Most islanders depend on well water for sustained water supply. But as the demand for water increases and more water is pumped from the aquifer new challenges arise with well water quality like sulfur taste and odour, low yields, or saltwater intrusion.
What is saltwater intrusion?
The freshwater aquifer near the coast or on islands like the Gulf Islands is becoming more at risk of saltwater intrusion. Especially in areas close to the coast with a high density of wells, the risk of seawater intrusion into the freshwater aquifer is higher.
Close to the coast, groundwater consists of a freshwater aquifer that sits above the higher density seawater with a transition zone (a mix of fresh and saltwater) in between. Mobile: click on image for description:
Figure 1: Under non-pumping conditions there is an equilibrium established between fresh and saline groundwater at depth.
The aquifer is affected by
seasonal variations in groundwater levels,
amount of groundwater recharge from the rain, and
the rate of groundwater pumping.
When the pumping rate is too high or when the well is too deep, it can result in saltwater intrusion into the well.
Figure 2:Pumping or other disturbances (e.g. sea level rise, reduced recharge) can lead to upcoming or inland movement of the freshwater-saltwater interface. If a single well is over-pumped or multiple wells are pumping, a large area of the aquifer may be impacted by salinity.
In fracture bedrock, saltwater can find its way to the well via a single fracture.
Figure 3: In a fractured bedrock aquifer a single fracture can deliver saltwater to the well.
Once seawater intrusion occurs, changes in the aquifer may be irreversible or may take many years to recover.
Find out more about saltwater intrusion from the Government of British Colombia’s website which gives advice about Best Practices for Prevention of Saltwater Intrusion.
How can you protect your well and the freshwater aquifer?
Saline water is harmful to people with high blood pressure and can cause damage to soil and vegetation. An increase in island population or farming can lead to wells over-pumping and cause saltwater intrusion into the freshwater aquifer.
If you have issues with seawater intrusion into your well or a low water yield, find out more about the recommended well management practices and consider implementing the following solutions:
installing a water storage tank (cistern) and pumping in water from the well in the wet season (winter) for use in drier periods (summer),
installing a rainwater collection system, collecting rainwater during the wet season, and augmenting your well-water supply with rainwater during the summer.
This years pollen season – depending on where you live – has been behaving more like a pollen tsunami, beginning in February, and continuing through the latter part of June, with still no end in sight.
For rainwater collectors this is a time when uncertainty becomes certainty… The stink of pollen is confirmation that you have collected pollen somewhere in your water collection system.
We can, and will solve your problem.
Fortunately, we have the solution!
Since 2013 our cistern and reservoir cleaning service has helped to eliminate this problem by physically removing the offending, glutinous, slimy and filthy smelling pollen from water cisterns or reservoirs in addition to the regular sediment and sludge which has accumulated over time and is found in all water cisterns.
A recent comment from a colleague, that he didn’t know he had a septic system hiding in his house gutters, highlights the odor issue, because this is where pollen accumulates and coagulates before starting its journey into the water collection cistern or reservoir!
Once it enters the water system, pollen will collect on the water surface, before slowly sinking to the bottom of the collection tank.
Pollen-laden water then flows throughout the water system, plugging filters, leaving pollen residue in your plumbing lines, and generally making life unbearable, with the onerous smell encountered whenever taps are opened…
We hope you don’t have the same experience as Mrs. A, who recently called us for help. Her 5 cisterns had accumulated so much pollen, it was impossible for her to spend time in her home – the odor was so bad she had to find an alternative space until we came and eliminated the pollen and the smell – yes eliminated!
When things are getting really bad…
If you are familiar with our service, you will be aware of our whole premise of saving the water and not emptying the cistern when we do a cistern cleaning and disinfection.
Our unique and proprietary method of cistern cleaning without dumping all the precious water is still our top priority.
However, sometimes it is just not possible to save the water, because it is unsalvageable.
In these kinds of situations, where saving the water would not be to our customers’ advantage, we still perform our usual full cleaning (removing all the sediment and pollen, scrubbing the interior and disinfecting with Hydrogen Peroxide). But we would then complete the process utilizing our ‘clean & drain’ method, leaving your water cistern clean as a whistle, empty and ready for a water refill. This ‘clean & drain’ option is offered at no additional cost.
Not sure which type of cleaning you need? When our cleaning technician arrives at your home, he would inspect your cistern and advise as to the best option for you. Either way, a clean and disinfected cistern or reservoir will be ready for your use.
Please check our website at https://cleancistern.com/testimonials for more information and check out some of the comments from satisfied customers we have taken care of during the past 7 years of cistern and reservoir cleanings.
Need to speak to a real live person to get your questions answered? 250-713-9797 is your direct contact number.
And for those of you who missed reading this article, that appeared in the Gabriola Sounder for the long July weekend in 2020, here is a pdf version.
We can clean your reservoir without any interruption in service to your customers and save your water at the same time.
Environmental Cistern & Reservoir Cleaning utilizes a custom built underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) to effectively remove sediment, sand, and coagulated materials from the bottom of your reservoir.
Using a ROV is more cost effective than draining the reservoir and has lots of benefits:
No confined space entry required
The operator remains on the reservoir exterior and is guiding the ROV via a fiber optics controlled video screen.
No water contamination
As the operator doesn’t enter the reservoir there is no issue with water contamination. All equipment that enters the reservoir is disinfected immediately prior to operation.
Recording of cleaning operation
As the ROV is guided to areas to be cleaned with two onboard cameras and 2 x 1000 lumen lights, the entire cleaning process (and potential issues with the reservoir) are recorded on HD. This video can be made available for the customer to examine.
The ROV option provides a more affordable and faster way of reservoir cleaning than traditional options such as
employing a team of divers, or
emptying the reservoir to a virtually dry condition and then utilizing a confined space trained crew to enter while adhering to all WCB confined space protocols.
Budgets dictate the cleaning option which will be the most effective in terms of saving water and at the same time not compromising water quality in the reservoir.
Public Image and Water Conservation
We are proud in taking a leadership role in promoting water conservation and using methodologies which conserve water and benefits the “all”.
