Outage affects Ukee pump, darkens water

In addition to ongoing issues with discoloured water, Ucluelet had a patch of particularly dark water last week.

Dark brown water that startled Ucluelet residents last week was attributed to a scheduled power outage that affected a pump, said a Community Water Advisory issued by the District of Ucluelet.

“The District of Ucluelet has now resolved the issue that affected the Bay Street pump house as a result of the BC Hydro scheduled power outage on July 29, 2014. However, please be aware that residents and businesses may experience brown or black water running from their taps for up to 24 hours as water turbidity subsides. It is recommended that those affected run their lowest outdoor taps periodically until the water runs clear,” the note said.

Mayor Bill Irving said Monday three things were involved in the dark water.

The BC Hydro planned outage to repair the Great Central Lake substation caused an outage at the pump, which affected silt in the pipes.

High summer water usage with tourism and fish plant activity causes increased turbulence and stirs up residual silt that settles in the water pipe, Irving said.

Additionally, manganese that occurs naturally in the water falls within government standards but interacts poorly with hot water and chlorine bleach, he said.

Koers Engineering, the company that originally helped with the system and knows it well, has already started looking at the data, and is expected to be on-site by the end of this week or beginning of next, Irving said.

editor@westerlynews.ca