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Maintaining Drinking Water Quality Within Your Home
Stacie Arellano, Public Works Manager
The Village of Hay Lakes wants to make sure delivering safe and secure drinking water all the way up to customers’ taps at all time. The following recommendations will assist property owners how to maintain drinking water quality and benefits of properly maintaining the quality up to your points of consumptions (kitchen faucets, etc.).
The Village receives treated water from EPCOR – Edmonton and it is delivered by CRSWWSC (Capital Regional Southwest Water Services Commission) regional water line. Village operators and administration staff are legally required to maintain and distribute the treated water via the village water distribution system, up to the property line of your home under Alberta Environment issued registration for treated water distribution system. Once it crosses the property line, the homeowner is responsible for maintaining the quality of treated water including the internal plumbing system within your house.
The importance of treated water quality maintenance is to ensure adequate disinfectant (chlorine) remains enough to eliminate any harmful microbe regrowth. Also, when a building’s water system is not adequately used or actively maintained, the water becomes stagnant within internal plumbing systems, including the pipes, any equipment such as water softeners, and any storage tanks/ hot water tanks. Stagnant water can slowly deplete the disinfectant (chlorine) and promote regrowth of harmful microbes, as well as accumulating the disinfection by-products. Moreover, the stagnant water can also accumulate Lead and Copper in drinking water, leaching from your internal plumbing system such as pipes or fixtures, if any exists within your home.
There are times when you may experience water pressure fluctuations. These events are caused by regular operations and maintenance or unplanned incidences, for example, during power outages and spikes. In most cases, your attending on-call village utility operator will be attending to an emergency call out, whether it is a power spike or a power outage.
During the power outage, it is advisable to limit water use as much as possible. If you notice water pressure issues or no running water during a power outage or any other time, please refrain using water until the power is restored or informing to the village office.
If you notice any visible leaks from the ground or valves in the roads, boulevards or front yards please contact the emergency line 780-878-4035. Please note this line is for emergencies only within waterworks, wastewater or grounds.
If you have a general report or request for Public Works please call the Village Office during normal business hours 9 am – 5 pm at 780-878-3200 or Public Works shop 7 am – 3 pm at 780-878-3952. If you have a leak within your home’s piping water system please contact your local plumber.
However, it is a common reaction to ask your fellow neighbours if they are experiencing any water issues, we want to limit water use if there is a disruption that we need to attend to. Our goal as a community is to leave water pipes as full as possible which will prevent from potential back siphoning and cross contaminating the distribution system due to zero pressure within the system. We ask you to call the emergency line if you are experiencing continued interruptions and avoid having everyone in the community turning their taps.
It is strongly advisable that, after the low pressure or limited water issues please flush your cold water taps for an approximate 3-5 minutes or until the water is cold and clear, there is no sediments or discolouration. Please never use flexi tubing or hoses connected from taps to a bathtub, or laundry sinks, etc. There must always be an air gap between effluent water and a fill container. This will prevent any siphoning and cross-contaminations.
If your home or building has not been in use for a period of time, please flush your water system using your cold water tap only for approximate 3-5 minutes or until the water is cold and clear, there is no sediments or discolouration as well as completely draining the hot water tank before using the water. For larger buildings, please flush for 5-20 minutes depending on the size and how long the building has been out of use. When flushing, start with the closest tap to your water inlet source and work your way to the furthest point, flushing from all sources to remove any sediments. Also remember any appliances that hold and use water, refer to the manufacture’s manual. Hot water tanks should be drained and flushed, at minimum, approximately every 6 months to a year. Follow the manufacture’ manual for care and maintenance.
If you know you will be away from your home or building for an extended period of time, for example a holiday or building shut downs, it is always a good idea to shut off your water flow by using the isolation valve normally located by your water meter. Ensure this valve is in good working condition prior to use. Flush once returned back into service.
Flushing your water and inspections on your water system in your home should be or designated as a routine event. Check for leaks, the condition of you pipes, valves, faucets, appliances, remove and clean any screens, etc.
When using water for drinking or cooking always use cold-water taps, run the till the water is cold and clear.
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Village of Hay Lakes