Our environmental cistern and reservoir cleaning methodologies – that were pioneered in 2013 – have saved to date more than 40 million liters of water, by not having to empty the water storage for the purpose of cleaning and then having to refill them with water drawn from the aquifer. It is an environmentally friendly and safe methods of cleaning cisterns and reservoirs by removing all material in your water tank and/or reservoir such as sediment, sand, and coagulated materials.
Ready to find out how much our service will cost to clean your reservoir?
Kaman, our cleaning technician flying with Randy from Pacific Seaplanes to Pasley Island for a cistern cleaning job.
Pasley, a small island between Bowen and Keats islands at the entrance to Howe Sound is now officially added to the list of our service locations. We are happy to announce that another customer was able to have his 3 x 1500 gallon cisterns cleaned utilizing our Fly–in/Fly-out service.
Wherever you are located, either on any of the Gulf Islands or in any other remote coastal community, we can fly there with our friends from Pacific Seaplanes in no time whatsoever. Thanks to the professionalism of ‘our’ amazing pilot Randy Hannah from Pacific Seaplanes, we were able to deliver our services to our new client on Pasley Island and completed everything in just one long day.
We can now offer our Environmental Cistern Cleaning service on all the Gulf Islands including:
New Island being serviced by Environmental Cistern Cleaning: Pasley Island
New: Pasley Island
North and South Pender
Sidney (and of course Gabriola… where Environmental Cistern Cleaning began over 7 years ago) as well as the islands that we previously serviced like Vancouver Island, Saltspring, Denman & Hornby.
Our customer wanted to have a cistern that was ‘spotless’ – and he got it!
‘before’ image of really hard to clean ribbed cistern
‘after’ image of spotless cistern after many hours of scrubbing
Kaman performed another ‘miracle’ – wouldn’t you agree?
We are very fortunate to have such a dedicated young man as part of our team.
If you would like to add yourself to our growing list of customers, contact us now. Visit our website and book your cleaning now at https://cleancistern.com/bookings and get ready to enjoy amazing water from a clean cistern!
Internet not your thing? Then call us at 250-247-9797, and we’ll advise, and answer all your questions!
And to add to the problem, spring has sprung, and with it, many trees etc. are in bloom and with that comes the dreaded (unless you are a bee) pollen.
On top of it, drought conditions are here as well. As of April 1, 2020 we are in Stage 1 of Watering Restrictions (in Nanaimo), and we have the added directive to wash our hands frequently (due to the C-19 thing, you know what we mean, let’s not name it again…). Now how can you wash your hands (successfully), if you don’t have any clean water or hardly any water at all?
The Cistern Cleaning Conundrum of 2020…
We keep being asked: “Should I collect dirty rainwater, or bypass downspouts… and let the dirty rain water go to waste?”
With the likelihood of drought conditions lasting for several months, our advice…bring in the rainwater, the dirt, and pollen, the roof debris, – bring it all in…collect as much water as you can!
Dirt, pollen and all the other nasty stuff that will end up in your cistern – we’ll get rid of it when we clean your cistern, and we won’t have to throw away your water to do it!
We are famous for preserving the water when we clean cisterns, so go ahead and collect as much as you can!
Water is going to be scarce again this summer and refills are expensive.
In addition to cleaning the cistern, if requested we’ll also disinfect it with Hydrogen Peroxide, which has just been approved as an effective disinfectant for COVID-19 by the EPA. No more dirt. No more smell. Safe Water.
Relax in the knowledge that no water will be wasted during the cleaning of the cistern. The dirty water we do have to discharge, can be utilized to water your garden (all organic).
Entering our 8th year in the business of cleaning water cisterns and reservoirs, we have gained an enviable reputation as being the go-to company for cistern cleaning.
Have a look at our review page and see what your fellow cistern users say about our service.
We’re ready when you need us…
So keep on collecting all that dirty rainwater…but remember to contact us when you want your cistern rid of all the dirt… we’ll leave you the water you preciously saved in a nicely cleaned cistern!
To keep yourself and our cleaning technician safe, we ask that you adhere to the social distancing requirement of 6 feet during the entire cleaning. Our cleaning technician will spray the cistern area with hydrogen peroxide before and after the cleaning process is complete. No person to person physical contact is needed at any time:
but we sure like to make sure everyone’s protected.
Environmental Cistern Cleaning with serious care… seriously
Thank you everyone! We hope you are staying safe and keeping well.
In response to inquiries and concerns of what effect COVID-19 will have on us being able to continue to offer our cistern and reservoir cleaning services, we would like to update you to our news and availability.
As an “essential services” company we have followed the advice of the health professionals and for the past two weeks our (no symptoms) team has been sequestered in self-imposed isolation, waiting to resume our cistern and reservoir cleaning service after this isolation period ends.
So yes! A positive response to the many inquiries… As of Monday, April 6th 2020, our self-imposed isolation will be complete (and assuming everything is still ok) we will be available to clean water cisterns and reservoirs from this date forward.
Our first available open date is Friday April 10th and we are accepting cistern cleaning bookings for this date and into the future.
Yours and our safety is paramount and here’s what we do to ensure this.
As an existing customer of ours you may recall, we don’t need to have any person-to-person contact when we clean your cistern.
To this end we have put into place additional measures and safety protocols to ensure you and ourselves are not put at any risk whatsoever.
Here is a brief overview of what you can expect when we arrive.
It all starts with a complete disinfection of the immediate area of the cistern and includes an exterior disinfection of the cistern, any taps/ valves which may require turning off/on and any touched places by the cleaning technician before and after cleaning.
We use high strength Hydrogen Peroxide – a contact sterilant – for disinfection throughout the process.
At the conclusion of the cistern cleaning and removal of dirt and sediment from the interior, our cleaning technician will then disinfect the cistern interior and the remaining water in the cistern will be treated to ensure continuing safe use of the water.
EPA confirmation of Hydrogen Peroxide efficacy…
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – under its Emerging Viral Pathogen program – last week released a list of disinfectants it said are qualified for use against the spread of coronavirus, COVID-19. Hydrogen Peroxide is included.
This means Hydrogen Peroxide is effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Additional benefits of our Hydrogen Peroxide treatment include interior disinfection of plumbing lines flowing from the cistern throughout the house when flushed through with the treated water for a few minutes.
