NL Case Study: Goose Bay

The Dec 15/08 article in The Labradorian “Residents upset at water quality” by Jenny McCarthy speaks about a Town looking for new water sources.

Happy Valley – Goose Bay (HV-GB) , Labrador suffered from a military base's activities that now show-up in compromised local water supplies.

For years, residents have complained about look, taste, and feel of local tap water.

Considerable sums of money are being focused on drilling new and deeper wells. $100,000 was spent Summer, 2008 drilling 5 new wells – only to not find good water. Next year, funding will be doubled in the search.

Present Situation

The Town is doing its utmost to delivering treated, potable water to citizen’s taps. Much discussion centres around:

  • the hardness of the water,

  • the presence of iron (which causes the water to have a very unappetizing, but not necessarily dangerous, brown colour and manganese.

  • Possible solutions

    For instance, ways exist to filter out many of these impurities.

    The most cost-effective solution begins with water testing. Analyze what is actually in the local water.

    It is reported that iron is a major issue as brown water is very unappetizing...except if it tastes like coffee.

    A possible remedy is to flow the water through a water softener before it gets into the household system.

    How is a water softener effective against iron?

    The softeners resin bed causes the iron particles to bind to it. Periodically the resin particles are cleaned by rinsing them in brine. This causes the impurities to be discharged into the waste while allowing clear water to enter the house.

    Essentially the water is 'softened' by the salt so that minimal clogging of water filters, coffee makers etc… will occur.

    For other impurities, such as manganese, there are Reverse Osmosis filters available.