Giving Thanks @ Thanksgiving 2018

Image of Thanksgiving Table with water jug

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 (

“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, online:


Bromate in drinking water guideline technical document

Bromate in drinking water is a problem. The Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality document is now available from Health Canada. It’s an 82 page document, for those who wish to read through the technical details. If you’d like to get your water tested, you may refer to page about water sampling (bottom) and more Health Canada guidelines.

image of bromate guideline in drinking waterPublished on August 24, 2018 by Health Canada


Roof-To-Garden: How to Irrigate with Rainwater

roof to rain barrelThe average American household uses about 320 gallons of water per day, a third for irrigation and other outdoor uses. Collecting the water flowing down your downspouts in rainstorms so you can use it to irrigate in dry periods is often touted as a simple way to cut back. But setting up a functional rainwater irrigation system—beyond the ubiquitous 55-gallon barrels under the downspout, which won’t irrigate much more than a flower bed or two—is a fairly complicated DIY project.

If you live in a townhouse or apartment with a tiny yard, one of those store-bought barrels will probably do the trick. In that case, there’s not much to know—most come with instructions and all the hardware you need. But if you’re planning a more ambitious project consider the following pointers before getting started. Before you begin, make sure that rain harvesting is legal in your area.

Calculating Your Water Budget

To give you an idea of how much water you have at your disposal for irrigation, here is a simple equation for figuring out how many gallons your roof sheds when it rains:

roof size (in square feet) X annual rainfall (in inches) X .6

There are rain tank calculators online so you don’t have to do the math, but here is an example. If you lived in a modest 20′ by 30′ house (measure roof size as the length times the width of the house) in a modestly wet region with 40 inches of annual rainfall, that’s (20 X 30) X 40 X .6 = 14,400 gallons. Here’s a handy web tool to find out how much rainfall you get in your area each year.

Please click here to read the entire article “Roof-to-Garden: How to Irrigate with Rainwater” by Brian Barth from EcoWatch



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