March 29 - April 5, 2004

Recent reports document steady improvement in NS water supplies

HALIFAX, NS-Recent reports indicate that in the last three years, 15 Nova Scotia municipalities have improved the quality of water provided to their customers by reducing or eliminating the incidence of trihalomethanes (THMs) in their water supplies. This represents an improvement of 65% since 2001, when 23 municipalities reported THM levels above national guidelines. THMs are formed when water disinfected with chlorine reacts with organic material in the water, such as twigs and leaves. "Municipalities have put a great deal of time, effort, and resources into addressing THMs, as well as other important water issues, and it shows. Municipal supplies in Nova Scotia are generally in good shape," said Environment and Labour Minister Kerry Morash. "But we always need to keep improving our systems, so we're ready to meet changing guidelines and so we can take advantage of improvements in technology." The province has accomplished a great deal since releasing its Drinking Water Strategy in October 2002. It has set up a system of regular audits of all municipal water systems, and has registered about 1,800 privately-owned public water supplies with the Department of Environment and Labour. It has established a committee with the Municipal Public Works Association of Nova Scotia to improve information-sharing and consultation with municipal governments on issues related to water. A key first-year goal for the strategy is completing assessments of municipal water treatment facilities to verify that systems meet current environmental standards. Reports were due to be completed by April 1.
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