In 2005, Moncton Quality of Water Supply Represents Economic Investment In The Future Growth of the City

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Water quality, in terms of it's reliable supply for delivery and consistent content for consumption in meeting stringent national water quality standards is a serious business requiring vigilance and continuing investment.

Both of which the City of Moncton are doing in a year by year meticulous manner.

For the past seven years, since the new water treatment plant opened, Moncton has been upgrading its quality of delivery in watermain renewal and testing continually to assure the community that the water processed from its natural source is of the highest possible quality and consistency.

The 2005 Report on Water Quality best illustrates the step by step process of getting water from the rural supply to residential taps. Ensor Nicholson, P.Eng., is Director of Water Systems, City of Moncton, and is the point man for the City in water quality and delivery infrastructure.

His annual comprehensive report profiles the results of the $23 million dollar, water treatment plant coming online in November of 1999. His report notes that Moncton residents have enjoyed improved water quality, particularly in terms of reduced turbidity and color, and that the product meets and exceeds the guidelines established for Canadian drinking water quality.

The City of Moncton formed a public-private partnership corporation, Greater Moncton Water Ltd., which is under a contractual agreement to supply water that will meet all current and future Canadian guidelines for the life of the 20-year contract.

On the surface at the homeowner's or business owner's water tap, the immediate benefit of Moncton's effort to have superior water quality that meets Canada's national water quality standards for drinking water, is apparent in the consistently clear visual appearance of water in the glass.

To further promote the public profile of it's water quality achievement, during 2005, the City of Moncton bottled some of its water for promotional purposes with the production of approximately 13,000 bottles with a promotional label.

Using tables and graphs in his annual report, Nicholson explains that getting water from the surface source in Turtle Creek, Albert County, west of the Town of Riverview, for processing through the treatment plant and subsequently pumped through a network of pipes to the homeowner's tap, is a complex management challenge.

A community management challenge that Moncton is meeting head-on.

Nicholson reports that in the 2005 calendar year, all water samples complied with the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality and his report details the elaborate testing to achieve this results and the continuing investment that Moncton is making to insure the future of its municipal water supply.

Included in the report is a summary of more than 1500 test results, indicating the high quality and safety of Moncton's drinking water.

The Turtle Creek Reservoir and Moncton Water Treatment Plant supplied 18,476,000 cubic meters of treated water to the Moncton's tri-community members, Town of Riverview and City of Dieppe, for an average delivery of 50,620 cubic meters per day.

But Moncton is not standing pat on achieving a superior score on turbidity that is less than half the national allowed unit measurement. He says that Moncton is moving on to rehabilitate its total water delivery system, as parts of the Greater Moncton Water Distribution System are over 100 years old and have been exposed to corrosive and unfiltered water.

Nicholson says that the corrosion control program reduces the contact water has with the interior lining of the pipes as it produces a microscopically thin barrier on the inside of the pipes. It also neutralizes the acidic nature of the water, reducing its natural tendency to be corrosive.

This corrosion control process occurs over time and reached optimum effectiveness prior to the water treatment plant becoming operational. The program reduces leaching of metallic copper and lead from service lines and household plumbing as well as the oxidation of unlined iron watermains.

Recent testing has already shown that corrosion has been reduced significantly.

Now that these two problems are being addressed, more permanent and/or longer-term strategies are being initiated with respect to cleaning, rehabilitation and replacement of the distribution system pipelines. A rehabilitation solution is to spray an epoxy or polyurethane coating on the interior surface of the pipe, preventing corrosion from occurring.

All of this is occurring below the surface and leads to significant sections of Moncton's central residential areas seeing streets dug up and work crews linking the new water delivery systems within the old network of waterlines.

In 2005, he reports that the water delivery network was renewed with replacement/rehabilitation of approximately 8.6 kilometers of watermain.

Additional improvements in water infrastructure included completion of the construction of a new distribution storage tank in Caledonia Industrial Estates. A new variable frequency drive installed at Moncton's main pumping station on Highfield Street, which he reports, has resulted in substantial reduction in electricity use.

In addition, to concentrating on the production of reliable water supply, Moncton upgraded its AMR (automated meter reading) system in 2005 with 70% of homes and business being converted to the radio frequency read system. This form of consumer metering is meant to inform water users of the amount of water they are consuming at a personal financial cost.

In 2005, a civic bylaw was enacted to address the watering of lawns in an effort to further promote water use conservation.

To learn more about the quality of the Moncton water supply and to understand the details on the processing of raw surface water into the high quality product that Moncton produces today for consumption for business and residential customers, please click on Quick Facts About Moncton's Water Treatment and Supply Network.

April, 2006