Are you looking for other water, wastewater and storm water information? You've come to the right place! Here are some common FAQs. If you cannot find what you are looking for, please click on the link at the bottom of the page.
Q. Is the Oldman River safe to swim in?
A. No. The water is constantly flowing and there may be fast flowing waters or debris in the water. It is also best to stay off the Oldman River in winter due to instability of the ice.
Q. Is the Oldman River safe to cross when frozen?
A. No. The constantly changing weather patterns in Lethbridge create a dangerous environment around the river. The ice may never be completely frozen through. Please use the pathways on Whoop Up Drive and Bridge Drive.
Q. How do we treat our water?
A. Please see the "Water" webpage for further details.
Q. Sometimes when I fill a glass with water it appears cloudy and clears up with time. Why?
A. This occurs most often during the winter months. Water
can entrap tiny air bubbles, particularly if the water is extremely cold, or if
it passes through a tiny screen, like those found in some faucets. As oxygen is
a gas, it dissipates with time and the water clears up.
Q. Do we add fluoride to our water?
A. Yes. It is added as a dental health measure to prevent tooth decay. Its application is authorized under City Bylaw 3236 and has been added to the water in Lethbridge since 1974. The dosage of fluoride added to the water is 0.5mg/L to 0.7mg/L. The resulting concentration of fluoride in the treated water is 0.7mg/L to 0.9mg/L. The use of this chemical is not necessary to produce potable water.
Do not flush any of the following items:
- houseplant leaves and clippings
- silt or mud
- human or animal hair
- tea bags
- coffee grounds
- cooking grease or animal grease
- cigarettes, cigars, butts
- kitty litter
- solvents, paint
- sanitary napkins
- tampon applicators (plastic or cardboard)
- disposable diapers
- boxes, packaging, wrappers
The items above do not biodegrade during time spent in the wastewater collection and treatment systems. They cause blockages in sanitary sewer service connections, mains and pumping stations, causing backups into homes, and unnecessary discharges to the environment. They foul valves and pumps, resulting in thousands of dollars in maintenance and repair costs each year.
The same answer goes to homes which use on-site disposal (septic tanks and disposal fields). These items do not quickly biodegrade and therefore take up space and may interfere with the normal operation in the tank. They may also interfere with tank maintenance, and may detrimentally affect the municipal system when/if the sludge is finally disposed of.
The general rule is:
If you did not eat it first, you should find another way to dispose of it.
For more information, check out the "Don't Rush, Think Before You Flush" webpage.
Q. What happens when I flush my toilet or when water goes down my sink or shower drains?
A. Check out our wastewater treatment process or what not to flush webpages to find out more!
Q. How is the sanitary water treated?
A. Water goes down our toilets and drains, and is carried by our sewer systems to the Lethbridge Wastewater Treatment Plant. Check out our Wastewater Treatment Plant Process.
Q. Where does the water go from the Wastewater Treatment Plant?
A. The water enters the Oldman River and eventually merges with the South Saskatchewan and emptying into Hudson Bay.
Q. What is the difference between storm sewer systems and sanitary sewer systems?
Q. Can I wash my car in the driveway or street?
A. Storm sewer systems are not connected to the Wastewater Treatment Plant, and therefore goes directly to the Oldman River, untreated. Sanitary sewer systems are treated at the Wastewater Treatment Plant, and include the drains within your households, such as shower drains and sink drains.
A. The City recommends (Bylaw 5594) using a commercial car wash to clean your vehicle. Commercial car washes discharge to the City’s wastewater
treatment facility where the wastewater is cleaned and treated. If you
do wash your car in the driveway or street, you cannot use soap.
Even biodegradable soaps will harm living things in the river. Use
water only and ensure that dirt or oil from your car does not get
washed down the storm drain.
Q. What if I see someone pouring down the storm drains?
A. The Bylaw now obligates you to report and mitigate any discharge of
prohibited materials whether accidental or intentional.
If the release creates an immediate danger to public health and safety,
call 9-1-1 for the Fire Department HAZMAT Team to respond. For
other violations and incidents, please report them to Lethbridge 311.
Q. Does the City of Lethbridge have a Bylaw about dumping down storm drains?
A. Bylaw 5594, A Bylaw of the City of Lethbridge to regulate storm sewers and storm drainage in the City of Lethbridge
Q. Do we have any programs to help conserve water in Lethbridge?
A. Yes! We have programs such as the Yellow Fish Road Program, Gutter Buddy Program, Adopt A Storm Drain, and Storm Drain Survival Kits. Check out our Education page!
Q. What is a watershed?
A.Wherever you live, you live in a watershed. A watershed is the area of land that carries water from the land after rain falls and snow melts through the soil, groundwaters, creeks and streams making its way into larger rivers and eventually the ocean. Because water flows downhill, the watershed boundaries are most always located on the top of hills or mountains. (Oldman Watershed Council) Click here for more information
Q. What watershed do we live in here in Lethbridge?
A. We live in the Oldman Watershed. Click here for more information
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