The City of White Rock is committed to providing safe, clean drinking water to its 20,000 residents and to providing residents with water quality updates.
White Rock’s groundwater has elevated levels of naturally occurring arsenic and manganese.
Arsenic is a natural element found widely in the Earth’s crust and in some groundwater drinking supplies. Canadians’ primary exposure to arsenic is through food, followed by water, soil and air. Manganese is a naturally occurring mineral present in rocks and soil and may also be present in groundwater. Manganese can discolour water at higher levels.
Following the commissioning of the White Rock Water Treatment Plant in April 2019, the City of White Rock reduced the level of manganese and arsenic to nearly undetectable levels. The manganese level has continued to be nearly undetectable.
Arsenic level update
The arsenic level has increased, compared to initial results, and is now about 40 per cent of the maximum level allowed by Health Canada—still within the range for safe and healthy water. The arsenic remaining in the water is oxidized by ozone at the water treatment plant.
White Rock’s water plant design objectives are stringent, and the city is taking action to reduce the level.
Tests are underway to resolve the slightly elevated level of arsenic, thought to be related to challenges experienced during plant commissioning. The results will be available later this fall. The City aims to return arsenic content in the water to the plant design objectives (As < 0.002 mg/L 95 per cent of the time, 0.005 mg/L for five per cent of operation).
Facts about White Rock Water
White Rock Mayor Darryl Walker
“We know the topic of water quality is very important to everyone. Water quality continues to be very high in White Rock, exceeding the standards for water quality set by Health Canada.
City Council is committed to providing regular updates, and is sharing information as requested by the Water Community Advisory Panel. Thank you to Councillor Chris Trevelyan, as the Council representative, and to the entire panel for providing input on communicating with our community.”