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​Introduction

Recognizing ‘Green’ Champions

The EnviroVista program promotes environmental leadership and recognizes environmental excellence through emissions performance and continuous improvement initiatives. This voluntary provincial program is a part of Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) Partners in Excellence initiative. EnviroVista provides unique regulatory status for Alberta industrial and manufacturing facilities, including municipal water operations.

A key requirement for participation in the program is at least five years of approved emissions performance with no AEP enforcement actions. Champion status involves a new ten-year outcome-based AEP Approval to operate (648-03-00) and a ten-year Stewardship agreement

At EPCOR, environmental excellence includes both providing safe drinking water, as well as minimizing our impact to the environment.

A Champion in Your Backyard

The health of our water supply affects us today and tomorrow. That’s why EPCOR goes above and beyond to protect the environment while ensuring future generations have access to clean, safe water.

The EPCOR Edmonton Water Works system was granted EnviroVista Champion Status by Alberta Environment and Parks on June 1, 2011. In its Stewardship agreement with the province, EPCOR committed to a set of environmental initiatives that go above and beyond the typical approval-to-operate requirements for a municipal water operation (see Stewardship Commitments below).

Many of these commitments are programs and activities EPCOR has had in place for a long time. These commitments are simply how we operate, well before they became regulatory requirements. While the Stewardship agreement now recognizes these continuous improvement initiatives, it also commits EPCOR to maintaining certain performance levels going forward.

Why are we making these commitments? Because we know that continuing these programs are the right thing to do to continue to improve and protect the environment and public health.

​EPCOR'S EnviroVista Champion Stewardship Commitments

  1. EPCOR will maintain a robust Environmental Management System (EMS) that will include an environmental policy, required and voluntary undertakings, objectives and targets, roles and responsibilities, operational control, corrective actions, training, decision making/planning, document control and continuous evaluation and improvement. EPCOR will strive towards achieving and maintaining ISO14001 certification of the EMS;
  2. EPCOR will strive toward continuous improvement in its Environmental Activities and will set and regularly review environmental goals and targets. EPCOR will identify and proactively address emerging issues in the water treatment industry and will work towards implementation of industry best practices;
  3. EPCOR will use a source-to-tap, multi-barrier approach to provide a consistent supply of potable public water that ensures protection of public health to both the City of Edmonton and Regional customers. The treated water will meet or exceed all current Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality (GCDWQ) and other regulatory requirements. In addition:
    1. EPCOR will set and strive to meet its own internal water quality and plant treatment performance standards that exceed the minimum regulatory requirements;
    2. EPCOR will monitor for all GCDWQ guideline parameters and will also carry out additional monitoring programs for unregulated parameters (including pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and disinfection byproducts) in both source water and treated drinking water in order to better understand and mitigate both current and emerging public health risks; and
    3. EPCOR will strive to meet index targets (as updated) set in EPCOR’s Performance Based Regulation, which is established through a City of Edmonton bylaw:
      • System Reliability index;
      • Water Quality Index;
      • Customer Service Index;
      • Environmental Index;
      • Safety Index; and
      • Any others as required or updated.
  4. EPCOR will develop and document, by January 1, 2013, an operations program for its drinking water treatment and distribution system and will review and update the operations program on an annual basis.
  5. With respect to public involvement and consultation, EPCOR will:
    1. Continue with open communication with customers by means of website postings, open houses and/or mail outs;
    2. Prepare and make public an annual EPCOR performance report with respect to progress toward and achievement of EnviroVista Commitments;
    3. Maintain a Community Advisory Panel that strives for representation from multiple sectors including commercial/industrial, environmental, governmental, and the community;
    4. Maintain a Water Quality Advisory Committee that consists of representatives from Alberta Environment and other representatives from Government of Alberta, University of Alberta, Alberta Provincial Laboratory, the City of Edmonton Emergency Response and the Regional Customer Group and other stakeholder groups as amended and required; and
    5. Maintain working partnerships with Alberta Environment and other stakeholders and will provide advice and support on water supply, quality and treatment issues in the Edmonton region and throughout Alberta.
  6. With respect to industry leadership, EPCOR will:
    1. maintain accreditation to ISO/ANSI 17025 in its Quality Assurance Laboratories;
    2. Actively participate in the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance W PAC to enhance watershed and drinking water source protection, and will maintain and implement an EPCOR Source Water Protection Plan;
    3. Maintain distribution system pipe and appurtenance (valves, hydrants, blow-offs, etc.) replacement programs to minimize customer impacts from aging infrastructure;
    4. Maintain a main break repair program which provides rapid response for isolation and repair of main breaks (with better than 90% of breaks repaired within 24 hours);
    5. Maintain an annual unidirectional flushing and hydrant servicing program;
    6. Maintain a Lead Response Program to provide protection for customers from exposure to high lead concentrations at the tap arising from lead service lines;
    7. Maintain active membership in industry and research organizations including American Waterworks Association, the Water Research Foundation and Canadian Water and Wastewater Association and will participate in water industry research projects as contributors, lead researches, and reviewers;
    8. Actively participate in Water for Life and other Alberta Environment initiatives as invited;
    9. Support a program of research on the potential impacts of climate change on source water quantity and quality and treated water supply;
    10. Continue to examine the energy efficiency of its operations and will continuously evaluate capital and operational improvements to increase energy efficiency;
    11. Partner with the City of Edmonton to support and promote a water conservation program;
    12. Maintain active staff recruitment, training, engagement and succession planning programs; and
    13. Share the results of the above initiatives with Alberta Environment.
  7. With respect to reducing environmental impacts, EPCOR will:
    1. Strive to reduce the impact of water treatment plant residual streams released to the North Saskatchewan River through a long-term residuals management program of continuous improvement that will include (as updated):
      • Reduction of water treatment plants winter solid residuals production by converting to direct filtration mode of operation during winter months (Nov-Feb) while maintaining treated water quality;
      • Diversion of water treatment plants winter solids residuals to sanitary sewer, landfill or other solids disposal options; and
      • Exploration of opportunities to further reduce solids loading to the river and expanding water plants residual solids management to other seasons.
    2. Eliminate all chlorinated discharges to surface water bodies by:
      • Operating treatment systems to dechlorinate all chlorinated waste streams generated at both water treatment plants; and
      • Implementing procedures to dechlorinate discharges of chlorinated water released from the distribution system during system flushing, reservoir draining, commissioning of new water lines and as a result of main breaks (after measures have been taken to isolate the break).