The good news continues…
Well owners experiencing “rotten egg” odors will be pleased to know our cleaning and treatment eliminates this, tout de suite!
And if you are one of the many, adding rainwater collection to your water mix – good news also! The benefits of rainwater collection far outweigh any downsides.
But if you live in an area with trees close by, you may find pollen is a problem certain times of the year exacerbated in windy weather. Blowing from the trees onto your roof and eventually entering your cistern with the rain as it washes off the roof…
The lesson here is to never forget to disconnect downspouts in pollen season!
Otherwise you will probably smell an odor once described as being like the smell of a backed up septic system! But don’t worry if this happens, we can remove the pollen from the cistern, still leaving the water in your cistern, and at the same time eliminating the smell.
If you choose to drink your cistern water after our cleaning and disinfection you will undoubtedly notice it tastes better and for many, the oxygenated water the Hydrogen Peroxide process creates is a welcome relief from previously uninteresting tasting water.
You see, when cisterns are dirty and contain decomposing leaves, sludge, dead critters both large and small, an anaerobic environment is created which becomes the perfect breeding ground for E-Coli, pathogens, cryptosporidium, and viruses in the water.
In addition to the danger created by the decomposing debris, water often has a flat and bland taste. The reason for this is, you are drinking “dead water”- all oxygen has been consumed by the organic materials that have collected over time in the bottom of the cistern or reservoir.
The end result is water that not only tastes bland and flat but has few if any health benefits.
Hydrogen Peroxide & your Septic System
We are often asked if the Hydrogen Peroxide will “kill” a septic system. Quite the opposite!
If you happen to have a septic system you will be happy to know your septic system will work better and with greater efficiency after our cleaning and disinfection, because a septic needs to have oxygen to ensure it is working to its optimum. Unlike bleach or chlorine, which will kill the septic field (or you), Hydrogen Peroxide will not do any harm to your system and you and it will keep on smiling!
Do it for your Health
So, whether you are an existing customer or thinking about if you should have your cistern or reservoir cleaned, this is probably one of the best things you can do for your health. Reliability, cleanliness, and providing you with the best and safest cistern or reservoir cleaning is what we are famous for.
So how does our Environmental Cistern and Reservoir Cleaning ensure your continued good health during this ongoing corona-virus outbreak?
We play a vital role in the ongoing assurance of good quality water from your cistern or reservoir, with additional benefits of disinfection using the premier “contact sterilant”, Hydrogen Peroxide.
This Hydrogen Peroxide disinfection will ensure your water health protection extends throughout your water system and water.
Added benefits of disinfection
This, in addition to removing odors & disinfecting the plumbing lines in your home even enhances the effectiveness of your septic system (which needs oxygen to operate at peak efficiency).
Another side benefit: water tastes great after our cleanings and disinfection with Hydrogen Peroxide, and ongoing benefits extend beyond taste, adding oxygen to your water for enhanced tastiness, safety, and protection!
Worth remembering: our immune system is the vanguard of our physicality.
An attention lapse could possibly cause serious health consequences.
It becomes vitally important to ensure our bodies have all the best elements guarding us and ensuring we can fight and guard against illness with a strong immune system.
Other major health benefits of our cistern and reservoir cleaning service include:
Our water cistern cleanings remove dangerous and immune weakening elements such as:
E-Coli, Viruses, Pathogens, Total Coliforms etc. and all, or some, can be present in dirty water cisterns and reservoirs.
Remember E-Coli breeds in oxygen-deficient water (anaerobic) and the only way to ensure safety, is to physically remove it, which is done through our cistern and reservoir cleaning process.
When water is collected from a well, unwanted common elements entering with well water are manganese, iron, clay, nitrates, etc.
But for those who rely upon rainwater harvesting as part of their water collection process, there are different unwanted contaminants which enter a rainwater cistern collection system.
Include on this list: expired birds, pine needles, critters, mice, and even rats! Yes, we’ve removed these from a number of cisterns whose owners were totally unaware of this danger and were shocked when shown their presence during our cleanings… But let’s not forget everyone’s favorite…
Yes, that pungent smelling stink that will make you wonder if your septic system has backed up. For those who haven’t encountered pollen and are new to rainwater harvesting, this is exactly how pollen smells when left in a cistern more than a few days.
So maybe not the corona-virus cure but a necessary part of good hygiene starts with a clean cistern cleaned by Environmental Cistern and Reservoir Cleaning.
…After all, it’s your own health you need to take care of. Let us ensure you have the best tools for your body’s immune system. A clean and disinfected water cistern or reservoir from Environmental Cistern and Reservoir Cleaning is a good start.
Balancing water conservation, safety and solving turbidity problems in water reservoirs and cisterns is one of the specialties of Environmental Cistern and Reservoir Cleaning.
Boiled water advisories caused by turbidity have been a way of life for many Canadians, especially First Nations communities.
Quietly, our experienced team has solved this problem on multiple occasions.
Since 2013 the unique technology and methodologies pioneered by our company have proven effective in eliminating turbidity caused by silt and sediment on the reservoir floor.
This Failure of dirt and sediment not being removed from reservoirs causes incoming water to stir up this dirt and circulate dirt laden water throughout the reservoir or cistern.
At Environmental Cistern and Reservoir Cleaning, we solve this problem by removing the underlying cause – silt and sediment build-up on the bottom of the reservoir or cistern.
Our developed and perfected unique environmental techniques and methodologies provide an ideal solution, dovetailing perfectly with the BC Climate Action Charter for cities and townships, communities, and central water system users to maximize water conservation during cistern and reservoir cleanings.
This new ROV technology enables us to remove sediment and silt from all sizes of reservoirs up to 5 million gallons capacity (depending on layout).
Our custom ROV (remotely operated vehicle) commissioned by us in 2019 has already been put to good use removing silt and sediment from The Town of Lake Cowichan’s 1,000,000 gallon reservoir, Village of Alert Bay central water reservoir of 250,000 gallons, in addition to Western Forest Products community of Holberg – 100,000 gallon reservoir, and The Haven Retreat and conference centre on Gabriola also 100,000 gallon reservoir.
All suffered the same problem; copious amounts of dirt causing turbid conditions and inhibiting effective water treatment for their respective water systems.
