The quality of City of White Rock water in recent months has forced residents to look for alternatives, according to letter writers. (File photo)

LETTERS: Tread carefully over city’s water

Letter writers address White Rock’s drinking water.


On May 10, I had a doctor’s appointment for a full-assault medical examination.

One is usually expected to bring a clean carcass to these exams, so, that morning I turned on the water for my shower. It was dirty, with heavy, fine, black grit in the bathtub, toilet and bathroom sink. My cat, Ed, who has a dripping-bathtub-tap fetish, turned tail, examined the toilet, raised an indignant eyebrow at me, and left in protest to flop in a corner and proceed to die of thirst.

Flushing and running the water for almost an hour accomplished nothing, except to bring the cat back for periodic examination. I cancelled the appointment. I reasoned that the effects of showering with grit in the water would be similar to showering with wet sandpaper.

I have seen this same residue coat the inside of the toilet tank. Only the ordinary, brown discoloured water was present in the kitchen. Hot and cold were both running dirt. Did I mention I am suppose to drink six glasses of water a day for kidney stone prevention? I’m contemplating billing the city for having to buy clean bottled water.

Today, all is now running clear, including the cat. Now I have to break the news about the arsenic…

Suzanne Gerard, White Rock

• • •

It is time we all realized “you can’t fight city hall.”

Develop a personal action plan to combat the bad water the city is providing its residents.

Start by categorizing your water uses – washing clothes and cars is not going to be a health and safety concern; washing your body and cleaning your teeth will be a minimal concern; drinking water and using it for ice, cooking etc. is a concern.

Face the fact that it is totally impractical to think anything meaningful can be done at the end of the tap. The easiest step is to start buying water.

Purchased in large bottles, the cost and hassle will be much less than buying flats of bottled water. Furthermore, the impact on the environment will be as low as you can hope for. Most supermarkets have filling stations that use local water, originating from the GVRD supply system, and put it through a reverse-osmosis process.

Pitcher-type systems seem more convenient but cost more than buying in large quantities. Furthermore, they won’t produce adequate quality water because all they can do is improve upon what is poured into them in the first place. Most companies in the business choose their source carefully so as to minimize or avoid original contaminants. It is disinfected using ultra violet light or ozone, which do not in themselves constitute a contaminant nor produce any noxious by-products like chlorine based chemicals.

The source will not contain any significant quantities of inorganic contaminants and the bottling process will involve sophisticated filtering which will reduce these even further. Note: no water bottling firm would ever locate in White Rock because the high arsenic and manganese salt content that exists in the raw water would definitely preclude its use.

I hope that other readers will share some of their thoughts about what can practically be done to address the problem our city, both its elected and paid employees, have brought down on our heads.

Bill Holmes, White Rock