We 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. We'll strive towards achieving and maintaining ISO14001 certification of the EMS.
We will strive toward continuous improvement in our Environmental Activities and will set and regularly review environmental goals and targets. We'll identify and proactively address emerging issues in the water treatment industry and will work towards implementation of industry best practices.
We 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, we will:
- Set and strive to meet our own internal water quality and plant treatment performance standards that exceed the minimum regulatory requirements.
- 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.
- 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
- Any others as required or updated
We 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.
With respect to public involvement and consultation, we will:
- Continue with open communication with customers by means of website postings, open houses and/or mail outs.
- Prepare and make public an annual EPCOR performance report with respect to progress toward and achievement of EnviroVista Commitments.
- Maintain a Community Advisory Panel that strives for representation from multiple sectors including commercial/industrial, environmental, governmental, and the community.
- 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.
- 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.
With respect to industry leadership, we will:
- Maintain accreditation to ISO/ANSI 17025 in its Quality Assurance Laboratories.
- Actively participate in the North Saskatchewan Watershed Alliance Watershed Planning and Advisory Council to enhance watershed and drinking water source protection, and will maintain and implement an EPCOR Source Water Protection Plan.
- Maintain distribution system pipe and appurtenance (valves, hydrants, blow-offs, etc.) replacement programs to minimize customer impacts from aging infrastructure.
- 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).
- Maintain an annual unidirectional flushing and hydrant servicing program.
- Maintain a Lead Response Program to provide protection for customers from exposure to high lead concentrations at the tap arising from lead service lines.
- 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.
- Actively participate in Water for Life and other Alberta Environment initiatives as invited.
- Support a program of research on the potential impacts of climate change on source water quantity and quality and treated water supply.
- Continue to examine the energy efficiency of our operations and will continuously evaluate capital and operational improvements to increase energy efficiency.
- Partner with the City of Edmonton to support and promote a water conservation program.
- Maintain active staff recruitment, training, engagement and succession planning programs.
- Share the results of the above initiatives with Alberta Environment.
With respect to reducing environmental impacts, we will:
- 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):
Eliminate all chlorinated discharges to surface water bodies by:
- 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
- Exploration of opportunities to further reduce solids loading to the river and expanding water plants residual solids management to other seasons
- Operating treatment systems to dechlorinate all chlorinated waste streams generated at both water treatment plants
- 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)