Weather can affect city water’s quality

Tracey Wolfe, City of Meadow Lake’s waterworks manager, is requesting aeration units as part of 2012 budget as a pro-active method of dealing with similar water issues that may arise in the future.

By Rhonda Cooper

The lack of snow cover is allowing algae to grow on the the City of Meadow Lake’s ponds.

“We had a similar situation a couple of years ago,”said Tracey Wolfe waterworks manager. “What is happening is we have a layer of ice and without the snow cover, light is getting into the ponds and allowing algae to grow. It can change the quality of the water.”

Wolfe explained there was a normal change in water in November due to the weather shift. In December there were a few issues which were readily handled but since the beginning of January the problems have been a bit more challenging.

“So far we have changed one chemical and it has had a positive effect,” said Wolfe. “We also went to a coarser sand which is used to clean out the water.”

Last Thursday a number of chemicals were bench tested to see which would be the most effective in treating the water.

“One of them is looking very promising,” she said.

Once a chemical passes the bench test, a tote of it is ordered and used in the system. “We will know in a few hours the effect and we make judgement calls very quickly,” Wolfe said.

Throughout the process, Wolfe has been in daily contact with the environmental project officer (EPO) from the Ministry of Environment. The EPO has also been to the water treatment plant to monitor the situation.

Despite the problems, the drinking water quality has remained within the standard regulations.

“We are keeping it off a PDWA (precautionary drinking water advisory),” she said.

Chemical was expected to arrive after the weekend at which time changes would be incorporated into the system to address the algae issues.

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