PUC Update on Water Quality Improvement Project


Keeping with its commitment to provide customers with timely updates on the ongoing Water Quality Improvement Project (the Project), Sault Ste. Marie PUC is pleased to report that the Project is proceeding on schedule. Upgrades to the Steelton Well are nearly complete, which means the Lorna wells will be taken out of day-to-day service in the near future. The Lorna wells have been one of the main sources of water quality issues.  Additionally, the customer satisfaction survey conducted by Ipsos Reid is currently underway. The results of the survey will be shared with the public once the survey has been completed and the results compiled.

“The Water Quality Improvement Project is key to solving ongoing water issues,” says Dominic Parrella, President and CEO PUC Services Inc.  “The project includes a number of short and long term measures that once fully implemented will bring about significant improvements in water quality”, says Parrella.

The Water Quality Improvement Project will address taste and odour concerns as well as provide a substantial reduction in discoloured water occurrences. The short-term measures of the Project include; removing the Lorna Wells from daily service, and adding two additional advanced treatment methods (pH harmonization and corrosion control) into the treatment and distribution systems.

In the meantime, continuation of the annual Unidirectional Flushing Program (UDF) is scheduled to resume the last week in May (26th -30th) and run until early fall in both the east and west ends of the city. More details regarding flushing areas and schedules will be released to customers once they have been finalized.

The long-term measures of the Project include:

  • Increasing production from the remaining pumping stations (Shannon, Steelton and Goulais) and the Water Treatment Plant to offset the production lost from taking the Lorna Wells out of service,
  • If water quality still hasn’t reached desired levels once the two advanced treatment methods are in place, add UV disinfection at the wells and incorporate chloramine as the secondary disinfection in the distribution system, and
  • Permanently abandon the Lorna wells once the additional production capability is in place.

“To fully implement all the Water Quality Improvement measures is expected to take up to four years. However, customers can expect a significant improvement in water quality by the end of the first year and much fewer discoloured water problems.” says Parrella.

Customers looking for more information on the Project or UDF activities are encouraged to visit the PUC website; www.ssmpuc.com or call Customer Service at 705-759-6522 Monday through Friday (9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.).