Water discolouration cause pinpointed | DrumhellerMail
Last updateTue, 23 Apr 2024 5pm

Water discolouration cause pinpointed

    The cause of the  discoloured water pouring from faucets of some Drumheller residents during summer was naturally occurring manganese reacting with added chlorine, a report by Stantec Consultants said Monday.     Council gave direction at their January 24 meeting to budget for aeration equipment in the 2011 Capital Budget, which would see the levels of manganese drop.
    Two solutions were given by the report: to aerate the water through natural or mechanical means, or to add potassium permanganate to the water to lower manganese levels.
                                                    Aeration, using SolarBee units estimated to cost around $250,000 for each of the four water reservoirs, is preferred by the town’s Infrastructure Services.     Aeration works by forcing the water to move constantly so manganese won’t build up. Alberta Environment has also been encouraging municipalities to stop using chemicals in the water.
    The colouration wasn’t seen at the water treatment plant, as summer’s high temperatures and prolonged contact time with the chlorine caused the water to become darker as it travelled along water lines.
    “The aeration equipment is going to save us money on chemicals, and by having a natural process, there is no chemical action/reaction,” says Director of Infrastructure Services Allan Kendrick. The  SolarBee units utilize solar power and can be put in place over winter months with very little maintenance cost throughout the year.
    Manganese levels have dropped off to ideal levels since late November and December as temperature is a key factor in its development.
    “Right now, the manganese is not a problem. It starts to occur with warmer temperatures in the water,” said Kendrick, adding it shouldn’t be a problem until late April.
    “This should work,” says Kendrick. “Hopefully council will approve our 2011 budget – they looked at it in a positive light (at the meeting).”

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