Water Treatment Edmonton: Information from Your Local Plumber

A home water treatment system with multiple chambers for filtration sitting on a counter with its filters before installation.

Are you concerned that the liquid coming from your taps could have chemicals, bacteria, or harmful debris? In most homes and businesses in Edmonton, what comes out of your tap is clean, safe, potable water—it's safe to drink. However, there are ways to supplement the public filtration and cleaning process to get better-tasting, cleaner water with private solutions for water treatment in Edmonton.

It can also be helpful to know exactly which processes are involved with water treatment in Edmonton. Not only will that knowledge help you better understand the filtration process, but it will also help you determine your own needs and pick the best available solution for private water treatment in your home or business. Or, maybe you're just curious about how Edmonton's municipal plants work and what exactly is involved with creating clean water for public distribution.

No matter what your needs or desires are for water treatment in Edmonton, our qualified, knowledgeable Edmonton plumbers are here to help. Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Edmonton can meet all your needs, whether you want professional installation services to add extra filtration to your home or you just want to know more about water treatment in Edmonton.

What is the Process Used for Public Water Treatment in Edmonton?

There is a multi-stage process used for water treatment in Edmonton that involves four essential types of filtration. Chemicals are also added during the process for a variety of reasons, including eliminating viruses and bacteria, removing solid waste, and lowering pH levels.

The Stages of Water Treatment in Edmonton Facilities:

  • Intake: Before anything enters either treatment plant, it passes through intake systems that sit at the lowest level of the North Saskatchewan River, where they are deliberately placed to prevent any floating debris from entering.
  • Screens: Anything that flows into the intake system is filtered through a screen with holes that have an area of 1 centimeter, which stops any fish, sticks, leaves or other larger debris but allows everything else to flow through.
  • Lowlift Pumps, Chemical Injection and Mixing: After passing through the screens, everything is pumped into a lowlift pump station—or sometimes into mixing chambers—where alum and powdered activated carbon are added. The chemicals are then thoroughly mixed into the source water.
  • Flocculation: Following the mixing stage, a polymer is added that helps to create floc, a large jelly-like particle that forms from the attraction of dirt to alum and polymer.
  • Sedimentation: This is the stage where floc naturally settles at the bottom of a basin as sludge, at which point it is removed and all clear water is decanted from the surface for further treatment.
  • Disinfection: During this stage, chlorine is added to kill harmful bacteria, and then further filtration is completed with ultraviolet light. Ammonia is then added so that it can mix with the chlorine to create monochloramine, a long-lasting disinfectant that keeps everything safe until it reaches your tap.
  • Physical Filtration: After chemical disinfection is complete, everything slowly passes through a layer of anthracite coal and sand that helps filter out further impurities.
  • Storage and Highlift Pumps: After the filtration process is complete, fluoride is added and then everything is stored in large reservoirs until needed, at which point it is transported to your home or business with the help of highlift pump stations that push everything out into Edmonton's municipal supply lines.

The Facilities Used for Water Treatment in Edmonton:

There are two plants dedicated to water treatment in Edmonton: the E.L. Smith plant and the Rossdale plant. Both plants are located on the North Saskatchewan River, which is Edmonton's main freshwater supply. The E.L. Smith Plant was originally built in 1976 and then upgraded in 2008. The Rossdale plant was built in 1947 and expanded in 1956. Both treatment facilities have small differences in the way they operate, but they generally use the same processes.

Where Does Wastewater Go in Edmonton?

All domestic wastewater—everything you flush down your toilets and drains—ends up in the Gold Bar wastewater treatment plant, where it undergoes a complicated three-stage treatment process that involves removing floating debris and scum, creating biosolids that can be used as fertilizer, and disinfecting any remaining raw wastewater.

Is It Safe to Drink From Taps in Edmonton?

Edmonton's tap water is safe to drink, however, it's possible to find debris or contaminants in tap water that could enter your home because of damage, corrosion, or other issues affecting a public or private supply line. If you notice a change in the water coming from your taps, such as a new unusual smell or a brownish-red tinge of discoloration, you should consider calling a local plumber who can test your home for contaminants and determine if there are underlying problems that should be fixed with professional Edmonton plumbing repair services.

Water Treatment Edmonton: Chemical Treatments

Are you wondering which chemicals are added during water treatment—and why? There are seven different chemicals used for water treatment in Edmonton, and while they are each added during a stage of the treatment process, it's important to remember that three of them—alum, carbon and polymer—are later removed during the sedimentation process.

