The City is responsible for producing safe drinking water for its residents and distributing it throughout the city. The City operates and maintains the water treatment and pumping facilities, two reservoirs, two rural water dispensing stations, and maintains the distribution system which includes the water mains, valves, and fire hydrants.
Fresh Water Supply
Fort St. John's water system has 5 shallow wells that are sealed and covered and are located in Taylor on the Peace River. All wells are currently mounded and periodically submerged during the freshet. The wells are pumped to the High Lift Pump Station and then pumped through 11 kilometres of pipeline to the City of Fort St. John’s water treatment facility. The average flow is 9,000 cubic meters per day.
Fluoridation - The current program started in 1963. It uses 25% Hydrofluorosilicic Acid for fluoridation. A monthly sample is regularly sent to an accredited lab for analysis. The
process is automated and the target concentration is 0.7 to 0.9 milligrams per litre. The Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines permit 1.5 milligrams per litre.
Filters - The filters were upgraded in 2005. The media and underdrain were changed.
The greens and filters were replaced because of extensive damage. The current media is pyrolucite; media level is checked yearly and additional pyrolucite is added as needed. In total there are 8 pressure filters.
Chlorination - 15% concentration solution of Sodium Hypochlorite (NaHCl) is used for disinfection. The process is automated by means of a chlorinator to achieve a minimum concentration of 0.2 milligrams per litre throughout the system. NaHCl solution is delivered twice per year.
Water Distribution System
Storage – There are two treated water reservoirs which are used to supply the city with extra water during peak demands, and to store water when excess demand is not required.
- The 6.8 million litres reservoir is located at 106 Avenue & 106 Street. It has an average turnover of 18 hours.
- The 36.4 million litres reservoir is located at Northern Lights Drive & 112 Avenue. It has an average turnover of 4 days.
Unidirectional Flushing Program (UDF)
What Is Unidirectional Flushing? - UDF is a method of cleaning the water mainlines through a network of flushing sequences with the water being discharged from a fire hydrant. The UDF program involves closing valves in a specific sequence to create water movement in one direction while opening specific hydrants at the end of that sequence. Maintaining the flushing sequence is important so that the water used in the flushing sequence remains clean. The UDF technique allows higher water flow velocities by isolating certain sections of the water mains. This higher water velocity allows for better scouring of pipes and will use 40% less water in the flushing process than traditional flushing.
Why Are We Flushing? - Slow-moving water in the water mains allows minerals and sediments to deposit and accumulate over time. These deposits can result in water discoloration and water quality problems, and contribute to the corrosion of some of the pipes. A bio-film of microorganisms can also generate over time in the pipes. Flushing the pipes will dislodge and remove these deposits that accumulate in the water mains.
What Are The Benefits Of Flushing? - The benefits include maintaining and potentially improving the water quality, colour, and distribution. Flushing reduces bacterial growth, restores disinfectant residual, improves colour and turbidity, controls corrosion and can help restore flow and pressures in the water distribution system. A preventative maintenance program can also be implemented on valves and hydrants in conjunction with the flushing program at very little additional cost.
What could happen? - A hydrant near you may be opened and used to discharge water into the street for several minutes. There may be a slight drop in pressure or a presence of discoloration from the minerals and sediments that are being flushed out. Water service should not be disrupted during the flushing process. If discoloration is noticed, please turn the tap off for 15 minutes and then run the tap from your bathtub until the water is clear.