Summerside water quality monitored regularly to ensure safety

Mike Carson
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SUMMERSIDE - Safe, clean drinking water is something everyone in Summerside takes for granted.

Councillor Jeff Sullivan


It doesn't happen just by chance,” said Councillor Jeff Sullivan, chairman of the city’s municipal works committee. There is a strict, consistent monitoring procedure undertaken by the city to ensure residents have a safe drinking water supply.

“It’s not something that gets a lot of attention or captures a lot of attention because, in general, we tend to take our water quality for granted,” he said. “I want the residents to be assured that the department of municipal services takes it very seriously.”

Sullivan said there are stories from other countries about water quality issues and cited a recent industrial accident in West Virginia that put water quality there at risk for tens of thousands of people for a long period of time.

“Even during winter months when the weather might not always co-operate, rest assured that routine testing continues to assure the safety of the city’s drinking water,” Sullivan said.

The city started chlorinating its water in 2001. It had issues in then with some groundwater contamination. Ever since 2001 the city has chlorinated its wells. It's not required but is done as a safety precaution to get rid of any bacteria that may be residual in the system.

By monitoring residual chlorine in the system at eight different points, the city can tell how well the system is operating by that residual.

Every two weeks the city goes through a sampling cycle of the eight areas.

The city has spots inside the eight zones where water samples are taken at the tap and sent to the provincial laboratory in Charlottetown. The laboratory will report back on three basic bacteria - the background bacteria count, fecal coliform and ecoli bacteria.

Once every year the city conducts nitrate testing in the well supplies.

The city will also do sampling at the request of customers.

Geographic location: Summerside, West Virginia, Charlottetown

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