Columere Park Community Watering Restrictions:

Please remember to water lawns and gardens
only during the following times:

Odd Numbered House Odd Days;
Even Numbered Houses Even Days
6 – 10 AM and 7 – 10 PM ONLY

**Update – June 14, 2022**

A Water Quality Advisory is a notice from the Waterworks that water quality (measured by turbidity) has deteriorated to the point where infants, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems should take extra precautions by boiling water before use.

A Boil Water Notice is issued by the Waterworks when water quality has further deteriorated to the point where ALL people should boil the water before use.

The Emergency Response Plan dictates, among other things, procedures for notifying the public of the aforementioned water quality events as follows:


1.  A Turbidity Index (Good, Fair, Poor) will be posted continuously on the Columere Park web page.   If the index shows “Fair”, it will be accompanied by a Water Quality Advisory; if the index shows “Poor, it will be accompanied by a Boil Water Notice.

2.  In addition to the website, if the turbidity index is anything but “Good”, the appropriate notification will be recorded on a voicemail message at the Waterworks phone number (250-345-6163) and posted on a sandwich board near the Park entrance.

3.  People without the wherewithal to monitor any of the aforementioned sources, should advise the Waterworks of their contact information so they can be notified directly.  In certain situations, notifications may also be announced over the radio and/ or advertised in local newspapers.  In all cases, notices are reported to the regional Drinking Water Officer and Medical Health Officer.

Thank you for your help in keeping our drinking water safe.

Columere Waterworks

Per the following notice re Drinking Water Regulations, which was mailed out by Columere Waterworks Limited with the annual water bills, this web page
will notify residents when water quality thresholds are compromised”

— so please check this page for ‘boil water’ alerts etc.

Drinking Water Regulations

As mentioned in the last Commuity Newsletter, BC Health has established strict rules for the protection of drinking water and  Columere Waterworks is obligated to enforce them.  In the future, additional treatment facilities will be necessary to meet the more stringent water quality requirements; however, in the interim, the Waterworks must continuously monitor water quality and notify all residents if water quality threshholds are compromised. Arrangements are being made to use the Columere website and the Community Notice Board for this purpose.  For further information contact the Waterworks at 250-345-6161.

In previous Newsletters we have discussed the many upgrades to our water system that have been  undertaken with a view towards meeting recent federal and provincial regulations governing the quality of drinking water.  BC Health has now quantified these regulations into a set of simple rules that all water systems will be obligated to meet over the next few years.

4 refers to the inactivation of viruses meaning that, for every 10,000 viruses in the water, the treatment system must remove 9,999 of them (4 log removal).

3 refers to the inactivation of parasites meaning that, for every 10,000 parasites, the treatment system must remove 9,990 of them (3 log removal).

2 refers to the requirement for two treatment processes e.g. chlorination and filtration and/ or UV (ultraviolet radiation).

1 refers to the requirement for the turbidity (a measurement of water clarity) to be less than 1 NTU (international units for light scattering).  Turbidity is important because certain parasites can protect themselves by attaching to particles of clay or organics suspended in the water.  These particles can also reduce the effect of chlorination.

0 refers to zero indicators of bacterial contamination.

The good news is that Columere Waterworks has always achieved the standards for 4 log removal of viruses, 3 log removal of parasites (except cryptosporidium), and 0 indicators of bacterial contamination.  We also meet the 1 NTU turbidity standard most of the time.  The bad news is we do not have two treatment processes and, as a result, we cannot claim to meet the 3 log standard for cryptosporidium.  To achieve this, we will either have to install filtration as a physical barrier (expensive); or, depending on our historical turbidity data, we may only need to install UV (less expensive).

BC Health does not expect us to implement these standards overnight – we must collect data and conduct studies to determine the appropriate treatment processes for our water and our community.  In the meantime, however, we are being held to a higher standard of vigilance as follows:

1.  Regardless of the quality of the (unfiltered) water, if it comes from surface sources such as lakes, creeks, artesian springs etc., BC Health recommends that infants, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems ALWAYS boil the water or use alternative safer supplies.

2.  We must continuously monitor turbidity and residual chlorine.  If the turbidity exceeds 1 NTU, a Water Quality Advisory will be posted on the notice board so that people can take special precautions if they so desire, but especially those people in the above mentioned categories.  If turbidity exceeds 5 NTU, we will post a Boil Water Notice and water should be boiled for at least one minute before use. Turbidity in our water appears to exceed 1 NTU periodically during spring run-off and during summer days when boating activity is most intense.  We have never seen 5 NTU except, possibly, during flushing operations while cleaning the main lines or during fire flows.

Columere Waterworks is committed to meeting BC Health standards for the protection of our drinking water.  In addition to the rules outlined above, there are others that require us to enforce physical standards for residential connections and back flow prevention.  We seek your cooperation and assistance to ensure our system continues to provide safe, reliable, and cost effective water.  For further information, please contact Columere Waterworks or BC Health  (search on drinking water quality or turbidity).


Thanks and have a great summer.
Columere Waterworks



Water Main Flushing

Water main flushing and reservoir cleaning are usually undertaken twice yearly – spring and fall. Water from wells, lakes, and rivers throughout the Kootenay Valley contains naturally occurring clay particles, particularly during spring run-off, that settle out of the water and accumulate in the water lines. Flushing is a common practice conducted by utilities to remove sediment from the lines by opening fire hydrants and increasing the flow. During these flushing operations, the water, although disinfected, can become cloudy from suspended particles. It is recommended that water consumption inside the house be kept to a minimum and water clarity be checked at an outside faucet before reverting to normal in-house use or employing filters. Notices of upcoming flushing operations are posted on a “sandwich” board inside the front gate of Columere Park.

Water Filters

Notwithstanding the aforementioned clay particles, the clarity of our water exceeds that of both Calgary and Red Deer tap water. For the past two years, Columere Waterworks has been monitoring UV transmittance of both raw water from the lake and treated water from the reservoir. This is a standard measure of “turbidity” to determine the absorption of ultraviolet light by particles entrained in the water. Our treated water averages greater than 91% transmittance, which is very good. To further improve water quality, many households employ “point of use” filters that trap very small particles of oxidized organics, sediments, and sometimes the chlorine molecules themselves. It is extremely important to keep these filters clean as accumulated debris may rapidly use up any active chlorine or filter it out entirely, leaving your downstream water lines without the protection of residual chlorine.