Jul 19, 2012 / 10:02 am
The staff at the Poplar Point water pumping station in Kelowna were evacuated Thursday morning and the Hazmat team had to called in after a leak was detected on a chlorine tonner.
A tonner is a cylindrical tank which holds the chlorine used to treat the city's drinking water.
Pump Operations Supervisor Adrian Weaden says staff at the station were working on the tonner's valve when a chlorine sensor indicated a leak.
"It was in the parts per million. Our sensors go off at two parts per million."
Weaden adds their protocols require that the Hazmat team must be called in as a safety precaution whenever a leak is detected and there was no danger.
"The leak's contained within the building, there's nothing outside and the dilution factor is incredible, so there's no danger to the public."
The station's pumps have been shut off until repairs to the valve can be completed and the fail-safes built in to the system prevented any problems from developing with the water supply.
"The system doesn't allow non-chlorinated water to go into the distribution system," says Weaden.
The reservoirs holding the treated water being used by the city can last for four hours, but Weaden says they will have repairs completed long before then.
"We've got three reservoirs with 30,000 cubic metres of storage."
However, with the sunny hot weather settling in, water usage is at a yearly high.
"Yesterday was actually our biggest day yet this year. We used 78 million litres yesterday," says Weaden. "That's about normal for this time of year."
By comparison, water usage drops to about 30 million litres a day during the winter.
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