UBC Okanagan engineers make keeping water safe easier for municipalities | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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UBC Okanagan engineers make keeping water safe easier for municipalities

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August 11, 2016 - 6:30 PM

KELOWNA - An irony of modern water treatment is that it can backfire and create byproducts with the potential for reproductive and developmental effects on children.

The problem arises when common disenfectants react with natural organic matter to create disinfection byproducts including potentially harmful trihalomethanes and halacetic acids.

Now UBC Okanagan engineers have developed an index that can turn mountains of hard-to-read water data into much simpler indicators of the chances of the byproducts occuring and where they might be.

UBCO engineer Dr. Nilufar Islam and professor Rehan Sadiq, associate dean of the school of engineering, developed the Non-Compliance Index with the numerous small communities across the province in mind who must manage their own water systems and strive for minimum quality standards.

Sadiq said the index should help water infrastructure staff better understand how their systems are operating and where problems are likely to arise. It should also help them better direct their capital dollars for maximum effect.

Domestic water delivery in Kelowna is undertaken by five different purveyors, including the city and four irrigation districts established almost a century ago.

Complaints about organic material in water are frequent during the spring freshet.

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