Our ROV reservoir cleanings have presented large water users with a solution hereto unknown and until recently, unavailable.
We discovered in some cases annual reservoir cleanings had not occurred because the then current methods always offered only two alternatives:
Either, drain the entire reservoir to empty, have a cleaning crew trained in confined space with all the attendant safety rigs, testing equipment, and personnel, enter the reservoir and manually clean.
Or, hire a team of divers to manually clean the reservoir- both methods exposing workers to dangerous working conditions in confined space and each coming with high liability potential.
Additionally, this aforementioned way of reservoir and cistern cleaning causes a huge Environmental impact!
For example: a 1-million-gallon reservoir cleaning actually uses two + million gallons of water.
One million gallons to be discharged into the environment to empty prior to cleaning, and another one million gallons to refill in addition to water required to hose down and clean the interior!
In the meantime, some communities in the past had their water supply “shut off” during cleaning, inconveniencing many people but also adding a potential fire department crisis if the reservoir water is used for fire and can’t be accessed until refilling occurs…
The Environmental Cost
Extrapolating these numbers across the province and its clearly apparent millions or possibly hundreds of millions of gallons of water are wasted anytime reservoirs are cleaned in this environmentally harmful fashion.
7 years of proven success helping the Climate Action Mandate meet its goals
Our unique and proprietary environmental cistern and reservoir cleaning techniques ensure:
No emptying of the cistern or reservoir
No interruption of service
No personnel enter the reservoir
No confined space issues and insurance liabilities
No contamination issues
No chemicals used in the cleaning process
Lesser cleaning time and financial costs
Experience the Environmental Solution to Cistern and Reservoir Cleaning and see why we are the company of choice with our water conservation methods.
Since 2013, the founding year of Environmental Cistern and Reservoir Cleaning, these proprietary water conservation techniques have saved over 40 million litres of water from being discharged, and negating the usual refilling need of cisterns and reservoirs.
Putting this into perspective; these water savings are the equivalent of 80 million standard size water bottles.
And these – if laid end to end – would stretch for 17,000 kilometers, almost half-way around the world!
Big Solution + Big Water Savings = Big Environmental advantage.
Exclusively available from Environmental Cistern and Reservoir Cleaning.
There is nothing like a good ongoing influx of rain barreling down the roof and gutters into the water cistern. That gurgling sound has recently bought smiles to faces all over the west coast to those who rely upon rainwater collection, and ground water to fill water cisterns and reservoirs.
But – with all this “liquid sunshine” comes a darker side.
But, continuing with good news – this is the ideal time to have us come and remove all the unwanted dirt, debris, and roof contaminants which will have made a home in your cistern.
Critters you don’t want in your cistern
Additionally, rural Well owners are reporting increased amounts of the usual manganese, iron and clay entering their water cisterns together with dirt-bearing well water.
Whether you collect your water from a well or via roof collection, no need to be concerned about losing all that coveted water recently collected, instead we’ll remove all the stuff you don’t want in the cistern leaving you a sparkly clean and disinfected cistern with the precious water still in there!
However, leave it too long and this guy may appear!
Our 2013 company mission statement is still as valid today as then: “We are in business to conserve water, using our unique Environmental Cistern and Reservoir cleaning methods”.
To date our unique environmental cistern cleaning methods are close to surpassing 40 million liters of water savings.
So how have we accomplished this?
The combination of not discharging the precious water prior to cleaning, together with eliminating the need to refill the water cisterns after cleaning them is unique to our process. Whether it is a 250 gallon cistern or a 2.5 million gallon reservoir – our priority is always the same – ensuring the environment is unharmed and ensuring the maximum amount of water remains after cleaning.
Please consider selecting Environmental Cistern and Reservoir cleaning as your water cistern and reservoir cleaning company. Our water conservation contribution is only made possible by the hundreds and hundreds of customers who have selected us to clean their cisterns since those early days… and during the past year we have expanded our unique cistern cleaning service to include reservoir cleanings – those big fellas – which are the lifeblood of a central water system.
Forward thinking by the Town of Lake Cowichan for their 1,000,000 gallon water reservoir cleaning, together with recently completed cleanings for the Village of Alert Bay’s 500,000 gallon reservoir and the Western Forest products’ 250,000 gallon reservoir in the community of Holberg all received high praise for the efficiency, affordability, and innovative use of our exclusive ROV technology and huge water savings.
All reservoir cleanings were completed without the need to dump the water, and no interruption in water service for their customers.
So now it’s your turn! Take advantage of our unique water cistern and reservoir cleaning.
Enjoy the quality of the remaining water in your newly cleaned and disinfected water cistern…
Sizes from 100 gallons to 5,000,000 million gallons and everything in between. Make it part of your contribution to our planet’s survival and your own health.
A simple phone call to 250-713-9797 is all it takes to get the ball rolling to arrange a cistern or reservoir cleaning. And yes, we are real people, so we can answer all the questions you may have… Or, if you prefer, our webpage https://cleancistern.com has a ton of good info as well. If ordering your cistern cleaning online is what you prefer, here is the place to start: https://cleancistern.com/bookings/
For more than 100 years, chlorine has helped protect people across the country from dangerous pathogens that may otherwise lurk in their drinking water. But in some communities, byproducts of that same disinfectant may be putting residents in harm’s way. The article below is from the end of November 2019, but still current.
Read full article by Lauren Donnelly, University of British Columbia and Ainslie Cruickshank, Star Vancouver, Special to Global News Special to Global News
It’s bad enough when you step into a dirty puddle of water and all your clothes get filthy. But at least – so you think – you can go home and wash them so you can look pristine again.
But what if the water coming out of your tap looks like this?
Not so attractive anymore, eh?
Just today I came across an article in Water Online, which was originally posted by the Mazzei Injector Company, LLC on May 21, 2018. In it, the author mentions that because many countries don’t list manganese as a contaminant – but rather only as a nuisance – it is not included in the list of things to check when monitoring water quality.
But when studies show increased occurrence of manganism (there is even a syndrome named after it!) which resembles Parkinson’s disease and a whole bunch of syndromes like slurred speech, lower IQ, loss of balance to name a few, occurring to people who are routinely exposed to high levels of manganese, then I am wondering why it isn’t listed as contaminant…?
