City of Calgary Releases Source Water Protection Plan

Posted on Oct 29, 2018 in Guidance Documents , Water Quality

The City of Calgary has released its Source Water Protection Plan. The two main risks identified in the plan are stormwater and wildfire.

"One of the highest risks to Calgary’s source water was identified as stormwater pollution from current and future land developments in the source watershed. Currently, almost 200,000 people live in Calgary’s source watershed in several municipal jurisdictions. The vast majority of these reside within 30 km of Calgary’s intakes. This population is projected to more than double to almost 400,000 people over the next 50-70 years. Stormwater quality is highly variable and shows significant spikes in pollutants in an unpredictable manner, and has the potential to degrade Calgary’s source water. This could include either chronic impacts from ongoing loadings of low concentrations of pollutants or nutrients, or acute impacts due to spill events or runoff after severe storms. Hydrocarbons, pesticides and a variety of other organic compounds in stormwater cannot be treated effectively in our water treatment plants, and current regulations and best practices do not address these contaminants effectively. Nutrients and pathogens found in stormwater also present significant concerns. Temporary impacts to water quality during construction were also identified as a secondary concern. A secondary but relatively moderate concern associated with land development are increasing volumes of treated wastewater discharges associated with populations upstream from city limits not serviced by Calgary."

"To mitigate these impacts and prevent source water quality deterioration, careful attention to innovative stormwater management techniques will be required for both new and
existing developments." 

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