the water, a series of steps are taken as outlined in the emergency response plan.

Coliform Bacteria

Coliforms are a group of bacteria that are used as indicators of the potential presence of pathogens, viruses or parasites in a water sample. These microbes are defined as a group of bacteria having specific properties including the ability to grow at 35 degrees C in the presence of bile salts and able to ferment lactose. Coliform bacteria are divided into two types: Total and Fecal.

Total Coliform are bacteria that require complex organic nutrition and grow at elevated temperatures. They are a part of the microbial flora that makes a septic field work or they may be found in environments with high biological activity such as decomposing leaf-litter. Total Coliform bacteria in a water supply suggests that the supply is at significant risk for pathogen or parasite contaimination.

Fecal Coliforms are bacteria and are a normal part of feces of warm-blooded animals. The presence of these bacteria world indicate an extreme risk that the water supply could become (or is) contaminated with bacterial pathogens, enteric viruses or parasites. Escherisha coli (E.coli) is one of the fecal coliform bacteria.

For more than 5 years now, all samples have tested as less than 1 per 100ml of water which is bacterialogically safe.

Results

    2009  January - December   - all samples less than 1 per 100ml of water,  bacterialogically satisfactory

    2010  January - December   - all samples less than 1 per 100ml of water,  bacterialogically satisfactory

    2011  January - December   - all samples less than 1 per 100ml of water,  bacterialogically satisfactory

    2012  January - December  - all samples less than 1 per 100ml of water,  bacterialogically satisfactory

    2013  January - December   - all samples less than 1 per 100ml of water,  bacterialogically satisfactory

    2014  January - December   - all samples less than 1 per 100ml of water,  bacterialogically satisfactory

    2015  January - December   - all samples less than 1 per 100ml of water,  bacterialogically satisfactory

    2016  January - July 12th     - all samples less than 1 per 100ml of water,  bacterialogically satisfactory

    2016  July 12  - August 3rd   - due to low lake levels and high turbidity a boil water order was in effect.

                                                 During this time extensive flushing of the entire system and repeated

                                                 sampling was done to ensure safe quality of water. For more information,

                                                 see Alerts under the News & Notices menu.

    2016  August 3rd - Present    - all samples less than 1 per 100ml of water,  bacterialogically satisfactory

 

Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) Inspections

The local health inspector from VIHA gets a copy of all our water tests and also conducts an annual inspection of the whole water system. The system is then given a hazard rating of Low, Moderate or High. The Kemp Lake Waterworks systems continues to receive a Low hazard rating.

Individual water sample test results are available on the VIHA website at the following link. Click on the link and then enter Kemp Lake in the top left hand search box and click on the 'Go' button. Then click on the 'Kemp Lake Waterworks District' name. This will display a list of the water test results from the most recent at the top.

http://www.healthspace.ca/Clients/VIHA/VIHA_Website.nsf/Water-Samples-Frameset?OpenPage

 

Protecting Our Drinking Water

In 2001, the provincial government brought in the new BC Drinking Water Protection Act and this was subsequently followed in 2003 with the new BC Drinking Water Protection Regulation. This legislation and regulation apply to all community water purveyors within the province of British Columbia. Only the total and fecal coliform bacterial indicators are covered by the regulation. For guidance for other water quality issues, we look to the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality. Although we are not legally required to meet these guidelines, we strive to meet as many as practical.

 

BOIL WATER INCIDENTS AND PROCEDURES

Excerpts from the BC Drinking Water Protection Act  and BC Drinking Water Protection Regulation

Immediate reporting standard

Immediate reporting is required under section 12 of the Act if the water quality standards in Schedule A are not met for the fecal coliform bacteria or Escherichia coli parameters.

