Saturday 3 May 2014

Water Quality and Aquaponics--Vancouver, Canada Edition

Three reservoirs, the Coquitlam, Capilano, and Seymour[i], provide Vancouver with fresh water. But did you know that the water has been treated twice by chlorine[ii]? Here are the key features of Vancouver water:

  • soft, very few minerals (e.g. lead <0.5 µg/L ), though soda ash[1], lime[2], and carbon dioxide is added/will be added to control corrosion of city pipes
  • neutral (city standard pH 6.5-8.5)
  • low turbidity (city standard NTU[3] <1) 
  • cool (city standard <15°C)
    free chlorine (city standard >0.2 mg/L)
    low E. coli (0 cfu[4]/100mL) 
  • no chloramines, fluorination 

In short, Vancouver is an ideal location for aquaponics due to its excellent water quality. Here are some useful links:

  • water quality of your region  
  • water treatment process
  • 2012 municipal water quality report
  • Use 311 for other inquiries 
To learn more about using local water supplies in aquaponics, sign up for our upcoming workshop.

[1] Another name is sodium carbonate (Na2CO3).
[2] Another name is sodium hydroxide (NaOH).
[3] Nephelometric Turbidity Units as defined by the US EPA. See <>.
[4] Colony forming units. See <>.

[i] Metro Vancouver, “Sources & Supply,” Metro Vancouver, 2014,
[ii] Ibid., sec. Secondary disinfection.

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