Parts of Langley Township are getting a different water supply after issues of brown water arose earlier this year in Murrayville and Brookswood.
The Township said the problem with brown water first came to light in September this year, with discoloured water in some parts of the neighbourhood.
The issue is that iron and manganese in the water are reacting to an increase in chlorine that took place in part of the system, according to a Township staff report.
“Chlorine is a factor, but it’s only one factor,” noted director of engineering and community planning Ramin Seifi.
Water in much of the Township is “blended,” with some water coming from Metro Vancouver reservoirs, and part coming from local municipal wells. Local water is cheaper to supply, and different homes receive different mixes of Metro and local water depending on where they are located.
Although the overall area affected is considerable, it is not affecting every home equally.
“Within the same road, a couple of other people may not have noticed something,” Seifi said.
He also noted the problem has been sporadic.
Several local wells will be put out of use for now, and the water system in the area is being connected to more Metro Vancouver water supplies. The Murrayville system is also being flushed through November and into early December, which is expected to remove manganese that is still in the pipes, and occasionally being stirred up.
Anna Remenik, a Murrayville resident, told the council on Nov. 18 that some homes have been dealing with the issue for as much as two years.
At a council meeting, Remenik said the issue has impacted local residents who have put in water filters, or are being told to run taps for 30 minutes to clear discoloured water.
Remenik worried about the impact of manganese on children, in particular.
Manganese is both a necessary mineral for human beings, and can be toxic at higher concentrations.
In the long term, the Township could filter the manganese out of the water or rely purely on Metro Vancouver water, said Seifi. Relying more on Metro Vancouver water will cost the Township more than using well water.