The cause of water clarity in different parts of town over the past few weeks is undetermined but under investigation, says the town’s infrastructure services director.
“We’re not 100 per cent sure what’s causing it, three things are possible,” said Al Kendrick, Infrastructure Services Director.
Water temperature, flow rates, and construction near the Memorial arena are contributing factors to the colour issue.
Higher temperature in summer accelerates the chemical absorption of any buildup on the interior of pipes.
“We can’t physically look inside the pipes, but we are looking at the possibility of using cameras and other things,” said Kendrick.
Regular bacteriological testing has confirmed the water is safe and meets Canadian drinking water quality guidelines.
“It’s not anywhere near what happened in 2007,” said Kendrick, referring to the boil water order caused by problems at the Drumheller water treatment facility.
The water problems in Drumheller are sporadic and town staff are dealing with each affected customer.
The town has set up plans for short, medium, and long term solutions for minimizing distribution system issues.
In the short term, the town will isolate and flush the main line from the treatment plant to the Highway 9/56 intersection. This will occur in the early morning of September 7. A unidirectional flush program will run through September while water temperatures are still warm.
Medium term plans include a visual inspection to view the interior of the pipe, furthering maintenance activities including the clearwell and internal plumbing of the plant, and investigating various physical and chemical pipe cleaning processes.
Down the road, the town hopes to develop a physical pipe cleaning program to supplement the flushing, continue using unidirectional flushing, and continue the existing cast iron replacement program.
“It is very important that the water delivered to our resident’s taps is the best quality possible,” said Mayor Bryce Nimmo.
“The Town of Drumheller is working on a more robust pipe cleaning program to minimize any water quality issues.”
Those experiencing water quality issues and require information may call Infrastructure Services at 403-823-1330.