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Water Today Title October 21, 2021

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A spokesperson from Saskatchewan’s Water Security Agency provided WaterToday with an emailed statement on Copper Sands mobile home park in Saskatchewan:

“The water system has been under a Precautionary Drinking Water Advisory since January 24, 2016 as the drinking water system does not meet minimum treatment design requirements. The current drinking water system does not contain a reservoir which potentially could provide the necessary time to properly chlorinate water from the current ground water system.”

Jaimey Midtdal is the owner of the novel water and wastewater utility that serves Copper Sands. When she took on management of the site, three wells with a simple chlorination system were producing acceptable quality potable water, but the forty year old infrastructure needed to be updated. Midtdal told WaterToday by phone that most of the pipes have been replaced and a new well has replaced the aged wells. Midtdal says her team of water engineers are working with WSA to bring the system into compliance for the removal of the advisory.

In the mean time, Copper Sands water samples are testing clean. Digital copies of the laboratory test results for water samples taken September 3, 2019, September 19, 2019 and October 1, 2019 obtained by WaterToday show no detectable total coliform, and no detectable e-coli.

One resident who did not wish to be identified told WaterToday the water from the taps is not used for cooking, for pets or for drinking. “I don’t trust the water. It doesn’t look safe and doesn’t smell safe”, says the resident. While management admits that the water is high in iron, which can give the water an off colour, new iron filters have been installed. “Educating the homeowners about maintainence is key”, says Midtdal, as many of the trailers still have old copper water lines.

Rethinking water usage, MDI Utility Corp circulates the community’s treated wastewater through four hundred thousand meters of drip irrigation to grow a willow forest. The approach at Copper Sands is to demonstrate sustainable water management by eliminating the noxious wastewater lagoon, treating wastewater to fresh water specs and responsibly recycling the fresh water, which is plumbed back into the homes for flushing toilets.

Locals are not ready for recycled water for laundry and showers, yet, but if all goes as planned, this is coming. WaterToday is tracking this and other water recycling projects and will report any new developments.


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