Increased Colour in the Greater Victoria Drinking Water System

Dec 14, 2010

Victoria, BC - CRD Integrated Water Services advises that residents who receive water from the Greater Victoria Drinking Water System (includes Sidney, North Saanich, Central Saanich, Saanich, Victoria, Oak Bay, Esquimalt, Colwood, Langford, Metchosin and View Royal) may notice that their drinking water is slightly more coloured than normal. The water will have a yellowish-brown tint when viewed in white bathtubs and washbasins. The increased colour is expected to continue for approximately one (1) week during the period that the water system is being supplied from Goldstream Reservoir.

As a result of shutting down the Kapoor Tunnel to allow its annual inspection, CRD has switched from Sooke Reservoir as its primary water supply to Goldstream Reservoir. Goldstream Reservoir water naturally is more coloured than Sooke Reservoir. The colour is picked up as rainfall flows through the forest floor. 

Dr. Richard Stanwick, Chief Medical Health Officer, Vancouver Island Health Authority, advises that “the natural organic matter which causes the water to be coloured does not pose a health concern. The change in colour people may notice is not a result of the recent heavy rains, but simply the result of switching water sources, and Greater Victoria’s drinking water continues to be safe.”

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For further information please contact:
Stewart Irwin, Senior Manager, Water Quality Division
Capital Regional District
Tel: 250.360.9603
Cell: 250.727.5995