Not being a scientist or doctor, I don’t want to scare anybody or misrepresent the facts, but I would like to encourage you to check it out for yourself. Please read the full article “The Hidden Dangers Of Manganese In Drinking Water” and make up your own mind.
What I can tell you, is that we come across a lot of manganese in cisterns – especially on Gabriola Island – and that it often looks rather nasty to say the least. Our cleanings do get rid of the manganese. If it’s in your well water, it will come back, but a yearly cleaning will make the world of a difference.
Now there are times when the water is so putrid and filthy (this can happen when the cistern walls have not been cleaned in a long time and a slime film has built up over time like on the image above) that it is necessary to completely scrub and clean the cistern as normal, but at the end of this process we then completely drain the cistern leaving behind a cleaned, emptied, and disinfected water cistern ready for new water…
Scientists have made a surprising discovery off the U.S. Northeast coast: a gigantic aquifer of relatively fresh water trapped in porous sediments lying below the salty ocean. It appears to be the largest such formation yet found in the world.
Scientists have identified signs of a huge aquifer off the U.S. Northeast (hatched area). Solid yellow or white lines with triangles show ship tracks. Dotted white line near shore shows edge of the glacial ice sheet that melted about 15,000 years ago. Further out, dark blue, the continental shelf drops off into the Atlantic abyss. (Adapted from Gustafson et al., 2019)
The aquifer stretches from the shore at least from Massachusetts to New Jersey, extending more or less continuously out about 50 miles to the edge of the continental shelf. If found on the surface, it would create a lake covering some 15,000 square miles. The study suggests that such aquifers probably lie off many other coasts worldwide, and could provide desperately needed water for arid areas that are now in danger of running out.
If it can be shown that there are large aquifers in other regions, it might potentially represent a resource in places like southern California, Australia, the Mideast or Saharan Africa.
Please read full story by Kevin Krajick published in Water Online on June 20, 2019 here. Source: Columbia University
Below-normal stream flows and signs of drought in smaller streams have caused British Columbia to declare a Level 3 drought rating for the Fort Nelson area and for Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.
What actually means ‘Level 3 Drought’?
Level 3 drought conditions call for voluntary water-use reductions from all surface water and groundwater users. This applies to residents, industry, farmers, and municipalities.
What happens if it doesn’t get better (or if it doesn’t rain which is very unlikely)?
If voluntary reductions of water use do not maintain flows above critical levels, the province may consider regulating water usage under the Water Sustainability Act. Specific actions could include temporarily suspending water licences or short-term water approvals to restore flows to minimum critical levels in the affected streams.
Now offering cistern cleaning services to more areas
To those Gulf Islanders who have asked ‘When can you come and clean our water cistern?’ we are happy to announce to have Good News! We have secured boat transportation and can now offer our Environmental Cistern Cleaning service on all the Gulf Islands including:
North and South Pender
Sidney (and of course Gabriola…where Environmental Cistern Cleaning began over 6 years ago) as well as the islands that we previously serviced like Vancouver Island, Saltspring, Denman & Hornby.
Taking advantage of our unique cistern cleaning system allows homeowners to have water cisterns and water storage tanks cleaned in an Environmentally safe and beneficial way.
We are the Environmental Solution to Cistern and Water Tank Cleaning.
No chemicals are used in our cleaning process, no confined space entry into the cistern and most importantly no dumping of all your precious water…AND then having to refill the cistern again! Our method is less costly, faster, and – there is no interruption in your water service – you could even be showering while we clean!
When cleaning your cistern, it also makes total sense to disinfect at the same time. We use Hydrogen Peroxide for disinfection. Being a “contact sterilant”, HP is considered a water disinfection “standard” in many countries. Hydrogen Peroxide has none of the negative side effects in comparison to many alternative disinfectants. For more information, please go to our website https://cleancistern.com/news/ and search for hydrogen peroxide to find many posts.
Now we know this is not the kind of post you might be used to seeing on our site, but we thought it rather interesting and it does talk about 2 areas we are completely into: water & cleaning. We also really like hydrogen peroxide, and you guessed correctly: one of the methods of cleaning and disinfecting your washing machine does involve the use of hydrogen peroxide.
Mind you the hydrogen peroxide we use to clean & disinfect your cistern is not the same kind you would get in a your drug or hardware store (there you typically get 2% or 3%). We utilize either 29% (technical grade) or 35% (food grade).
And now with no further adieu, an article by D L Mitchell, posted on March 19, 2019 on dengarden.com:
If this article got you all inspired to get all those areas of your home in tip-top-shape that have to do with water (like your water storage unit, called cistern) please don’t try to clean it yourself. There are professionals who do that without going inside the cistern… you guessed correctly again: give us – Environmental Cistern Cleaning – a call at 250-247-9797 – we’d love to help you with that.
The Droplet posted an interesting article about Bacterial Water Quality in Canada and failed well water tests today. The article is from VIQUA, the world’s leading supplier of residential and light commercial UV water disinfection systems as per their website (who want to sell their UV systems of course). The report is already 6 years old (and I am wondering how things are now), but I thought it was interested to see that BC was in 9th place, indicating low levels of failed water tests.
Another of the many reasons to use Hydrogen Peroxide if you garden or grow.
Normally our Environmental Cistern Cleaning posts highlight the benefits of our Environmentally friendly and safe water cistern cleaning technology. But today instead of highlighting all the wonderful cleanings we do for cistern users(!) we are going to focus on helping gardeners and plant growers overcome possibly the growers biggest issue:
Pests and how to get rid of them
in a Environmentally safe and economical way without resorting to the usual plethora of commercially available products. Readers of our posts will know how much we value the use of Hydrogen Peroxide as a disinfection agent for cistern cleanings, it is possibly without equal, but a question often asked is “what are other uses for Hydrogen Peroxide?”
So for you gardeners and plant growers here is important information which can help in all aspects of your gardening efforts. This information was derived from Zach, the author of the original article ‘Hydrogen Peroxide for Plants‘, last updated on April 8, 2016 – but still as current as ever.
