City of Nelson water is considered to be of excellent quality. The city collects, sanitizes and distributes water to all Nelson neighbourhoods, except for the North Shore. The city reservoir and chlorinator are located in Uphill, above the Burlington Northern Railway line. Nelson is working toward the Interior Health Authority's 4-3-2-1-0 Drinking Water Objective Mandate [PDF - 100 KB], in an effort to comply with provincial regulations on water quality.
The primary water source for Nelson is Five Mile Creek, located in the West Arm Wilderness Park, beyond Svoboda town site in Upper Fairview. The city also has secondary seasonal sources at Anderson Creek in Fairview and Selous Creek at Ymir Road. Creek source intake structures consist of a diversion dam, a screen assembly and electro-mechanical valves.
The Five Mile intake structure is the start of a 250-300 mm diameter 7,500-metre-long pipeline that transports the water to the Mountain Station Reservoir. This supply main was installed in 1927.
The City of Nelson has three water reservoirs: Mountain Station, the main reservoir, with a capacity of 5 million Imperial gallons; Rosemont reservoir, with a capacity of 300,000 Imperial gallons; and Fairview reservoir, with a capacity of 440,000 Imperial gallons. There is also approximately 350,000 Imperial gallons of active storage throughout the system.
The Mountain Station reservoir site includes a separate storage tank called a contact chamber. At this chamber, chlorine gas is introduced to the overall water supply to deactivate giardia lamblia, bacteria and any enviro-pathogens. At both Anderson Creek and Selous Creek chlorine gas disinfectant is introduced into the water main.
The distribution system is a fan-shaped network of gravity mains, storage reservoirs, pressure reducing stations (10), hydrants (319) and system valves (1,600), serving four pressure zones. There are about 87 kilometres of underground piping throughout the utility ranging in size from 50 to 400 mm.
Nelson does implement water restriction during summer months to ensure adequate supplies during this period.
The City maintains and replaces existing water infrastructure on an on-going basis, with the primary focus on the replacement of existing galvanized steel pipe and cast iron mains with a history of breaks. As well, the City completes all emergency repairs and installation of new services.
Nelson uses an average 2,500,000 cubic metres of water a year, with peak usage occurring between June and August. The bar graph below shows monthly water usage in Nelson over the six-year period between 2005 and 2009.
Units in cubic metres
Things You Can Do to Save Water In the Home
- Run your automatic dishwasher and washing machine with full loads only.
- If you wash your dishes by hand, don't leave the water running for rinsing. If you have two sinks, fill one with soapy water and one with rinse water. If you have only one sink, gather washed dishes in a dish rack and rinse them with a spray device or a pan full of hot water.
- Don't let the faucet run while you clean vegetables. Rinse them in a stoppered sink or a pan of clean water.
- Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator. Running tap water to cool it off for drinking water is wasteful.
- Check faucets and pipes for leaks. Leaks waste water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and can often be repaired with an inexpensive washer.
In the Yard
- Sweep your driveway, don't wash it with the hose. Washing driveways is a significant waste of water. Use a spring load nozzle on your hose. A running hose wastes more than 20 litres of water per minute. Wash your vehicle with a bucket and sponge, and only use the hose to wet your vehicle down and to rinse your vehicle off.
- Step on your grass to determine if it needs watering. If it springs back, it doesn't need watering.
- When the sun rises so does the mercury. After about 10 a.m. heat steals moisture from your lawn. With early morning watering, you can use less water because more is absorbed into your lawn, not evaporated into the air. You will save time when you water at daybreak.
- Scald or burn damage occurs when hot sunlight hits water droplets that cling to leaves. The tiny droplets imitate powerful, miniature magnifying glasses.
- At night, cool, moist conditions create an ideal environment for lawn diseases to develop. Grass blades watered in the morning dry off quickly, making it harder for disease habitat to flourish.