Alberta goes online with water quality reports

IT World Canada

Albertans will be able to check the quality of their community’s drinking water online through a new electronic reporting system developed for the province’s municipalities.

Alberta Environment has been piloting the initiative to allow operators of regulated water treatment facilities to use the Internet to provide the monthly reports that are required as part of their approval to operate in a more timely and efficient manner. Currently, eight facilities are reporting electronically as part of a pilot project for the site, and another 50 facilities are expected to be added to the system by the end of June.

Citizens will have access to the results of all communities using the e-reporting system starting this summer. They will be able to monitor water quality and see how it compares to Canada-wide standards. Citizens will be able to view bacteriological sampling results for indicators that have direct impact on human health, in addition to turbidity and chlorine, which are indicators of water quality and treatment effectiveness.

“This initiative will not only make it easier for water treatment operations in the province to report to the department – more importantly – it will give Albertans access to drinking water quality information where they live,” said Environment Minister Lorne Taylor. “Public access to that kind of information increases the accountability water treatment facilities have to ensure they meet drinking water quality performance standards, and provides a higher level of understanding and confidence in the quality of our community drinking water.”

Alberta Environment is also sharing the Drinking Water Quality application software with the Government of Saskatchewan. In return, Saskatchewan Environment will provide planned enhancements and develop a new treated effluent module both parties can use.