Hydrogen Peroxide for Plants
Hydrogen peroxide for plants sounds like pure madness, right? After all, why would you want to feed your garden vegetables with a solution that’s most famous for its use of disinfecting wounds? Well, to much surprise, this compound is actually the garden’s best mate.
That’s right, your garden can greatly benefit from hydrogen peroxide treatments! It might come at even more of a surprise to hear that it is completely compatible with organic gardens! So why is it so great? Well, you’ll just have to keep reading to find out, but how does natural pesticide, soil aerator and water cleanser sound for a preview?
Recognized by the United States EPA as an organic treatment for agricultural crops, hydrogen peroxide offers many benefits to gardeners.
When it comes to the cultivation of organic food crops, root worms and other soil pests are difficult to spot and even more difficult to treat for. Fortunately, feeding a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution to the infected plants will rid them of these soil-dwelling pests. Even a small amount will rapidly degrade external tissues and kill fungus, gnat larvae, cutworms, and parasitic nematodes upon contact. A diluted solution can also be applied as a foliage spray to control the populations of soft bodied pests, such as aphids and spider mites.
Soil Aeration & Root Rot Treatment
An over-watered garden can easily fall victim to root rot. This rapid deterioration of plant roots can establish itself after just 24 hours of moist, oxygen-deprived soil conditions. Again, hydrogen peroxide comes to the rescue! Watering thoroughly with a diluted solution, it will break down rapidly in the soil, boosting oxygen levels and expelling any anaerobic conditions.
Many gardeners in urban areas with chemically treated municipal tap water choose to treat their water with hydrogen peroxide.
We keep getting asked what to do when the pollen season is about to start: disconnect the cistern to stop pollen getting into the cistern or keeping everything connected for maximum water collection….?
In recent years we would send out an email to our clients called something like “Pollen Alert”, but this year is particularly dry – water trucks are already running in April. So here is our message for 2019:
The Cistern Cleaning Conundrum of 2019…
Should I collect dirty rainwater, or bypass downspouts…and let the dirty rain water go to waste?
With the likelihood of drought conditions lasting for several months, our advice…bring in the rainwater, the dirt, and pollen, the roof debris, – bring it all in…collect as much water as you can!
Dirt, pollen and all the other nasty stuff that will end up in your cistern – we’ll get rid of it when we clean your cistern, and we won’t have to throw away your water to do it!
We are famous for preserving the water when we clean cisterns, so go ahead and collect as much as you can!
Water is going to be scarce this summer and refills are expensive.
In addition to cleaning the cistern, if requested we’ll also disinfect it with Hydrogen Peroxide.
No more dirt No more smell.
Relax in the knowledge that no water was wasted during the cleaning of the cistern.
Entering our 7th year in the business of cleaning water cisterns and tanks we have gained an enviable reputation as being the go-to company for cistern cleaning.
Nanaimo Gymnastics Club is fundraising… and Environmental Cistern Cleaning is supporting the non-profit club… AND Easter is (already) just around the corner, so we’d like to treat our customers to some nice chocolates from Purdy’s. If you book a cistern cleaning by March 29th, 2019 6pm via our booking page (cleanings can be done by end of April 2019, but the booking has to be by the booking deadline – we need to order the chocolate goodies…), you will receive one of the boxes shown below.
No Sugar Added Favourites – please enter bunny1 as your discount code on our order page
No Sugar Added Mini Hedgehogs – please enter bunny2 as your discount code on our order page
It’s time to think about rainwater harvesting. In a few months, we will have for sure drought conditions again and everybody on cisterns will be thinking: “I should have installed more cisterns…”. Watch here what gutter guards can do for your cistern/s. This video is already a few years old (and the incentives from Monterey Country shown at approx. 6 minutes into the video may not be available anymore), but the theory around rainwater harvesting doesn’t really change.
In case you don’t have gutter guards (yet) and all the debris ended up in your cisterns, you know who to call…
Why is my Well Water Yellow and Brown… and other colours of the Rainbow?
The question has been posed many times this year! And the reason is quite fundamental.
Copious amounts of rain and slow melting snow have created the ideal conditions for the discoloration of ground water…Imagine this scenario; the ground is saturated with water and rather like a sponge soaks up water, becomes sodden and slowly drips. This similar event is going on throughout the Aquifer.
As the groundwater slowly gravity feeds into the Aquifer strata, it brings with it the dirt and surface water discoloration.
This combination of organic material and dirt enters the Aquifer where it mixes with all the sodden strata, before making its way to your well!
From there, this water continuously enters the well, and gets pumped into the house water cistern.
But worse still, if there is no water cistern, the water is drawn directly into the house plumbing without any chance of settling (in a water cistern).
This influx of dirt -and it can be microscopic – helps to line your pressure tank, hot water tank and internal plumbing with dirt which will build up over time and will call for premature replacement of these expensive and necessary components of the water system in the house.
Without a cistern to deposit the dirt, the only barrier between the well water and house consumption would be some sort of filter…but filters do not stop discoloration of the water – they are only dirt stoppers which rapidly plug up and can be costly to replace every few weeks, or in some cases days.
This colour caused by turbidity and organic material is inherent throughout the water chain, from the well to the house.
So, is there a solution?
If as a homeowner living in rural paradise(!) you installed a water cistern as part of the house water infrastructure, then you are halfway home… Because the cistern also acts as a “dirt depositor” collecting most of the unwanted dirt, in the water cistern which helps to “contain” the dirt in one place.
Remove the dirt and discoloration will lessen because tannins and other organic material is the major cause of discolored water.
The other half of solving the puzzle?
Getting the cistern cleaned…and who better to do this than Environmental Cistern Cleaning Inc.
Specializing in the cleaning of water cisterns over the last 6+ years, in an Environmentally safe and efficient manner, saving the Environment and you, money.
Environmental Cistern Cleaning will solve the dirt issue and save your water from having to be thrown away, so no costly refill is required.
Incorporating our disinfection treatment using Hydrogen Peroxide also ensures the water cistern, water content, and all the plumbing lines are flushed together with any ancillary equipment including pumps, pressure tanks and hot water tanks. All are treated, thereby ensuring the best quality water and safety for all residents of the home.
This is a busy time, so best to reserve your booking for your cistern to be cleaned!
