drinking water
drinking water

Chlorine has protected our drinking water for a century – but its byproducts may be tainting it

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

Manganese – Not just a nuisance, but a real health risk

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?

manganese in sinkNot 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.

Clean & drain

When do we not save the water?






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…
clean & drainAt no extra cost!
This clean and drain process is available – at no additional cost – but please specify on the order form, or in conversation with our office, as this is a special order requiring additional equipment be brought to the job.

Fresh Water Aquifer found

Well here is for some good news for humanity:

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.

fresh water aquifer

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


Drought Level 3

Level 3 drought declared

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.

Please read full article by Todd Westcott in Water Canada on June 10, 2019


Ready to go to Galiano Island for Cistern Cleaning
Ready to go to Galiano Island for Cistern Cleaning

Now Servicing all Gulf Islands with our unique cistern cleaning method

Your wait is finally over!


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:

  • Ruxton
  • Valdes
  • Mudge
  • De Courcy
  • Thetis
  • Kuper
  • Galiano
  • Prevost
  • Mayne
  • North and South Pender
  • Saturna
  • Portland
  • Moresby
  • James
  • 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.

Visit our website and book your cleaning now https://cleancistern.com/bookings/ and get ready to enjoy great tasting 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!

How to clean your washing machine

cleaning serviceNow 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:

How to Clean and Sanitize Your Washing Machine Inside and Out

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.


Failed Well Water Tests

Bacterial Water Quality in Canada

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.

You can read the full article here:

Back in December of 2018, we posted another article about what to do with you UV system if you go away, which you may want to read up on while we’re on the subject.

Hydrogen Peroxide – Could this be the gardener’s best friend?

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 articleHydrogen 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.

Water Treatment

Many gardeners in urban areas with chemically treated municipal tap water choose to treat their water with hydrogen peroxide.


The Cistern Cleaning Conundrum

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!

discharge of dirt
Your garden can benefit from the discharge of dirt – let’s re-use that precious water

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.

Have a look at our reviewpage and see what your fellow cistern users say about our service.  https://CleanCistern.Com/testimonials/

We’re ready when you need us…

So keep on collecting all that dirty rainwater…but remember to call us at

250-247-9797 when you want your cistern rid of all the dirt… we’ll leave you the water you preciously saved in a nicely cleaned cistern!

nicely cleaned cistern ready for your use
Nice and clean cistern – ready for your use

To view the Advertorial in the Gabriola Sounder on the Easter weekend 2019, please click here.

Easter Special 2019

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.

Option 1:

No Sugar Added Favourites – please enter bunny1 as your discount code on our order page


giftbox 1








Option 2:

No Sugar Added Mini Hedgehogs – please enter bunny2 as your discount code on our order page

giftbox 2

Thank you for your support!

Here the link again to book a cistern cleaning.

Gutter Guards for Rainwater Harvesting System

Do you have gutter guards installed?

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…

Courtesy of EasyOn Gutter Guard

Why is my Well Water Yellow and Brown

dirty water in glass

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?

Luckily Yes!

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!

Go to https://CleanCistern.Com/bookings/  or call us at 250-247-9797 today! And get ready to enjoy your water as it was meant to be.

Want more proof? Read what others think of the job we do for them. Go to: https://CleanCistern.Com/testimonials/          You too will be amazed at the difference!

By Geoffrey Montgomery-Swan

How to solve your dirty water problem and not let your cistern become a Petri Dish!

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!

image of very dirty cisternOr 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!)

image of pills

Photo by rawpixel on rawpixel

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.

Simple, Right?

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.

Call us at 250-247-9797 or make your booking online https://cleancistern.com/bookings/ for ultra-fast and efficient service.

We are here to help!

The Environmental Solution to Cistern and Water Tank Cleaning.

Snow Harvesting Anybody?

Snow Harvesting or Snow Armageddon…?

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…


Case Study

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!)

Beth felt good again, Environmental Cistern Cleaning (CleanCistern.Com) really was the Environmental Solution to Cistern and Water Tank Cleaning.

She made the phone call 250-247-9797 booked her appointment and relaxed…

image of lady lying on beach with hat

RDN Rebates Program is back!

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!

RDN logo large colourIf 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

Never let your UV System boil dry!

Going away for a few days?

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!

Here’s why…

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!

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 (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 info@cleancistern.com, online: https://cleancistern.com

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 https://cleancistern.com/.

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.

Environmental Cistern Cleaning

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