Burke well is undergoing upgrades to provide treatment that will improve overall water quality and service delivery. Upgrades will also improve the reliability of the Burke well which was built in 1975.
Guelph’s Water Supply Master Plan identifies Burke well as an important current and future water source. This well is one of the largest individual wells in the City, producing eight per cent (8%) of City’s water supply. The well pumps about six million litres per day; enough to supply 13,000 average Guelph households with water each day.
The project includes the following work:
- Expansion of the existing well house to accommodate additional treatment equipment (new finished area of 310 m2 from current area of 62 m2);
- Installation of a filter system to remove manganese and iron;
- Construction of 350 m3 of water storage, an amount that would fill more than 2,000 standard bathtubs;
- Well cleaning;
- Replacement of the on-site emergency power generator;
- Replacement of utility service pipes including water, wastewater and gas; and
- Removal of a cedar hedge (about 39 cedars plants) and four trees, and replacement with about 56 trees, 135 shrubs and 25 perennial plants.
Completing all of these upgrades and maintenance activities at the same time will save the City money and prolong the life of this important City asset.
- May 2013: Council approves recommendations of the Burke well upgrade Municipal Class Environmental Assessment on May 27, 2013 (page 6)
- June 2013: City completes Municipal Class Environmental Assessment
- September 2015: City obtains Drinking Water Works permit and Water System Licence from the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
- December 2015: City obtains site plan approval
- May 2016: City obtains building permit approval
- November 2016: Council approves Burke well upgrade project budget as part of the 2017 non-tax supported budget
- February 2017: The City removes about 39 cedar shrubs and four trees ahead of bird nesting season to make way for construction (to be replaced with about 56 trees, 135 shrubs and 25 perennial plants)
- March-April 2017: The City tenders the construction contract
- Summer 2017: Burke well house construction and upgrade work begins with expected completion in fall 2018
About manganese in drinking water
All City drinking water is safe. Our water supply water supply meets or outdoes all of Ontario’s Drinking Water Standards—some of the strictest in the world.
Manganese is not currently regulated as a health-related drinking water standard. Manganese has an aesthetic drinking water objective of 0.05 mg/L. Aesthetic objectives are guidelines that address substances that affect how drinking water looks, tastes or smells.
Water from Burke well does not currently meet the aesthetic objective—or guideline—for manganese. Although this water is safe to drink, homes that receive water from Burke well may see discoloured water more often than in other areas of the City. The Burke well upgrades will address this and bring aesthetic water quality in line with the objective.
Health Canada is currently reviewing manganese and may reduce the aesthetic objective and set a health standard for this metal. Water from Burke well and all other City water sources currently meets the health standard that Health Canada is proposing. This is because the current and proposed aesthetic objective for manganese is lower than the proposed health standard. An aesthetic objective may be lower than a health standard because the substance causes a noticeable aesthetic change (look, taste or smell) at concentrations lower than would cause health impacts.
3 MBView the City’s latest drinking water quality report
How the treatment system works
The treatment system will remove manganese and iron from the water supply using sodium hypochlorite and filters.
Sodium hypochlorite is a disinfectant that makes bacteria harmless and will also help remove manganese and iron in the new treatment system.
The filters include layers of anthracite and insoluble greensand to remove the iron and manganese from the water.
For more information
Karl Cober M.A.Sc., P.Eng.,
Project Manager, Water Services
519-822-1260 extension 2187
Kelly Frensch M.Eng, P.Eng.,
Project Manager, Stantec