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Surrey’s water supply continues to be ‘safe and clean’ to drink, annual report says

Surrey has the longest water distribution network in B.C.
Black Press Media file photo

Surrey’s water supply continues to be “safe and clean” to drink with no E-coli bacteria detected in 3,095 samples taken, according to the City of Surrey’s water system annual report for 2020 which came before council on July 12.

Scott Neuman, Surrey’s general manager of engineering, noted in a corporate report to council that the city’s water distribution mains are 1,864 kilometres in length, with nine pump stations and 38 pressure zones. It is the longest water distribution network in the province.

Surrey bought all of its water, which comes from the reservoirs of the North Shore Mountains, from Metro Vancouver last year. The British Columbia Drinking Water Protection Act requires all cities, municipalities and water suppliers to report the results of their water quality monitoring efforts. “The City, in cooperation with the Fraser Health Authority and Metro Vancouver, has developed a water quality monitoring and reporting plan for the city’s water distribution system,” Neuman noted.

Councillor Doug Elford said water is a resource “we take for granted.”

“We have some of the best drinking water in the world and we’re particularly the envy of many jurisdictions, particularly in the south where you see the terrible drought conditions going on there we’re very lucky,” Elford said. “Having said that, we have to start being conservative with our water as well. We had a tremendous run of extreme hot weather and it’s beginning to tax our water supply.

“So just a reminder out there folks, to take a moment to think and conserve the water that you use, it’s going to be it looks like a long, hot summer.”

Councillor Steven Pettigrew said he’s concerned about the amount of construction taking place in the city.

“We’re losing our catchment areas,” he warned.

Pettigrew pointed to reports out of Vancouver Island that fish there are dying in streams from heat because the water is so low.

“I don’t want to see that happen to our city,” Pettigrew said. “I definitely agree with the conservation, but also the planning and development, make sure that we do have enough water flow into our aquifers and to our various catchments and streams and so forth.”

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About the Author: Tom Zytaruk

I write unvarnished opinion columns and unbiased news reports for the Surrey Now-Leader.
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