Measures at City of Nanaimo’s South Fork Water Treatment Plant, pictured here, and various water treatment across Regional District of Nanaimo will take care of coronavirus, say officials. (Nanaimo News Bulletin file)

Island officials say water treatment already in place to combat COVID-19

South Fork, Englishman River water treatment use membrane, UV filtering

Treatment already in place ensures drinking water is not contaminated with coronavirus, say regional district and City of Nanaimo officials.

As of Monday, Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C. health officer, said there have been 79 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Island Health region. Regional District of Nanaimo and city systems both treat water in various ways to ensure it is safe to drink, say Murray Walters, RDN manager of water services and Mike Squire, city manager of water resources.

City water is treated at South Fork Water Treatment Plant and Squire says safety measures begin at the watershed, with membrane filtration (primary treatment), ultraviolet disinfection and chlorination among the processes.

“Basically the pore size of the membranes is small enough that a virus, or harmful bacteria, will not fit through,” said Squire. “If it does in fact get into the water system, I don’t believe it would live in the waters for very long. But there’s no chance of it filtering through into the potable water supply.”

Squire said the city does daily monitoring and testing and as far as COVID-19 virus in the water, and said there’s no risk.

RELATED: $42M water treatment plant opens in Parksville

The RDN has nine water service areas and the Englishman River water treatment plant in Parksville, which has measures similar to City of Nanaimo, including membrane filtration and UV. Walters said water usage has been the same during the COVID-19 pandemic and disinfection routines in all RDN water supplies are as effective at killing coronavirus as other viruses.

“Essentially we use … chlorine as the disinfecting agent in all of our treatment plants and in addition to that, some of them have ultraviolet disinfection as well, so it’s kind of on a system by system. They’re all a bit specific, but they all, at least, use chlorine for disinfection,” said Walters.

Like the city, the RDN also tests water regularly, which is mandated by the B.C. Ministry of Health, said Walters.

“Different tests are done at different intervals, but it’s tested by regulation regularly and even more often than regulation when there’s any indication that maybe we had a bit of an equipment hiccup,” said Walters. “The testing frequency is not up to us, but we exceed what’s required by regulation.”

READ ALSO: RDN in Stage 2 water restrictions, Nanaimo in Stage 1

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram


Comments are closed

Just Posted

Hotel workers gather in Victoria, demand right to return to work

Workers also asking the government to make sure employers don’t use pandemic to replace them

UPDATE: Vancouver Island skydiving community mourns loss of one of its own

James Smith, 34, of Victoria, dies in Nanoose Bay incident

World’s biggest Nanaimo bar confirmed, but it’s not in Nanaimo

Two Ontario children set the bar high with successful biggest Nanaimo bar world record attempt

Tofino beachgoers ‘horrified’ by jet-skis in surf zone

Online video of Sea-Doo operating within 50 metres of neophyte surfers causes alarm

Langford teens reunited with family after rescue near Chemainus

Friends spent night in missing truck, spotted by RCMP helicopter

Horrifying video shows near head-on collision on Trans Canada

The video was captured on dash cam along Highway 1

Elizabeth May endorses Furstenau in BC Greens race

Former federal party leader backs Cowichan Valley MLA

Fraser Valley woman complains of violent RCMP takedown during wellness check

Mounties respond that she was not co-operating during Mental Health Act apprehension

B.C. sees 12 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths

Three outbreaks exist in health-care settings

Lost dog swims Columbia River multiple times searching for home

The dog was missing from his Castlegar home for three days.

COVID-19: B.C. promotes video-activated services card

Mobile app allows easier video identity verification

Nanaimo RCMP arrest four, seize drugs and $19K in “problem house” search

Home was subject of numerous complaints of drug trafficking, theft and disturbances

Victoria woman loses $2,500 to scammer spoofing VicPD phone number

VicPD warns against sharing personal information, sending money to strangers

Most Read