Union Bay Water pH 6.86

Had a conversation with a neighbour and we started discussing Union Bay Water, he thought the water was acidic so I went to get some answers.



Union Bay Water supply Langley Lake


The pH of pure water is 7. In general, water with a pH lower than 7 is considered acidic, and with a pH greater than 7 is considered basic. The normal range for pH in surface water systems is 6.5 to 8.5, and the pH range for groundwater systems is between 6 to 8.5. The Canadian drinking water quality guideline for pH is an Aesthetic Objective (AO) of between 6.5 and 8.5. pH

UBID Web site Page 3  Certificate of Analysis May 2018  pH 6.86 ( thanks UBID Public Works Superintendant Dan McGill)

New info from June 2019 posted on Union Bay Improvment District web site Water Quality Report for 2018 Union Bay Improvement District’s Water System


Water with a low pH can be acidic, naturally soft and corrosive. … If your water is acidic (less than 7 pH) you may have problems with leaching of copper and lead from your plumbing.

Want to no more…..This fun video will cover information that you need to know about pH, Alkalinity, and Hardness

Now wasn’t that interesting….

Union Bay Residence told discharge of waste not a negotiation

email from; Melanie Mamoser, P.Ag., M.A., B.Sc. Sr. Environmental Protection Officer, Municipal Liquid WasteAuthorizations – South : Regional Operations Branch : Environmental Protection Division Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy

There is no formal public consultation process for registrations under regulations such as the Municipal Wastewater Regulation (MWR). Unlike other authorizations under the Environmental Management that set site and operation specific requirements, regulations outline a set of requirements that if followed allows an applicant to discharge waste. It is not a negotiation; it sets the rules that must be followed. As such, the registration process involves a comprehensive review of an application for compliance with the regulation including a review of an Environmental Impact Study to verify the discharge will not adversely affect public health or the receiving environment.

I would invite you to contact Kensington Union Bay Properties GP LTD at info@unionbayestates.com for additional details on their proposed discharge and to enquire about the information in their Environmental Impact Study.

From another landowner;

The CVRD is aware that Union Bay Estates is proceeding with an application for registration under the Municipal Wastewater Regulation (MWR) for a seasonal discharge of treated effluent to Hart Creek. 

The discharge of treated effluent to the environment is regulated by the Province of British Columbia under the MWR. The MWR registration process does not provide opportunity for regional district input however, First Nations referral is required as noted in the response below. 

The CVRD is currently reviewing the developers proposed method of treatment and discharge for compliance with the Master Development Agreement. The MDA and information on current site activities can be found on our website at the following link: www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/projects-initiatives/past-current-projects/union-bay-estates (also provided below).

Darry Monteith Manager of Liquid Waste Planning

Union Bay Improvement District Potable Water (cont.) part(3)

From Q&A……UBID Web Site

Union Bay’s current water system, which provides drinking water to approximately 690 properties, is not compliant with the provincial surface water treatment objectives guideline. The current operating permit, issued by Island Health, requires a new
water filtration plant to be constructed. The new treatment plant will eliminate the need for turbidity-related boil water notices and remove the risk of viruses, parasites and bacteria in our drinking water.

The water treatment plant project is comprised of four components:

  1. Installation of a new water filtration system
  2. Construction of a new building to house water treatment equipment
  3. Construction of a new steel water reservoir
  4. Installation of new water main and tie-ins
    These components will ensure that it meets the province’s five objectives: Inactivation of viruses, protection against parasites, two treatment processes, less than or equal to 1 nephelometric turbidity unit (NTU), no detectable E. Coli, fecal coliform and total coliform in the treated water.

Water suppliers will be required to provide long term plans to reach the goals of:

4 log inactivation of viruses

Viruses are easily inactivated by the use of chlorine. The common practice of maintaining 0.5 mg/L of free chlorine for 20 minutes is adequate in most cases.

3 log removal or inactivation of Giardia Lamblia and Cryptosporidium

The 3 log removal or inactivation of these protozoa is the minimum level required of water systems that have a source that is considered “low risk” by Interior Health and have not had an outbreak of either disease. Giardia may be inactivated by large doses of free chlorine, ultraviolet light, ozone and chlorine dioxide, or removed by filtration. The US EPA has developed design guidelines to determine that the proposed treatment will provide the inactivation desired. For example, chemically assisted rapid sand filtration with sedimentation is given a credit of 3.0 log inactivation. Log inactivation credits of 3.0 for slow sand filtration and 2.5 for direct filtration are given The remaining credit must be accomplished by another means such as ultraviolet disinfection or free chlorine with a long contact time. The Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality for Cryptosporidium have developed design guidelines to determine that the proposed treatment will provide the inactivation desired. Systems with optimized conventional rapid sand filtration are given a credit of 3.0 logs. Membrane filtration may be required to demonstrate removal efficiency through challenge testing and verified by direct integrity testing. Ultraviolet disinfection is given a credit of 3.0 logs if the dose is a minimum of 40mj/sq. cm.