Cryptosporidium is one of those nasty things that can also lurk in cisterns, but UBC Researchers have developped a Diagnostic Tool for Detecting Cryptosporidium. Please read full article here.
By Simran Chattha – posted in Water Canada
February 22, 2019
How to solve your dirty water problem and not let your cistern become a Petri Dish!
Article by Geoffrey Montgomery-Swan
The challenge today revolves around perception and the reality of the issue at hand. Most who live in rural areas rely upon Wells or rainwater collection for their water source, and with this reliance come certain issues, or for some, problems which never seem to go away. We’re all familiar with the rotten eggs smell created by Hydrogen Sulfide – once you’ve smelled this aroma the whiff which is present always seems to be in our ‘smellarama’ area!
Or maybe it’s not odors prevalent in your water which drive you crazy but…the reddish brown mix that after a while creeps up on you – first noticed in the toilet bowl, or maybe your clothes washing looks a bit off…and if the “irony” look is not so prevalent, but – and this is a real winner – after a while you notice bits of black stuff seeming to congregate in your dishwasher, or makes a nice black ring around your toilet bowl…lucky you! You’ve got manganese in your water – and will keep you busy trying to get rid of it.
Ah-ha you say to yourself let me bring in the water expert he’ll know how to solve this problem and sure enough $3000 – $5000 later you’ve solved the issue – or you think you have but, and this is a very big BUT, you’ve only masked the problem.
Remember all those health directives about how you should take this pill for this ailment or that? Well this is the same thing…its costing you a fortune to discover all the magic filtering in the world ain’t going to cut it, if the root cause of the problem is not taken care of.
And this is where the lightbulb moment needs to shine through…the big fancy filters are NOT going to solve the problem and here’s why.
Just like the doctor prescribing a pill for this or that ailment, it doesn’t solve the issue because it doesn’t get to the root cause.
It’s the same thing with poor quality and organically challenged water. A band aid in the form of a filter, masks the problem but does not cure it.
There is ONLY ONE WAY to correct this issue, go to the source, in this case your water storage device called a water cistern, and inside you will discover it will be coated in iron bacteria or manganese or clay (another fan favourite!)
Unlike the prescription of “take a pill the headache will go away” – syndrome there is a perfect solution, inexpensive, doesn’t require big filter canisters sitting in your basement or pump room, or spending copious amounts of money…
This solution is based upon fixing the problem at the source.
What you may ask is it?
The solution is all based upon eliminating the cause before it gets into your home plumbing, contaminating your plumbing lines with these organic but nasty elements.
We provide the solution every day for rural homesteaders who rely upon well water or roof collection for their water source…
And the solution is…getting your cistern cleaned. This is where all the dirt, pollution, iron manganese, clay, and other nasties reside…it’s THEIR home, and the only way to eliminate the problem is for Environmental Cistern Cleaning to come and clean it.
You see we know what it takes to solve your problem.
By cleaning with our unique and proprietary Environmentally friendly Cistern Cleaning system, we remove all the nasties, disinfect using Hydrogen Peroxide – (this totally safe contact sterilant is used in Water Treatment Plants and Hospitals around the world) – and will bring your water storage back to a new condition.
Remember those days when your cistern was first installed how the water left everything looking nice and clean, no more grey looking whites, no more black or irony looking stuff in dishwashers or clothes washers?
There was water “clarity” because no build-up of organic material in the cistern had occurred.
At Environmental Cistern Cleaning we will restore your cistern to a new looking condition, water will look and feel good once again no more nasties, no more grey clothes, no more unpleasant odors, ALL GONE! Nothing but great tasting and clean water from your water cistern again, all at a fraction of the cost of a big fancy filter designed to stop you seeing all the junk coming into your home.
But you may still want to put a filter inline – but recognize – it can only function efficiently and effectively if the water source entering is clean.
Because guess what! If you don’t make sure your dirty water cistern storage is clean…this filter TOO WILL PLUG UP!
Remember a dirty water cistern will always harbour contaminants, and you CANNOT get clean water from a dirty cistern. Eventually you will have the issue and the ONLY way to solve the problem is to have it cleaned professionally by Environmental Cistern Cleaning.
We are affordable, guarantee our work and in a few hours will take care of your problem, and we are local here in BC on Vancouver Island.
See what others think of our service https://cleancistern.com/testimonials/ you too can have a great looking cistern interior cleaned and ready for your water to give you the cleanliness and safety you expect.
We know we weren’t hit as badly as some places in Europe (watch the entire episode here), but it made me wonder how one could capture all that precious white stuff and store for future use in summer when everything gets bone-dry. How about Snow Harvesting? May seem crazy now, but in a few months we may look back at this time with envy. If you do decide to collect the snow from the roof in your cistern, make sure it doesn’t bring in a lot of debris and dirt. If it has already brought it in, you can always contact us to book a cleaning … we are the folks that clean cisterns…
How one Person’s Search for Cistern Cleaning led to her own Nirvana
Article by Geoffrey Montgomery-Swan
The challenge for Beth was not as simple as she first considered…getting the water cistern cleaned should be easy she thought…but then she remembered in the past she called up a local guy who came and emptied her cistern, climbed inside, put in a bunch of chemicals scrubbed around and a few hours later declared all was good and clean.
And this time she thought to herself with all the “green” way of doing things, there must be a better way of cleaning the water cistern. After all she mused, having to empty the cistern and chuck away all the water never really felt right to her…and then it also occurred to Beth that putting someone into a cistern with a rather small entry hole seemed a bit risky – what would happen she thought if he or she (Beth was an equal opportunity employer) couldn’t get out?
It also occurred to Beth by having someone clean her cistern the old way was not really in her or the Environments best interests.
Beth started doing the math… she reasoned her full cistern water value was about $250, then she added the cleaning cost of $395 – and this cost she reasoned may have increased since the last time it was cleaned a few years ago – after totaling all the costs together Beth also remembered she had to pay for a water refill…another $250…starting to get expensive she thought to herself.
A friend who worked in insurance gave her some advice which she remembered “never let anyone climb into the water cistern without all the safety protocols in place and this includes having a safety rig, breathing gear, oxygen testers for air quality, and at least 2 people…just in case of an emergency” her friend reminded her.
