Burke well upgrades improve water service to 13,000 homes

Guelph, Ont., June 5, 2019 – City staff and council celebrated the opening of the upgraded Burke well house last week. The City made upgrades to remove iron and manganese from the water, and to improve service delivery and reliability of the 44-year-old well located on the north side of Arkell Road near Summerfield Drive.

“Burke well is one of Guelph’s largest wells and provides about eight per cent of our daily water supply—tap water for about 13,000 households each day,” says Emily Stahl, manager of technical services. “It’s an important water source for Guelph and our upgrades ensure it will continue to serve our community well into the future.”

As with all of Guelph’s drinking water, water from Burke well has always met Ontario’s strict drinking water standards. However, residents getting water from this source often experienced discoloured water due to the high levels of manganese and iron naturally present in the water supply.

“There are no Ontario health-related drinking water standards for manganese or iron, but they do both have recommended aesthetic objectives which address how drinking water looks, tastes or smells,” notes Stahl. “Everyone deserves the same great Guelph water, including aesthetics, and the upgrades at Burke well address an issue that was impacting homes and businesses in the area.”

The new filtration system removes iron and manganese with oxidizing filters. The filters create a natural chemical reaction that changes the state of atoms in the minerals.

The three-year project to upgrade the Burke well house was budgeted at $7.8 million and was delivered for $6.6 million. The upgrades include:

  • expansion of the existing well house from 62 square metres to 310 square metres to accommodate the added filtration system;
  • installation of a filtration system to remove manganese and iron;
  • construction of 350 cubic metres of added water storage, an amount that would fill more than 2,000 bathtubs;
  • well cleaning;
  • replacement of the on-site emergency power generator;
  • addition of a staff washroom; and
  • replacement of water, wastewater and gas service pipes to the well house.

The upgrades also reduce the well’s overall maintenance needs and will reduce service interruptions.

Media contact

Emily Stahl, Manager, Technical Services
Water Services
519-822-1260 extension 3411
[email protected]