City Council Reverses its Decision to Add Chloramine to White Rock Water!

An interesting day today. About 175 people braved the cold to rally at City Hall at noon to protest the intended use of Chloramine in our water. Thank you to all who were able to attend.

This evening, Fraser Health made a presentation to City Council on water disinfectants, after which all six Councillors and the Mayor discussed the Chloramine vs Chlorine topic before a Council Chambers packed by the Public that overflowed into the lobby.

At the end of the lengthy discussion, Councillor Lawrence made a motion to seek a time limit extension from Fraser Health to extend the June 1, 2016 deadline for a water disinfectant to enable the City to get in place an Arsenic and Manganese Reduction /Removal Plant. As the second part of the motion, Chlorine, NOT Chloramine, is to be used as the water disinfectant in the interim. All seven people on Council voted in favour of this motion.

While time will tell what sort of latitude Fraser Health will allow, thank you to all who helped ensure that White Rock City Council took a second look at Chloramine.


[Editor’s note – Read more about the Rally in the Peace Arche news here: ]

Andrew on Bridge

White Rock Residents say Whoa! to Chloramine in drinking water!

Read the Jan 7th background story in the Province by Jennifer Saltman

Is there a Safe Alternative to Chloramine in our Water?

Is there an alternative to chemically treating our water that is safe for both people and the Environment?

Both EPCOR and Fraser Health recommended the use of Chlorine, not Chloramine in our drinking water in2013. Chlorine is a safe chemical additive that has been scientifically proven safe for long-term consumption, while Chloramine has not. Now the city is claiming that Chloramine is safe, but where is the science to back that up. It does not exist.

Instead, they will quote that many cities use Chloramine. This is not science. But those cities do not live on a Environmentally sensitive Salmon hatchery area. Remember that we were once all told that Asbestos was safe too. We need science, not vacuous assurances from a Mayor with no expertise in Chemistry or health.

While Chlorine is preferable to Chloramine, it’s not a World-Class solution.

Many large cities in North America and Europe use no chemicals at all. Two communities in the U.S. that are using granulated activated charcoal (GAC) instead of chloramine are Grand Isle Vermont and Charlottesville Virginia.

The high levels of Arsenic and Manganese in our water can be efficiently and cheaply removed through sand filtration at our Water Plant.

Modern Best-Practices can be found in Europe where they use high-tech micro-filters to remove all pathegens without chemicals, resulting in pure chemical-free and delicious safe drinking water.

Why is nobody at City Hall researching these safe alternatives?

Is Chloramine Safe?

The health issues caused by Chloramine added to tap water has been known for a long time and people such as San Francisco’s Citizens Concerned About Chloramine have an excellent website with lots of expert information about it and its impact on your health.
 Citizens Concerned About Chloramine
Chloramine was tried in Vancouver and Surrey, resulting in the salmon in Fergus Creek being wiped out by two small spills. In White Rock, EPCOR had about 10 small spills a year. What will this do to wildlife at our beach?
Chloramine use is banned in 99% of Europe, large areas of the US, and was quickly discontinued in Surrey after numerous water spills and breaks in the lines.
Mayor Baldwin says that he is comfortable with Chloramine, but are you? He also said that Garbage privitizarion and its increased service fees were a good thing, that the hump needed to be clearcut, and that the Regional Growth Strategy was legally binding on White Rock (which it is not). Why should we trust Mayor Baldwin’s opinion on this when EPCOR themselves had recommended Chlorine over Chloramine?
 Is your tap water safe - cropped
Don’t take anyone’s word on this. Get informed and be heard. Read more about the CCAC here:

The use of Chloramine and the Potential for Damage to Aquatic Life


White Rock City Hall
15322 Buena Vista Ave,
White Rock, BC V4B 1Y6
January 5, 2016

Mayor: Wayne Baldwin and Council

Re: The use of Chloramine and the Potential for Damage to Aquatic Life

As you may know, on October 17, 1989 and July 9, 1990 there occurred two breaks in Surrey water mains that dumped chloramine-laced water into the Fergus Creek, which is a sub catchment of the Little Campbell River (LCR). The extreme damage to fish and benthic invertebrates officially took almost a decade for recovery but we know some damage was permanent. In fact it is only with huge recent investments by the City of Surrey, the Department of Highways and local volunteer organizations that Fergus Creek is what it is today. Some White Rock storm water flows into the LCR, some of it via Fergus Creek.

