(UPDATED, FEBRUARY 24) City's Investigation into Water Discolouration

11:45 am Update 

Chlorination in Process

In October of 2016, the City began its phased approach to adding secondary disinfection to the City’s water, as mandated and closely monitored by the Fraser Health Authority. As a result, some White Rock residents may be experiencing a change in their water since chlorination is now taking place at both the Oxford and Merklin reservoirs.

Last fall, you may recall seeing regular advertisements about the City’s phased approach to chlorination in the Peace Arch News, your water bill insert, on the City’s website and social media channels. The advertisement and communication provided helpful information and tips to commonly asked questions such as:

  • Why does my water look cloudy or discoloured?
  • Is chlorine safe to drink? 
  • How do I reduce the taste or smell of chlorine?

In case you missed the advertisements/communications around chlorination, below are some of the communications you can find on the City’s website, under the News Archive section, for 2016:

If you still have questions after reading the information in the links above, or would like to report a water issue, please call the Operations Department at 604-541-2181 or send an email to water@whiterockcity.ca.

Please note: If you are experiencing cloudy or discoloured water, please run your taps for roughly 10 minutes (or until the water is clear). You may have to do this more than once. Should you still have cloudy or discoloured water, please call the Operations Department.


February 10, 2017

1pm Update

What to do if your water is cloudy or has sediment in it:

The City’s water is safe to use; however, residents and businesses that have cloudy water are asked to run their taps and take the following steps:

  • Remove aerators (screens) from taps.
  • Turn on your cold water laundry tub tap (or the tap located nearest your property's water meter/shutoff) and let it run for a minimum of 10 minutes or until it runs clear.
  • Place the aerators back on taps.

If you still have cloudy water after your run your taps, please report the disruption by calling the Operations Department at 604-541-2181.


11:30am Update

As a further update to the City’s investigation, it appears that a contractor working on behalf of the City, at the Merklin reservoir, went against the City’s testing procedures and opened up a valve to run some tests without first informing the City’s Water Operations team.
Unfortunately, it is believed that this unauthorized act by the contractor, caused what is known as a water hammering effect. This disturbance led to the water discolouration in parts of the City.

City Staff will be reviewing procedures with the contractor to ensure the City’s procedures are followed so that something like this does not happen again.

City Staff will also continue to follow up with residents who called sharing their concerns about their water to ensure their water quality has returned to normal. They will also continue to flush the affected areas until this matter has been resolved.
The City is very disappointed that the contractor did not follow procedures and apologizes for the inconvenience this may have caused.


Thursday, February 9, 2017

5:30pm Update

City Operations Staff investigated the cause of the water discolouration as soon as they were made aware of it, which was around noon, today.

Operations Staff have concluded that the water discolouration was not due to a water main break, or flushing, as the City’s flushing program was recently completed. However, they did notice a sudden change in water pressure between 12:14pm – 12:17pm, which could indicate that a fire hydrant was opened and closed abruptly and impacted parts of the City’s water system.

Our Water Operators are currently visiting residents who shared their concern over the water discolouration. Our Operators will also check water hydrants in these resident’s area and may flush the system to help clear up the water.

3:00pm Update

The City has been notified that some residents in parts of the City are experiencing discolouration in their water. Our water utility teams are investigating the exact cause of the issue. Once we have determined the cause, we will provide an update on this web page. 

Last Updated: 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 9, 2017.