White Rock gives water the all-clear, but resident unsure

Rolf Effertz says he's unconvinced by city tests that murky tap water problems won't come back

Rolf Effertz says sediment found after his water sat is still a concern.

The City of White Rock is dismissing a resident’s claim that he is receiving murky water from his household taps.

Rolf Effertz had told Peace Arch News earlier this week that a thick, brownish residue he removed from the bottom of a five-gallon plastic jug he had filled with water – and which sat for four days – suggests a high level of sediment in city water.

But city communications manager Farnaz Farrokhi said in an email Wednesday that a city operations team sent to investigate the complaint at Effertz’ residence found the water from his taps clear.

She said that tests conducted at the Bishop Road house found that Effertz’ water had low chlorine and turbidity (cloudiness) levels, placing it within Canadian Drinking Water Guideline limits.

Testing at the Malabar sample station – within one block of Effertz’ house – on Oct. 26 showed “metal levels are well within the (guideline),” Farrokhi said.

“During discussions with Mr. Effertz, the operations team learned that the water was taken from part of the house where the water has not been run in months. As a result, it could have been an internal plumbing matter,” Farrokhi told PAN. “Furthermore, it sounds as though the resident did not follow proper sampling procedures when conducting his own test… The city follows the American Water Works Association (AWWA) Standards.”

Effertz disputes the conclusions.

He said he had no intention of conducting a test – merely filling a jug  to take to the Richmond offices of his company for use as drinking water by his employees.

“It wasn’t a test at all – absolutely not. I have a staff water cooler and I fill the jugs (for that),” he said.

“I stand by what I said. The original story is accurate – that’s what came out of the tap. And that wasn’t the first bottle I filled up – there were probably three or four that were dirty that I emptied.”

Effertz said that while he thanks city staff for reacting quickly to his original complaint, he is bemused by the comment the water came from a part of the house where water had not been run in months.

“What I said was that the water came from the downstairs bathroom that doesn’t get used that often,” he said. “I had previously filled a water bottle out of the same tap between 30 and 40 days earlier… and there was no problem.”

While Effertz noted his tap water is currently clear, he doesn’t know what it will be like “two days, or a week or a month from now.”

His upstairs toilet tank is coated with sediment similar to what he observed in the tap water, he said.

“And it will be interesting to see what’s there in six to eight months when I take the filter out of the filtration unit we installed in the kitchen,” he said.

Meanwhile Farrokhi maintains White Rock water is safe.

“The city’s water quality test results from Oct. 6 to 26 have come back showing there are no issues with the city’s water,” she said.

Effertz said he is  not convinced.

“The question is, is there manganese in the water, is there chlorine in there, is there arsenic in there?”

“Every citizen of White Rock should make the decision whether they should (purchase) a secondary filtration unit.

“I’m still not satisfied that the water delivered to residents is 100 per cent safe.”





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