These events were a huge wake-up call. It was because of the above-mentioned spills that the Greater Vancouver Regional District followed up on this disaster by conducting extensive public consultation and then deciding on Chlorine over Chloramine for the entire Lower Mainland. Our members have seen government at all levels deal with scheduled and unscheduled pollution and have witnessed many types of failure. We recently watched the aftermath of an accident-damaged fuel tank on a truck that had poured hundreds of gallons of diesel directly into the main stem of the Little Campbell River. Firefighters and Ministry of Environment responders showed themselves hopelessly ill prepared for such an accident with inadequate oil absorption supplies. Nobody wants these kinds of disasters to fish bearing streams and while diesel fuel is toxic, some of it will evaporate but chloramine will not.

An issue unique to White Rock is the non-point pollution aspect of chloramine. It’s common knowledge that many of the strata units in White Rock contain dedicated car washes within their concrete parkades. All water from this type of activity plus power washing of parkade slabs goes directly to the ocean through storm drains. On top of that, on-street car washing, pressure washing and a portion of the at home and strata irrigation garden watering is sent directly by storm drains to the Semiahmoo Bay. Then there are city owned automatic sprinklers especially along the waterfront that suffer breakages from time to time.
Based on many years of combined watershed experience we know that very little of the water involved in the cleaning of water mains, accidental breakage of water mains, and admittedly the rare event of firefighting will ever be effectively treated to neutralize the chloramine in the water. It is a fact that chloramine run-off from water hydrants or broken mains that enter storm drains, streams, and rivers, endangers the lives of fish, amphibians, water invertebrates, and other sensitive marine animals.

There is a significant amount of evidence that identifies “vacated” and “dead” zones in marine areas adjacent to inhabited areas that use chloramine. Of course people will say that’s correlation not causation, as no one will underwrite the necessary science. The data gaps are still huge, but the people that know those areas still know what they know and chloramine is suspect.

Chloramine, which is an extremely persistent compound, is a dangerous substance in water and has been locally proven to destroy fish and benthic organisms in rivers and streams and has the potential to destroy sea life close to the ocean outfalls in Semiahmoo Bay.

The Semiahmoo First Nations once relied on the abundance of sea life in Semiahmoo Bay but over the years point and non-point pollution reduced the tens of thousands of fish available to them to just a few hundred. The abundant clams and other molluscs, which were once available all year around, were polluted too. Even the crab fishing has been diminished and here we have the City of White Rock wanting to pollute the ocean with another toxic pollutant.

The Canadian EPA ruled chloramine “toxic” as defined in Section 64 of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999, as a result of a study assessing the impact of chloraminated water discharges entering the environment, particularly on fish.

Research states that chloramine must be filtered out before it reaches bodies of water. Does White Rock really have a tested, comprehensive plan to do this and will there be a surcharge for Chloramine contaminated sewage being sent to the wastewater treatment plants in Metro before being dumped into the Gulf of Georgia?

Will you be engaging and consulting in a comprehensive review on this issue of Chloramine in the drinking water like the GVRD in the early 1990’s?

Please know that we are completely opposed to chloramine being used in White Rock water and will advocate in every possible venue against it.

There was a time when the citizens of White Rock were proud and boasted of their pure drinking water and people from miles around would come and drink the water and remark on how wonderful and different the water tasted right from the tap. It was not unusual for visitors to take jugs of water home. We understand there is a complex and changing regulatory environment. We also believe that introducing chloramine into this once pristine water supply has the potential for causing many unintended consequences.

Phillip Milligan
Little Campbell Watershed Society
1284-184th Street, Surrey, BC V3Z 9R9

c.c. Rebecca Reid, Regional Director, Fisheries Management, DFO
c.c. Bruce Reid, Regional Oceans Manager, DFO
c.c. City of Surrey Dept. of Environment and Drainage
c.c. Semiahmoo First Nation
c.c. Drayton Harbor Shellfish Protection District
c.c. Friends of Semiahmoo Bay
c.c. Surrey Environmental Partners

White Rock wants Safe drinking water!

Attention White Rock Residents!
Speak out to keep your tap water safe and drinkable!
Without public consultation, Mayor Baldwin and City Council have voted to approve the addition of Chloramine to our tap water!

Chloramine is never been proven safe for long-term human consumption, and is known to leach out deadly lead from existing water pipes and to be deadly to marine life. EPCOR recommended the use of Chlorine which IS proven safe for human consumption and for marine life.


We have paid dearly for the right to own and control our own water supply, yet in a secret deal that Mayor Baldwin refuses to disclose until after the next election, Mayor Baldwin is taking away our control by adding unwanted Chloramine to our water supply!

This is something that EPCOR advised against when they recommended that Chlorine be used instead. So why is Mayor Baldwin rushes to push this through in January 2016 without proper study and public consultation?

Read the flyer below and stay tuned for more information about the upcoming rally on Monday January 11th at Noon in front of City Hall!

Water is life, and Mayor Baldwin and White Rock City Council are risking our health without proper study and public consultation!