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Transitional Treatment Phase to Begin for East Saint John Water


Saint John Water will soon begin its transitional treatment phase in anticipation of the Loch Lomond Drinking Water Treatment Facility becoming operational during the summer of 2018. Beginning mid to late April, Saint John Water will begin the interim treatment of the current east side drinking water supply to adjust the pH of the water. 

“This planned interim treatment aims to slowly transition the chemistry of the east water supply,” explains Brent McGovern, Commissioner of Saint John Water. “Early pH adjustment of the drinking water is the first incremental step in preparation for the transition to fully-treated Loch Lomond/Latimer Lake drinking water.”

The transitional phase considers the changes in water chemistry from the current drinking water to the fully-treated future drinking water quality and the impact on the system infrastructure. Treatment of the water with sodium hydroxide is the first step in this phase. The objective is to slowly adjust the existing infrastructure to the new water chemistry. Sodium hydroxide is commonly used in the treatment of drinking water to neutralize acidity, increase alkalinity, or raise the pH value. It is a food-grade product that is safe to consume and will not impact the smell or taste of the east side water.

Adjusting the pH value of the water aims to reduce pipe corrosion and should have no adverse effects on copper piping. However, Saint John Water advises property owners to be cognizant of the upcoming changes. Introducing changes slowly allows infrastructure a period of adjustment.  

The second step in the transitional treatment phase will occur once the pH of the water rises above seven, at which time orthophosphate treatment will begin and will assist with stabilizing infrastructure. Orthophosphate is another food-grade product commonly used in water treatment for corrosion and scale stabilization control.

While these steps are being taken to minimize any impacts, east side water customers are advised that there will remain the potential for changes in chlorine levels, increased iron, and discolouration of the water. Should there be any instances of discoloured water, customers are asked to notify Saint John Water by calling 658-4455 and flush the water through their bathtub until the water runs clear.  

For information and updates regarding the east side water supply and Treatment Facility, visit www.saintjohn.ca/eastsidewater

*All Saint John Water customers east of the Reversing Falls are provided with water from the east side drinking water supply. 


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