Protecting pipes against corrosion not only preserves the lifespan of pipes and hot water tanks — it can also reduce those green stains you may see on tubs, sinks and grout.
Metro Vancouver’s efforts to reduce pipe corrosion safeguards your investment in your home or business, and will:
- Reduce the release of copper from pipes in buildings caused by low pH in the region’s water.
- Reduce leaks in pipes caused by copper corrosion.
- Preserve the lifespan of pipes, fixtures and hot water tanks.
- Reduce green stains on tubs, sinks and grout.
As part of this long-term program, Metro Vancouver is planning to increase the pH and alkalinity of the region’s drinking water to a higher target level starting in late spring, using natural minerals.
Metro Vancouver currently delivers water with a pH of 7.7, which is compliant with Health Canada’s Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality, which range from 7 to 10.5. The pH will be increased to a target range of 8.3 to 8.5 and will make the water less corrosive (see graphic for details).
To help improve the stability of the target pH level in the water transmission and distribution pipes, the alkalinity will be doubled to about 20 mg/L (expressed as calcium carbonate). Alkalinity is a measure of the buffering capacity of the water to neutralize acids and bases, helping to maintain a stable pH level.
It’s possible that these changes may require some water users — such as health-care facilities, aquariums and breweries — to adjust their operations to account for the change in pH and alkalinity. The changes will not affect the smell or taste of the high-quality drinking water that Metro Vancouver delivers.