Epcor is Adding orthophosphate to treated water
Camrose County is providing a notice to the users of the Armena, Ervick Industrial Subdivision and Ohaton water distribution systems, the Armena and Ohaton truck fills and the Camrose North Rural Services water distribution system along (From Hwy 21 along Twp Rd 472, South on Rge Rd 195 and Rge Rd 194 to Twp Rd 464, East to Rge Rd 192 and South to the Ohaton Reservoir)
Epcor cares about the health and wellbeing of all of their customers, and they take their commitment to providing safe, reliable drinking water very seriously. While there is no measurable amount of lead in drinking water when it leaves our treatment plants, EPCOR is adding orthophosphate to their water treatment process in early 2023. This is part of our Enhanced Lead Mitigation Strategy to help protect all users of their treated water from the harmful effects of lead that can get into water from household plumbing fixtures and lead water service lines. It also helps ensure drinking water meets Health Canada’s guidelines for lead in drinking water.
Epcor anticipates they will begin adding orthophosphate to their water treatment process by March 20 and Camrose County residents should expect that their water supply will begin to have orthophosphate over the next month. This date may be subject to change if delays occur.
How orthophosphate is used for water treatment
Orthophosphate is a safe, tasteless and odourless substance that is naturally present as phosphate in foods like bread, cheese, fruits and nuts.
Orthophosphate forms a protective coating inside water lines and household plumbing. It is a proven water treatment method and industry standard to prevent corrosion and reduce the amount of lead in drinking water. Orthophosphate is used by many cities worldwide and throughout North America including Toronto, Hamilton, Winnipeg, Halifax, New York City and Washington, D.C.
Orthophosphate addition for commercial customers
The addition of Orthophosphate concentration in the water supply may require businesses that rely on Edmonton’s water for manufacturing, food processing, petrochemical production as well as commercial heating and cooling to make adjustments to their own water processes.
During implementation, the concentration of orthophosphate will begin at approximately 3.1 mg/L (or 1.0 mg/L as P). EPCOR will monitor and, over time, optimize the orthophosphate dosing and concentration.
Epcor expects the implementation process to take approximately one year where orthophosphate concentrations may fluctuate. Epcor recommends that businesses in the manufacturing, food processing, petrochemical production as well as commercial heating sectors review your process requirements to determine if your business may be impacted by the addition of orthophosphate.
Areas where your business may be impacted could include:
Production and Water Treatment
Orthophosphate may affect reverse osmosis systems. EPCOR recommends that you contact your process equipment consultants to complete an assessment before early 2023 to determine if you will need to make any required adjustments prior to orthophosphate implementation.
Orthophosphate in the water may change the type and amount of precipitate that deposits on commercial heat exchangers. Companies may need to adjust their chemical treatment to account for the change in phosphate levels. It is recommended that companies contact their heating and cooling supplier, water treatment chemical provider or water process consultant to discuss the need for adjustment to your heating and cooling system.
The impact of orthophosphate on boilers is expected to be minimal. Many customers already add phosphate to precipitate calcium or as a tracer in their boiler system. For this reason, companies already adding phosphate may benefit from the addition of orthophosphate. Companies that already add phosphate may need to adjust their dosage levels accordingly or apply for an overstrength permit for discharge of their wastewater.
There may be other processes within your business that we have not identified that may be impacted by the addition of orthophosphate. We recommend that you discuss these changes with a water process consultant or industry association to determine if there is an impact to your water process.
Other processes within your business may be impacted by the addition of orthophosphate. We recommend talking to a water process consultant or industry association to determine if there are any other impacts to your business or water processes.
Orthophosphate in Water