Schedule A

Water Quality Standards for Potable Water

(sections 2 and 9)

Parameter:

 

Standard:
Fecal coliform bacteria

 

No detectable fecal coliform bacteria per 100 ml
Escherichia coli

 

No detectable Escherichia coli per 100 ml
Total coliform bacteria

 

 

(a) 1 sample in a 30 day period

 

No detectable total coliform bacteria per 100 ml
(b) more than 1 sample in a 30 day period

 

At least 90% of samples have no detectable total coliform
bacteria per 100 ml and no sample has more than 10 total
coliform bacteria per 100 ml

 Immediate reporting is not required if a water sample that failed to meet the immediate reporting standard

(a) was collected from a location in the water supply system before the water is treated for the removal or inactivation of pathogens,

(b) is not used for domestic purposes, or

(c) is water for which a public advisory to boil for drinking water has been issued.

Notice if immediate reporting standard not met

(1) If a monitored parameter in relation to a water supply system fails to meet an established immediate reporting standard for that system, the laboratory conducting the analysis must immediately give notice to

(a) the water supplier,

(b) the drinking water officer, and

(c) the medical health officer.

(2) In addition, a water supplier who receives notice under subsection (1) must give immediate notice to the drinking water officer advising that the water supplier has been notified by the laboratory as required by this section.

(3) For the purposes of this section, the person giving the immediate notice must

(a) take all reasonable steps to give this notice by speaking directly to or by telephone with

(i) each person required to be notified,

(ii) a person designated for this purpose by the person required to be notified, or

(iii) a person answering the telephone number designated for this purpose by the person required to be notified, and

(b) follow with notice in writing to each person within 24 hours.

 Public notice of threats to drinking water

(1) The drinking water officer may request or order a water supplier to give public notice in a manner approved by the drinking water officer, or in accordance with the directions of the drinking water officer, if

(a) the drinking water officer has received a report under section 12 [notice if immediate reporting standard not met],

(b)the drinking water officer has received a report under section 13 [water supplier must report threats], or

(c) the drinking water officer considers that there is, was or may be a threat to the drinking water provided by a water supply system.

(2) In addition to any requirement under subsection (1), if a water supplier

(a) has received a report under section 12 or considers that there may otherwise be a drinking water health hazard in relation to its water supply system, and

(b) is not able to immediately notify the drinking water officer,

the water supplier must immediately give notice of the possible hazard to the users of drinking water from that water supply system.

If water provided by a domestic water system is not or may not be potable water, the owner of a public premises that is served by the domestic water system must do both of the following:

(a) notify the public that the water is not potable water by posting a sign at every sink or drinking water fountain accessible to the public;

(b) if normal business practices provide an opportunity, verbally advise any person who may use the domestic water system for a domestic purpose that the water is not potable water.

Water supplier must report threats to drinking water

(1) In addition to the requirements under section 12, a water supplier must immediately notify the drinking water officer if the supplier considers there is a threat that is likely to result in the drinking water provided by its water supply system not meeting the requirements of section 6 [water supply systems must provide potable water].

(2) Notice required by subsection (1) must be given in accordance with section 12 (3).

Under direction of the Vancouver Island Health Authority the KLWD has a certified lab test treated water from the pipes approximately every week. The KLWD also has a full analysis of the lake water carried out at a certified lab approximately every three months.  The District also carries out a chlorine check on the treated water every day, and up to twice a day if there are any concerns regarding water quality.

In the event that a negative lab test is detected, the Laboratory is required to immediately notify the Kemp Lake Waterworks District, the Drinking Water Officer, and the Medical Health Officer.

The person giving the immediate notice must take all reasonable steps to give this notice by speaking directly to or by telephone with each person required to be notified; a person designated for this purpose by the person required to be notified; or, a person answering the telephone number designated for this purpose by the person required to be notified, and must follow with notice in writing to each person within 24 hours.

Procedures for Boil Water Advisory

The Drinking Water Officer advises the KLWD and the media (radio and television).

Information disseminated to the public immediately.

The KLWD also undertakes to notify property owners by telephone, or door-to-door in person or leaving a notice where necessary.  In the event that there are renters or tenants, the property owners must make sure that they are aware of the Advisory.

The Vancouver Island Health Authority continues to retest randomly throughout the District..

Once the Drinking Water Officer is satisfied that the lab tests results are acceptable, the KLW District and the media are notified, and the information is sent out to the public that the Advisory is lifted.

How to Disinfect Drinking Water and What to do during a Boil Water Notice