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Coastal Utilities Solutions grab water sampling is based on accepted protocols. The regulated procedure provides bacteriological, chemical and physical testing to evaluate water quality.  

The samples are tested for chlorine residual, bacteriological evidence (E.coli, HPC, coliform), temperature and turbidity.  

Maximum acceptable concentrations have been established for certain substances known or suspected to cause adverse effects on health. The Health Canada standards have been developed to safeguard health on the basis of lifelong consumption and the use of the water for all usual domestic purposes, including personal hygiene.
Appendix B provides a description of the sampling parameters, allowable limits and a summary of test results. 

Best Management Practices


It's Always On Tap

Drinking Our Water saves money, reduces greenhouse gases, and prevents plastic bottles from ending up in our landfills and oceans. Join the Metro Vancouver Tap Water Team in the effort to reduce the use of bottled water in the region and highlight the pristine source and quality of Our Water.


Distribution System Cleaning/Uni-directional Flushing &Pigging

Watermain Disinfection & Sampling

Overview Of The Act

The Drinking Water Protection Act sets out certain requirements for drinking water operators to ensure the provision of safe drinking water to their customers. In summary, the act:

  • Requires the approval of water system construction proposals by public health engineers.
  • Requires that water system operators operate their systems in compliance with the requirements of the act through operating permits that may contain specific conditions and are set and approved by the health authority drinking water officer.
  • Requires minimum water treatment standards, and monitoring/testing, and specifies water quality standards.
  • Requires water suppliers to have microbiological samples analyzed by a laboratory that has been approved by the Provincial Health Officer.
  • Requires public notification of water quality problems.
  • Requires that operators of water systems that serve more than 500 individuals become certified as operators through the Environmental Operators Certification Program.

Your water distribution system-whether large or small requires regular cleaning to guarantee the public and customers have safe, aesthetically pleasing water.

It's important,therefore to understand water quality degradation and to develop appropriate response strategies.​


As explained in Water Quality in Distribution Systems: A Best Practice by the National Guide to Sustainable Municipal Infrastructure, distribution system cleaning is “any program, technology, process, operating method or management practice that reduces or prevents water quality degradation in a water system or receiving environment.” These include flushing, swabbing, and pigging to remove biofilms, sediment, and corrosion by-products from water main interiors, which generally improves water quality and hydraulic capacity.

Pipes should be flushed spring and/or fall to maintain water quality, maximize hydraulic capacity, and remove stagnant water at dead ends, and in response to non-compliant samples or customer complaints. The guide recommends uni-directional flushing, which isolates pipe sections or loops in an organized, sequential manner, typically from source
to periphery. Flow velocities should reach 1.5 to 2.0 m/s. While more costly and time consuming than conventional flushing, uni-directional flushing is more effective and uses less water.

In some cases (e.g. in mains larger than 300mm), it may be impossible to achieve the flow velocities required to adequately scour the pipes. Swabbing with soft foam swabs or pigging with wire brushes, scrapers or rigid plastic pigs can then be used to clean mains. Although pigging is more effective
than flushing or swabbing, it requires considerable expertise, materials, and time.

As stated in the guide, “Water quality complaints should be monitored geographically. All municipalities should use some type of data management system to track these water quality complaints to optimize their flushing program. Larger municipalities (and smaller

municipalities with significant water quality problems) should use a GIS system to track complaints and analyze monitoring data.

“Computer models can be used to simulate the water age and disinfectant residuals throughout a distribution system. This information can then be
used to identify the areas that require more frequent flushing. Computer models can also be used to identify flushing sequences (based on the uni-directional flushing method) and the expected flushing velocity for each section of the water main.”