Earlier this week we heard from Shabbir Sakrani, Superintendent of the Weyburn Water Treatment Plant about our drinking water being tested at 99.9999 percent pure.

But how do they ensure the quality of the City's raw water source, Nickle Lake?

"There is a department requirement to test water for pesticides and organic compounds, but the City goes beyond that limit, and we test every day. Every single day, we take samples from Nickle Lake and we test for different parameters and adjust our chemicals," he explained. 

"Normally our department requires annual tests for organic, pesticide, and microsystem giardia and micro sporidium, and all test results are very encouraging, and the quality of the raw water is good," he said.

The one exception, however, is the algae bloom, which is natural and not able to be controlled at the source.

"There is a lot of difficulty in making the raw water good for the residents, safe for the residents, and we already adjusted certain chemicals to get the best water for the city."

In fact, the recent switchover to chloramines for purification has gone very well.

"We didn't get any single complaint, and it was very smooth," Sakrani noted. "It was very hard for us. I've been testing every half an hour, and so far the water quality is very, very good."

He said the Water Security Agency does an inspection three times a year, with one of those visits happening this week.

Algae blooms during the heat, which creates its own set of challenges for his staff. 

"We collect Nickle Lake water every day, 365 days, if it's a stat holiday, or a Saturday or a Sunday, we test our water and then we adjust our process, and it's a lot of work."

While groundwater has no algae, the oxygen in a lake encourages the microbiological process of algae growth during hotter temperatures.

"When the temperature drops, the algae dies, and then people will smell a grassy smell and they will complain, 'oh, our water is grassy, just like sewage' or anything like that. So we have certain limitations in our water treatment plant, we can use certain chemicals up to certain levels. We can't go beyond that, so we are trying to adjust everything to minimize the smell of anything."

Read more about the drinking water HERE.

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