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.

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


Water: Think Globally, Act Locally

Water: Think Globally, Act Locally with Environmental Cistern Cleaning

By Bruce Mason
The world is awakening from a long sleep of water complacency; into awareness that, indeed: “Water is Life!” Dire signs and warnings are surfacing; we are now well into the Century of Water, (not Oil).

Much of this new normal is old news in rural areas, where water scarcity and quality has always been a reality and individual responsibility. Especially at this time of year, when the alarms have no snooze button and require immediate action. Where people are contacting Environmental Cistern Cleaning Inc. (ECCI) for solutions, including answers to the question: ‘What is the point of rationing dirty water?’

“For whatever reason – including being off-Island  – some homeowners didn’t shut down their water systems during a season with very high pollen counts,” reports Geoffrey Montgomery-Swan, co-owner of ECCI, who developed their unique technology and methodology. “Right now they are experiencing an odour that is much like a backed-up septic system. Our cleaning process removes the pollen and the resulting smell. However, there are other problems that aren’t as obvious, because when the tap is turned on, clean-looking water comes out,” he adds.

“If our water cisterns were made of see-through material such as glass, we would be shocked by the things that collect on roofs such as bird poop, airborne contaminants, pine needles, tree sap, general roof dirt and debris, including critters and other small animals which have worked their way into the cistern. There may also be build-ups of iron, manganese, clay/rock flour, and while it is essential to have the cisterns cleaned to remove these elements, UV and other systems need clean water passing through the system to work efficiently and safely. Only when E Coli and Total Coliforms are physically removed by Environmental Cistern Cleaning Inc. and the cistern is disinfected, confidence can return.”

This is the only region in the country where rain harvesting has been approved as a source of potable water and Health Canada recommends cistern cleaning and disinfecting annually. As in any harvest: we reap what we sow. And the size of the bounty is determined by ongoing care and attention from experienced hands. Environmental Cistern Cleaning Inc. (ECCI) has saved more than 20 million litres of water – the equivalent of 40 million half-litre bottles. Think of your cistern as the ultimate re-usable storage container that will beat anything else you can purchase and supply you with an ongoing source of water. For everything you need to know water-wise – including to book an appointment – visit

To view a pdf copy of what appeared in the July  2018 long weekend edition of the Gabriola Sounder click here.

B.C. Interior Health Launches Real-Time Water Advisory Map

British Columbia’s Interior Health (IH) has launched a real-time, interactive water advisory map, enabling people to search the entire IH region for current drinking water advisories. Users can also learn more about IH water suppliers, types of advisories, and the reasons for these advisories.

We are aware that this is only for the interior, but hopefully this service will expand to eventually include the Gulf Islands (and maybe even further). You can find all the details here on their website Drinking Water for Everyone.


GDPR Compliance

GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and is a European Union (EU) law taking effect on May 25, 2018. The goal of GDPR is to give all EU citizens control over their personal data and change the data privacy approach of organizations across the world.

The main objective of GDPR is to protect user’s personal data (names, email, IP address, health records etc) and hold businesses to a higher standard when it comes to how they collect, store and use these data.

This post is to notify every visitor of our website that we have updated our website to comply with this law. Even though it is a law from the EU, it really affects businesses around the world. It is to make your personal data more protected. We at Environmental Cistern Cleaning are taking your data very seriously and decided to make this compliance a priority. Rest assured that your data is safe with us.

Chlorine is bad for you

Do you like the smell of chlorine? Me neither. But its not only the aweful smell, its what it can do to your health when exposed to it .

Now you may say: ok, I don’t drink water that has chlorine in it – I buy costly bottled water – so I am fine.

But how about your daily cleansing? I am sure you don’t haul water home for that shower or even bath… Well it looks like the water you use for your daily rituals can wrack even worse havoc!

But don’t listen to me, get the full story on why chlorine is so bad for you & what you can do about it here.

Pollen Alert…!