2 refers to two treatment processes for all surface drinking water systems

The main risk to water quality is from microbiological agents. Some of these microbial risks are more resistant to some forms of treatment than others. It is recognized that effective treatment for all microbial risks by a single treatment barrier is not effective. A minimum dual barrier of treatment is required for all surface water to reduce the risk of microbial or health threats to drinking water. Water filtration and disinfection will become the norm for surface water supplies in order to meet the 4-3-2-1-0 performance objectives. For other sources where the turbidity standard can be met without filtration (for example, a well beside a lake), dual treatment may mean chlorination and UV light disinfection. Ground water sources that are not under the influence of surface water will be given credit for filtration.

1 for less than 1 NTU of turbidity with a target of 0.1 NTU

The Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality currently specify that the filtered treated water turbidity should have a target of less than 0.1 NTU at all times. Specific filtration technologies may have target turbidity ranges from 0.1 to 1.0 NTU. Exemptions for filtration may be considered for those systems that use two disinfectants plus maintain chlorine residual in the distribution system and can demonstrate compliance with the GCDWQ for exemption for filtration..

0 total and fecal coliforms and E. Coli

The Drinking Water Protection Act requires water suppliers to provide water with 0 E.Coli sample results. Coliform bacteria are easily controlled with chlorine, UV light and can be reduced by filtration.


Union By Improvement District Potable Water 101 (cont.) part(2)

Potable Water Supply System (potable that means it’s safe to drink)

The distribution boundaries are Tsable River / Highway 19A in the south and the end of Kilmarnock in the north end. The distribution network has approximately 40 kilometers of pipeline.  A water license to extract from Langley Lake provides all the water for the system. The raw water is gravity fed to the reservoir where it is treated with chlorine gas prior to distribution.

The pipe network is 90% original asbestos cement and is approaching the
manufacturer’s pipeline expectancy.

“The ‘source to tap’ journey to achieve potable water starts within the watershed and
the source water, Langley Lake and is then transported two kilometers down a
transmission line to the McLeod road reservoir where the water is treated with a
chlorine gas and stored in an underground reservoir. Secondary reservoir: eastern end of McKay Road

From there, the water is gravity
through the system to Buckley Bay at the south end and the end of Kilmarnock
at the north end.” copied from page (8)

Tsable River boundry in the south

Current system with 708 connections that utilizes 4 to 10 litres per second depending
on the season. (4 Litres per second= 52.7 imperial gallons per minute) (8 Litres=105.59 imperial Gallons per minute)

Union Bay Improvement District Water Facts 101

I will be publishing a series of articles regarding Union Bay Improvement District potable water (H2O )

Where does Union Bay Get their drinking water?

In 1960, the Union Bay Waterworks (newly formed from the Water Association) bought their water system for a $1.00 from the Canadian Collieries (Dunsmuir) Limited. They also bought the land under Langley Lake for $1,000, one of the few lakes in BC for which the bed is privately owned. The Union Bay Waterworks became the Union Bay Improvement District, which was incorporated by Letters Patent on March 18, 1960 as the authority responsible for providing waterworks to the residents and property owners of Union Bay. Fire Protection and Street Lighting were added to UBID responsibilities in 1972.
UBID is governed by an elected Board of Trustees who are chosen to serve overlapping terms at elections which are held as part of an Annual General Meeting. Trustees are paid a small stipend. Day to day business is managed by a full-time Administrator, who is supported by a part-time Administrative Assistant, along with a Public Works Superintendent and a Public Works Technician, both full time. Union Bay Fire Rescue is a volunteer fire department with a half-time paid Fire Chief. The fire crew are volunteers with modest stipends paid to a couple of senior officers and an annual honourarium paid to the department as a whole.

Information can be found on Union Bay Improvement District web site https://union-bay.ca/water/

Union Bay Stroll around the neighbourhood….

Today we took a Stroll around the neighbourhood, up Tappin Street, had a look at the new access road across from Jones Street onto Union Bay Estates Development, found that all the storm water piping exits into the bay on the north side of the boat launch, then we meandered up MacLeod Road and checked out the new build on the old Union Bay Fire Department location