Beth was getting worried because as her insurance friend mentioned “if there was an accident without all these protocols in place, it is considered an “illegal act” and she would be personally liable to any survivors claims! Needless to say – this fact caught her attention!
“Oh” the friend continued “if something like this happens, WorkSafeBC gets in on the act and an investigation starts, because remember you are the employer and need to have whomever you hire follow all the right WorkSafeBC conditions…if you don’t and the investigations discover a breach, you Beth would be liable, and the fines to the homeowner ‘hirer’ start at $25,000 and go up to as high as $500,000”.
Shaken, Beth was counting her lucky stars that nothing had happened in the past.
So Beth made a list of her priorities for which company she would choose.
For Beth it all started with Safety, Beth did not want any possible insurance issues should an accident occur, paralleling her thoughts she recalled there wouldn’t be a WorkSafeBC issue by not allowing the cleaner to go into the confined space of a cistern.
Beth started doing the dollar costs, between the existing water value and replacement and cleaning cost there was a $900 cost she could reduce…if she could find a company which could tick all the boxes… Environmentally conscious, no cistern entry, no chemicals used (Beth never liked tasting the taste of chlorine after the last time she had it cleaned) no costly water replacement, no insurance worries, and conforming to WorkSafeBC regulations all meant if she could find a company that could do the work she would feel great about employing them, and save a bundle in the process!
Time for Google!
Armed with her wish list Beth typed in “who does cistern cleaning”
Voilà – One name seemed to be everywhere: Environmental Cistern Cleaning. The reviews were all very positive; and she was in luck the company located in British Columbia was close by, and in reading their website it ticked all the boxes for Beth.
No water wastage
No chemicals or cleaning agents used
No emptying of cistern before cleaning
No interruption of service…Beth liked this! It meant she could go about her day and use her water even while her cistern was being cleaned
They even offered to disinfect the water cistern with Hydrogen Peroxide – Beth liked this because as a Nurse she was very familiar with Hydrogen Peroxide, being a contact sterilant no chance for nasty stuff like E-coli, Coliforms, Pathogens to ruin her day…and besides that rotten egg smell that seem to come into her house with the water would not be an issue any more…boy was Beth ever happy!
The final clincher was when she totaled the bill and it was under half what she paid before (That vacation seemed to be getting closer!)
Up to $750 in rebates available for the purchase and installation of residential rainwater harvesting systems…!
The Rebate Program from the Regional District of Nanaimo is happening again!
If you own property in Nanaimo, Lantzville, Parksville, Qualicum Beach or in one of the surrounding Electoral Areas from Cedar in the south to Deep Bay in the north and are planning on installing a rainwater harvesting system, testing your well, upgrade your wellhead or make some irrigation upgrades & soil improvements, you can qualify. Get your application in asap, as this program often fills up fast and funds are limited…
To get the complete details, please read this letter that professionals in the water sector just received this morning or go directly to www.rdnrebates.ca
Did you know if you have a UV disinfection system and you are planning on spending on more than a couple of weeks away from your home, it is vitally important to do the following.
Unplug your ultraviolet system!
When your UV system is operating the UV bulb generates heat, a lot of heat, but under normal conditions this heat is dissipated as water flows over the quartz sleeve and bulb in the reactor chamber (that’s the steel looking tube).
However, if water just sits in the UV reactor chamber with no water movement no heat dissipation occurs, this causes the water to get hotter and hotter, and slowly “boils” away creating an effect similar to letting a boiling kettle boil dry.
And the end result if this happens is the quartz sleeve and UV bulb calcify, creating a solid lump of glass in the reactor chamber and rendering the ultraviolet system useless and necessitating a several hundred dollar costly replacement of the reactor chamber, quartz sleeve and bulb!
So remember, just unplug your UV system before you leave for any extended length of time, but remember to plug your UV system back in on your return for continued coverage!
By Bruce Mason – Article published in the Gabriola Sounder on the Thanksgiving weekend 2018
It’s harvest time, the celebration of reaping what we’ve sown. In our region, that includes the return and clean storage of rainwater.
For the experts at Environmental Cistern Cleaning Inc. (ECCI), this gratitude is day-to-day. And the unique business and service model is based on ongoing community engagement.
“We want to thank our expanding customer list – residential, industrial and commercial – for enthusiastic support,” says Geoffrey Montgomery-Swan.
He developed the exclusive AquaSave-Plus Cistern Cleaning System to provide: Environmental safety without chemical agents, an end to emptying or entering cisterns (illegal without major health/safety precautions), the technology and methodology for complete scrubbing and disinfecting, utilizing minimal water, in a short time period, with cost-saving by requiring no re-fill.
He reports: “Our growing client base includes: Canada Coast Guard, Parks Canada, RCMP, beverage companies, B&B’s, resorts and individuals from increasingly cistern-dependent communities. They’re sharing their gratitude in glowing 5-star reviews and testimonials (https://cleancistern.com/testimonials/).
“Frequently mentioned is superlative work by Kaman Somers, our cleaning technician, whose thirst for perfection really contributes to unparalleled client satisfaction” he adds.
ECCI takes pleasure in actively participating in giving back to the community, through fund-raisers, such as: The Salmon BBQ, Lions’ Concert on the Green, PHC, Cat’s Alive, from Preschool, to Elementary School and VIU, etc.
At years-end, Montgomery-Swan notes some features of 2018: thankful renters are advised that it’s a landlord’s responsibility to provide potable water, real estate buyers and sellers can win with the bonus of the ECCI process; and the worrisome roof debris from wood-fire smoke can be cleaned from your water cistern.
“In more than five years we’ve saved over 21 million litres of water being drawn from the Aquifers and never encountered a cistern that didn’t significantly benefit from an ECCI visit” reports Montgomery-Swan.
It’s also important that well-fed cisterns have build-ups of iron, manganese, clay/rock flour removed, and that U-V and other systems be cleaned to work efficiently and safely. Only when E Coli and Total Coliforms are physically removed and cisterns disinfected by ECCI can confidence, thankfully return.
Health Canada advises annual cistern cleaning. Celebrate Thanksgiving by contacting Environmental Cistern Cleaning Inc. Call 250-247-9797, email firstname.lastname@example.org, online: https://cleancistern.com