Pollen – the Bees just love it, but do we love it too?

Yes, it’s that time of year again. It may be great for the bees, but not for your water cistern. There is lot’s of pollen happening – see pollen report of today – and if you are collecting rainwater from a roof, you should disconnect your downspouts away from the cistern intake.

A good indicator that pollen is coming down is when you see that yellow powder on your car’s windshield. Nobody knows how long it will last, but it is usually a few days when it is worst & it can come back a few times during the spring.

If there is a strange smell coming from your cistern, you have pollen in your cistern. In that case, you may want to call us and schedule a cistern cleaning to get that stuff out.

Find more indicators that your cistern needs cleaning in our write-up: Tell-Tale Signs Your Cistern Needs Cleaning & the Health Consequences of not doing so! To print out that handy flyer click Tell-Tale-Signs.

64% of bottled water comes from a tap

image of bottled water

Image courtesy of Steven Depolo – Article Courtesy of Sami Grover, for Treehugger

It also costs 2,000 times more.

As Glastonbury Festival bans plastic bottles, and as communities around the world promote refill stations and water fountains over bottled water, it’s worth revisiting an oft-forgotten fact about bottled water:

Most of it is literally the same water we get out of our faucets anyway.

To read full article, please go to this link.


Valentine’s 2018 Special

Would you like to treat your Valentine twice this year? With a clean water storage and the champagne and chocolates to go with it?

Image of champagne and chocolates

Your special Valentine’s gift for you and your partner will be reserved when booking a cistern cleaning via our online ordering page between now and February 7th 2018 – please enter “Valentine’s 2018” as promo code at the bottom of the form – and will be delivered to you on the day of your cleaning. Cleanings must be completed by February 14th 2018.

With the rainy season upon us, it is worth remembering that now is an ideal time to make sure your cistern is clean and ready for the precipitation… and wouldn’t it be a shame to put new water into a dirty cistern…

As a sidebar you may wish to visit our new website and refer to additional information that could be useful to know.

Looking forward to delivering your Valentine’s day gift, but you must book between now and February 7th…


Geoffrey & Sabina Montgomery-Swan



Hydrogen Peroxide – many amazing uses and benefits

60 hydrogen peroxide uses and benefits


Joan Clark, editor at Tipsbulletin, emailed me and asked if I would add a link on our website to her recent post about hydrogen peroxide:

60+ Amazing Hydrogen Peroxide Uses and Benefits

Of course – it’s a pleasure! In fact we appreciate every effort in getting the good word out about hydrogen peroxide. I wish people would stop using chlorine and bleach. Chlorine is carcinogenic and only makes matters worse. It is banned in Europe…

Joan mentions Water Sanitation under No. 59 in her article as an excellent way to treat well water. But it is not only good to treat well water. Water that is being collected on roofs, most commonly known as rainwater harvesting, also benefits tremendously if treated with H2O2.

Hydrogen Peroxide for disinfection

Environmental Cistern Cleaning Inc. uses Hydrogen Peroxide to disinfect cisterns – another point that Joan could add to her impressive list. Those cistern may contain well water, water collected via rainwater harvesting or even delivered water. Dirt gets everywhere, even into the trucks that deliver the water (that we happen to clean as well).

What not to do with H2O2

One piece of advise when using HP: be extremely careful – especially when using higher grades like the food-grade  peroxide. You need to wear eye protection and gloves. If you happen to get it on your skin, it can burn a whole in it!

Environmental Cistern Cleaning Makes Every Drop Count

When harvesting rain, we like to watch how the rain slowly fills a catchment system. People on municipal water systems may think we are a bit extreme, but we like to think we are just frugal with water. Like the good old saying:”A picture is worth a thousand words…”Environmental Cistern Cleaning makes every drop count

Please read our full advertorial which appeared in the Gabriola Sounder on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 for the July Long Weekend Edition.

Every drop does count

Every drop does count…


Environmental Cistern Cleaning

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about any of our products or services.