March 6, 2017 Water Report

On Monday March 6, 2017 in the afternoon our Public Works Department commenced their weekly backwash of filters at our Water Treatment Plant.

We are still assessing what exactly happened but it appears a valve may have stuck allowing the potassium permanganate to get into our sump reservoir and thereby into the Town’s water distribution system.

Alberta Environment is coming out this afternoon to review our system with our public works department to try and determine what exactly transpired and what needs to be corrected.

As soon as public works realized we had a problem they immediately commenced action to isolate this issue, which including draining our water reservoir.    Once we realized this substance had gotten beyond our reservoir and into our distribution lines Pubic Works immediately commenced flushing of all our distribution lines throughout the Town.   Unfortunately our distribution system is a loop system which makes it much more difficult to control and isolate the water flow.   

Immediately and throughout this entire process our staff have been in contact with Alberta Environment, and today our discussions have included Alberta Health Services.  We were never advised by Alberta Environment to issue a public advisory and all indications are that there was never a public health risk.    Could the Town have done a better job of communicating what was going on yesterday to our community – absolutely, without a doubt.   And we do apologize for that.   This is a situation we can certainly learn from and develop a strategy for better response and communication should we ever face the same or similar situation in the future.

The Town is still flushing our distribution system but we are making positive progress.  We ask all residents and businesses to leave your tapes running until your water is clear.     The Town has, and will continue, to post information on our various media outlets.   Again, the Town recognizes we had a communication breakdown both internally and externally, and we are working to ensure we rectify this.   This incident is a perfect example of how our recently initiated public notification system can be utilized to get information out to our residents and businesses – and we encourage everyone who has not signed up to get signed up.

At this time I would like to recognize and thank those who have stopped in or called inquiring about the facts, and I would specifically like to thank those businesses who have dropped off lunch and treats for our staff.


Dale Krasnow


Town of Onoway

Tuesday, March 7, 2017