  • Powdered activated carbon is added to absorb compounds that alter taste, odor, and color. It is then removed later during sedimentation.
  • Alum is added to form floc and remove floating solid waste and debris. It is removed during the sedimentation process.
  • Polymer is added to assist with the formation of floc. It is also added to filters to help them capture any remaining particles.
  • Fluoride is added after filtration according to Health Canada recommendations for dental health.
  • Chlorine and ammonia (monochloramine) are added to kill harmful bacteria and viruses and to form a disinfectant that also destroys bacteria in Edmonton's public distribution lines and helps keep everything safe and drinkable as it reaches your taps.
  • Caustic Soda is added near the end of the treatment process to raise pH levels and help minimize corrosion. It also helps maintain your water quality by preventing lead, iron, and copper from entering your supply systems through other pipes and plumbing fixtures.

What Are the Options for Private Water Treatment in Edmonton?

While everything that comes out of taps in Edmonton has been fully cleaned and treated, some people do choose to boost that conventional treatment process by using household water treatment systems. There are several options available for homes and businesses in Edmonton. Some of them require little to no installation, while others have a complicated installation process that should be completed by a licensed plumber.

Water Softeners

This type of system is designed to tackle hardness in water using salt to change the balance of calcium and magnesium. In Edmonton, where the liquid coming from the North Saskatchewan River is considered to be moderately hard, some people choose to install a water softener to reduce the effects of that hardness, such as spots appearing on clean dishes or the potential for mineral deposits to reduce the lifespan of your other plumbing equipment. While these systems can help you accomplish those goals, it's important to remember that they do not generally filter out the trace metals, chemicals, and other contaminants that are removed by filters.

Water Filters

There are many types of filters, but they can be separated into three categories: refillable jug filters, whole-house water treatment systems, and under-sink systems. Depending on the type you buy and where it's installed in your home, they will remove trace minerals, such as lead, copper, and iron, as well as chlorine, sediment, and many other contaminants.

  • Refillable jug filters are a great option if you just want to improve just what you're drinking, or for those who can't make modifications to their plumbing systems and don't want a cumbersome tap filter attached to their sink. They're one of the most cost-effective solutions, but they're also not as convenient as systems that are attached directly to sinks or supply lines.
  • Whole house systems are installed right at your main supply line and clean everything running through your entire home or business. A high-efficiency whole house system is great for removing sediment and large particles that could affect the efficiency and lifespan of other fixtures, such as a water heating tank. They're more expensive than jug or tap filters, but depending on the system there may be real benefits not just for your water quality, but also for the longevity of your fixtures and plumbing system as a whole.
  • Under-sink systems are a great option for homeowners and commercial property owners who want to supplement their water treatment in Edmonton. They're installed directly on the supply lines that connect to your sink and provide on-demand filtration. They're more expensive than jug filters, but they also often come with more thorough filtration methods. Their installation is recommended to be completed by a professional as they can get complicated. These systems generally have filter cartridges that do require replacement on a regular schedule, so make sure you’re prepared for that. If you don’t intend to change these filters, we don’t recommend an under-sink system.

What is Reverse Osmosis?

It's a method used by some filtration devices that involves pushing everything through a semipermeable membrane to remove contaminants. It's considered to be one of the most effective filtration methods for removing contaminants and other small particles, but it's not the only method.

In many types of filters, reverse osmosis is combined with mechanical absorption filtration methods that use physical filters and activated carbon. This combined process provides the greatest possible degree of water treatment, which ensures that everything passing through the device is safe, clean, and tastes great. Reverse Osmosis is the most popular under-sink system because it produces very pure water when the filters and membrane are changed at the proper intervals.

Can a Plumber Help with Water Treatment in Edmonton?

Yes, many local plumbers, such as the experts at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Edmonton, provide a wide range of services to help with Edmonton water treatment. Whether you're unsure about the best solution for your property or you've already purchased a unit and need help with installation, your local plumbers are the best people to call.

For the whole house and under-sink systems, you should absolutely consider calling a professional for assistance with installation. For those types of installations, you'll have to disconnect and reconnect pipes. That type of work is always best left to a professional with the experience and skill to get everything installed correctly.

Using a professional will give you greater peace of mind and help you rest easier knowing that you won't suffer from costly complications as a result of mistakes made during installation. That professional touch will also help you identify and correct other issues that may appear during the installation process.

The Advantages of Choosing a Professional Like Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Edmonton Include:

  • Courteous, reliable service
  • Friendly, uniformed experts
  • Convenient appointment times
  • Guaranteed services and parts
  • Insured technicians
  • Upfront, honest estimates

Do You Need Professional Services for Water Treatment in Edmonton?

You can always rely on the skilled, friendly experts at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Edmonton. Whether you have more questions to ask or you need installation services, our team is happy to help. When you choose our team, you get the benefit of our years of experience and technical expertise. We'll help you choose the best solution for your home and ensure that it's running properly after installation is complete.

Call to schedule an appointment with our team or get more information about our popular services. We proudly serve many communities located across Edmonton, such as Gold Bar, Brookside, and Aspen Gardens.