Here is a list of questions you may have about the PRRD Water Stations. Click on the question to see the answer.
Don’t see your question? Call Environmental Services at 1-250-784-3200
- How do I sign up for an account?
- To sign up for a PRRD Water Account (powered by Flowpoint), visit www.prrdwater.com. Need help? Visit our Help page to see a step-by-step guide or watch our tutorial videos. Once registered, residents will be able to purchase water credits online any time of the day or night from their computer or other device and have access to potable water stations using their individual access code and pin.
- How much does water cost?
- Water from a PRRD Water Stations costs $3.00 per cubic metre. One Cubic Metre is equal to 1000 Litres.
- Will my water account work for the City of Fort St John or City of Dawson Creek Water Stations?
- Your PRRD Water Account allows users access to the Buick Creek, Prespatou, Feye Spring, Boundary, and Rose Prairie (under construction) only. The Fort St John and Dawson Creek water Stations are provided by those municipalities and requires an account with them in order to use their systems.
- Can I be invoiced for water?
- Water accounts are all pre-paid, meaning you must pay for the water before loading your tank. Water credits can be purchased online through your PRRD water account or by calling/visiting a PRRD office nearest you.
- Do the water credits ever expire?
- No, water credits will remain on your account until they are used and do not expire.
What’s Happening at the Rose Prairie Water Station
- Why hasn’t the Rose Prairie Water Station Opened Yet?
- During the commissioning of the Rose Prairie Water Station earlier this year, Sulphides were found in the water supply. Additional treatments have been installed to reduce the Sulphides, however, these treatments have not yet been able to decrease the measurable turbidity (cloudiness) in the water to acceptable levels. Before opening, the Rose Prairie Water Station must meet the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality and the BC Ministry of Health treatment objectives for groundwater.
- How did the Sulphides get in the water?
- Sulphides are common in groundwater and do not pose a health risk, but causes a foul smell in water. Testing for Sulphides is not part of routine tests, which is why it was not discovered until commissioning.
- What caused the Turbidity?
- Treatments to lower the Sulphides have caused them to become solid, which makes the water appear cloudy (turbidity).
- Why Will Only the Bottle Fill be Open?
- The bottle fill will be open as a pilot project, to make sure the GAC Filter system is working as expected before implementing the solution for the whole system. The cost to install GAC Filters on the bottle fill is much less than installing the filters for the entire Water Station. By testing the GAC Filters on the bottle fill first, it allows us to have increased certainty in the solution before spending additional money.
- When Can We Expect the Full Site (Tank Fill and Bottle Fill) to be Open?
- The Bottle Fill is a pilot test to ensure that the GAC Filters will work as expected before installing them on the entire system. Staff and consultants will be evaluating how the GAC Filters are performing for the Bottle Fill and will make recommendations based on the data they receive to determine when the Full Site might be able to open. The recommendations are expected to be evaluated in October to determine the best course of action and timeline for the full opening of the Rose Prairie Water Station.
- Will the Water in the Bottle Fill be Safe?
- Water samples from the new GAC filtered water system will be thoroughly tested before the Bottle Fill station opens and will continue to be tested daily after the bottle fill opens to the public to make sure the water continues to meet Northern Health standards.
Questions About Turbidity
- What is turbidity
- Turbidity is a water quality term that refers to the relative clarity of water. Turbidity occurs when fine suspended particles of clay, silt, organic and inorganic matter, plankton, and other microscopic organisms are picked up by water as it passes through a watershed. Turbidity levels are typically much higher in water from surface water sources such as streams, rivers, and lakes than from groundwater sources. Some surface water sources exhibit high turbidity levels during periods of high rainfall or snow melt (e.g. spring runoff). Measured in nephelometric turbidity units (NTU), turbidity ranges from less than 1 NTU to more than 1,000 NTU. At 5 NTU water is visibly cloudy; at 25 NTU it is murky.
- Is turbidity a health concern?
- Turbidity is not so much a health concern as an indicator of health risk. Science has proven that as turbidity increases, the risk for gastrointestinal illness also increases—particularly for at-risk populations such as newborns, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems (e.g. those with HIV/Aids, undergoing chemotherapy, or taking anti-rejection drugs following a transplant).
- What is the Turbidity Index?
- The Turbidity Index is a messaging tool designed to
notify water customers of current turbidity levels and, therefore, the relative risk of drinking the water. The index shows whether water is Good (<1 NTU), Fair (1-5 NTU), or Poor (>5 NTU), and provides specific recommendations for each rating. The index will appear on participating water suppliers’ websites and through the media during a Water Quality Advisory or a Boil Water Notice.
- Why is turbidity an important water quality indicator?
- Bacteria, viruses, and parasites such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium can attach themselves to the suspended particles in turbid water. These particles then interfere with disinfection by shielding contaminants from the disinfectant (e.g. chlorine).
- What precautions should I take with turbid water?
- The Province of B.C. recommends that newborns and people with weakened immune systems drink boiled water or a safe alternative at all times if they are served by an unfiltered surface water source. When turbidity levels range from 1-5 NTU, IH and water suppliers recommend that children, the elderly, people with compromised immune systems, and anyone seeking additional protection drink boiled water or a safe alternative. When turbidity levels exceed 5 NTU, IH and water suppliers recommend that all users drink boiled water or a safe alternative.
- What are accepted water-industry standards for turbidity, and who sets them?
- Health Canada’s Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality recommend that surface water suppliers aim for turbidity levels <1 NTU at the point of disinfection. The guidelines also recommend filtration for water from all surface water sources, and specific water quality parameters for each type of filtration used. These standards are reflected in B.C.’s Drinking Water Protection Act, and advocated by IH in its 4-3-2-1-0 treatment objectives.
- Why can’t we just get rid of turbidity?
- The majority of water suppliers in B.C.’s interior draw water from surface sources, and most surface sources exhibit some level of seasonal turbidity. Removing turbidity requires filtration, which is very costly, particularly for suppliers that service agricultural users.