‘Best bottled water in North America’

Water monitored constantly for quality

The water we drink is the very same water that runs in, around and under town. And according to all sources, it’s the best water in North America. But on a recent day on the job, public works crews noticed something a little “off” with that water.

“We were working and smelled paint coming up,” the District of Hope’s utilities foreman Graham Hogg said. Upon investigating, they realized a homeowner who was painting his house was dumping paints and paint thinner down the drain.

It’s mistakes like that which highlight the need to take care of the local water supply, something Hogg and his crew work on constantly. They can monitor the District’s wells and reservoirs through their SCADA system, turning them on and off at the flip of a switch. And every Tuesday, they test up to 20 sites for water quality.

Last year’s water monitoring report was just published online at the District’s website (www.hope.ca), at the request of the health authority.

“It was finished a long time ago,” he explained. “But Fraser Health wanted it up so people who couldn’t get to the District office could access it.”

What the report shows is a clean bill of health.

“We’ve got great water here,” he said. Of the 10 wells and two reservoirs, only the reservoir at Lake of the Woods needs to be treated. There, they use ultra filtration and UV filtering. And the fact they don’t have to chlorinate the local water system is a source of pride.

But it’s also the work of Mother Nature, said Scott Misumi, director of community development in Hope.

“The water is good because we have a delta of the Coquihalla River,” he said. “We have a lot of gravel deposits with very good soils, or gravels. Quite often the quality of water is relative to the minerals in the ground.”

And while there are areas that may have more iron, for example, the District simply doesn’t locate its wells there.

Misumi used to work as the director of development services, and has first hand knowledge of the quality of the local water. But as director of community development, he also is familiar with how certain industries have affected Hope’s economy.

“Once the forestry and the mining shut the doors in the Hope area, we were relying on tourism,” he said. Then, spring water hit a popularity streak among bottled water users. Since then, Nestle Waters (which bought out Aberfoyle Springs) has provided a boon to the local economy.

They currently employ 75 people, with a $6 million annual payroll in Hope.

“They’re a good corporate company,” Misumi said, and one that fits well with the environmentally friendly ideals of the District.

John Challinor, Nestle’s director of corporate affairs, said it’s Hope that’s a good fit for the multi-national company.

“It’s the unofficial view of a number of Nestle employees across North America … that Hope produces the best bottled water across North America,” he told The Observer.

“The water gets its characteristics from what it’s filtered through, and where it’s stored in the earth,” he said. “This is spring water we’re talking about, and because of the make up of the material around Hope, that translates into what is in the water. It’s a very unique combination of minerals and other compounds, that make a very tasty, bottled water.”

And while one might think a bottled water company was using up a local resource, Challinor said that’s not the case.

Managing the resource is something they take “very seriously,” because without a good water supply, they couldn’t continue their work.

“We’re here for the long term. We basically draw seven-tenths to one percent of what is available to draw from the Kawkawa Lake water shed,” he said.

And when a tsunami struck in Japan this March, fresh potable water was in high demand. Nestle donates water to causes throughout the Fraser Valley and around Canada, so it was a natural step to help out those affected by the disaster.

Hope is also home to the closest bottling plant to the Pacific Rim nation.

“Hope provided a lot of the water that was sent to Japan,” he said, which arrived in that country 10 days after being bottled.

For those who want to learn more about the bottling plant, there is an open house planned for the future, in September 2012.

 

Just Posted

Police arrest the suspect in an attempted armed bank robbery on June 2 at the Scotiabank at Gladwin Road and South Fraser Way in Abbotsford. (Photo by Garry Amyot)
Abbotsford bank robbery suspect who was stopped by customers faces more charges

Neil Simpson now faces total of eight charges, up from the initial two

Black Press file photo.
COVID exposure recorded at Kent Elementary

Students, families encouraged to keep monitoring for symptoms

A multi-angle rendering of what a potential wayfinding sign would look like. The village is working with several local organizations to create the sign, designed to help tourists find their way around Harrison. (Screenshot/Village of Harrison Hot Springs)
Harrison Council approves wayfinding signs for tourism

Signs to be located at corner of Esplanade and St. Alice

Chilliwack potter Cathy Terepocki (left) and Indigenous enhancement teachers Val Tosoff (striped top) and Christine Seymour (fuchsia coat), along with students at Vedder middle school, look at some of the 500-plus pinch pots on Thursday, June 10 made by the kids to honour the 215 children found at Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Chilliwack students make hundreds of tiny clay pots in honour of 215 Indigenous children

‘I think the healing process has begun,’ says teacher about Vedder middle school project

Kindergarten kids from Evans elementary school in Chilliwack painted rocks with orange hearts and delivered them to Sto:lo Elders Lodge recently after learning about residential schools. (Laura Bridge photo)
Kindergarten class paints rocks with orange hearts in Chilliwack for local elders

‘Compassion and empathy’ being shown by kids learning about residential schools

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials watching U.K.’s Delta variant struggles, ‘may need to slow’ restart plan

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Calgary Stampeders’ Jerome Messam leaps over a tackle during second half CFL western semifinal football action in Calgary, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
CFL football will be played this summer in Canada

Governors vote unanimously in favour to start the ‘21 campaign on Aug. 5

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Most Read