The Village of Radium Hot Springs has been enjoying some of the best water in the Columbia Valley since 2001 and now they plan on sharing their success with other municipalities.
From September 26th to 30th, council and staff from across the province of British Columbia will meet for the Union of Municipalities (UBCM) 2016 Convention. During this convention, the Village of Radium Hot Springs will participate in the Small Talk Forum, designed for communities under 5,000 in population to discuss different topics and success stories.
“The topics are quite varied and I think, at this point in time where we’re getting to the point where it’s mandatory that everyone has to have the upgraded water systems, I think it’s appropriate to talk about how successful we’ve been and doing that as a priority and also by thinking forward. Other communities could learn from that,” said Village of Radium mayor Clara Reinhardt
The Village intends to put together a success story topic proposal for the Small Talk Forum to conduct a presentation on the water system. In 2001, Radium held a grand opening for the water treatment facility since the opening there has been no boil water advisories in the village. The treatment system is located on Foster’s Creek 10 kilometers from Radium, in a watershed with water from five glaciers providing pristine water quality.
“Our treatment process begins with two settling ponds that allow the glacial flour to precipitate out. We complete the removal of any remaining particulate with slow sand filters and we initiate the disinfection process with an ultraviolet light reactor. Finally, we chlorinate the water. Chlorination, in our case, primarily serves to keep our distribution system protected from bacterial growth and bacterial infiltration (residual chlorine remains in the pipes until the water comes out of the tap),” said Chief Administrative Officer Mark Read in an email.
The water system benefits from geographical factors allowing the system to be gravity fed, reducing operating cost and capital. By using the gravity fed system, the system does not rely on pumps or electricity compared to a pump-based water treatment system.
“The system itself is big, but it’s also what we‘re doing and how proactive we’re being in our watershed because there’s a number of user groups. There’s the logging, hunting and fishing, there’s all kinds of things happening up there, so we’re being proactive with all the user groups to try and work together,” said Reinhardt.
The village‘s proactive involvement with user groups of the water shed is something that would discuss in their presentation. As council prepares to head to UBCM, they hope to receive approval to present the success of Radium’s water to other municipalities.
“My sense is that people tend to take drinking water for granted; turn the tap on and water had better come out. The reality is that producing high-quality potable water is a complex and expensive undertaking. The Village has always been very proud of our water and, from a capital and operating perspective, it remains to be one of our highest priorities,” said Read.