In West Hants, over one-third of households receive water through municipal infrastructure, while the remainder depend on private wells. Matters regarding well water are overseen by the Department of Environment, including permits and quality issues. For information on private wells, including well construction, water tessting and water conservation and protection, visit their website at https://novascotia.ca/nse/water/privatewells.asp.
West Hants Regional Watersheds
French Mill Brook watershed is 2,814 acres (1,138.82 hectares) and supplies water to approximately 780 households in the Falmouth Growth Centre. pdf French Mill Brook Map (283 KB)
Davidson Lake watershed is approximately 329 acres (133 hectares) and supplies water to approximately 600 households in Hantsport. pdf Davidson Lake Map (113 KB)
Windsor's Mill Lakes water supply is 4,395 acres (1,778.45 hectares) and serves over 1,000 households in Windsor, Three Mile Plains and the serviced portion of Wentworth Road. pdf Windsor's Mill Lakes Map (277 KB)
Each Watershead is represented by a Watershed Committee who promote stewardship within and cooperatively manage the Watersheds. The Committee recognizes the protection of source water is the first step in the multi-barrier approach to clean, safe drinking water. Thease committee meetings are held April & October of each year.
Source Water Protection
Our source water must be protected from spills, pesticides, fertilizers and anything else that threatens water quality. Each of these watershed areas is designated as a Protected Water Area under the Nova Scotia Environment Act. A Source Water Protection Committee and Source Water Protection Plans have been established to regulate and monitor activities within each watershed.
Source Water Protection Plan Falmouth French Mill default Click Here (1.27 MB) Source Water Protection Plan Hantsport Davidson Lake default Click Here (1.26 MB) Source Water Protection Plan Windsor Mills Lake default Click Here (2.63 MB)
Water Treatment and Distribution System
Here is one of our facilities the Falmouth Water Treatment Facility and Distribution System.Raw water is treated, clarified and disinfected before it is delivered to homes and businesses. The Falmouth Water Utility strives to provide high quality drinking water through operational best practices in accordance with the Canadian Drinking Water Quality Guidelines. Our goal as a utility is to ensure the public health of our customers while maintaining exceptional customer service, fiscal responsibility, asset management and workplace safety.
Falmouth Water Utility receives its water from the French Mill Brook Watershed, a protected area consisting of approximately 2814 acres of forest, wetlands, and streams. Water flows down the watershed and eventually reaches a man-made dam, where it collects in a reservoir positioned next to the Treatment Facility.
The water enters an engineered spillway, and the pumphouse next to the reservoir pumps it to the Treatment Plant located just up the hill. The plant is designed to be run at a constant, pre-set flow rate.
Raw water turbidity and pH are continuously monitored by on-line instrumentation and transmitted to the plant control panel. Pre-treatment chemical dosing is performed at this stage, and the water is pumped into the flocculation chamber where suspended solids can be removed.
The coagulating chemicals that are used cause the particles to clump together to form floc. Flocculation is a simple physical process where tiny particles stick together to form larger particles, which can then be separated once settled. By using a flashlight, the photos below demonstrate how the particles gradually become larger masses as they move through the flocculation chamber. These particles consist mainly of inorganic material (clay, silt, etc.), organic material (microorganisms, bacteria, parasites, etc.), and modified solids from coagulation and flocculation.
Next, the water flows into the clarifier. Heaver floc particles settle to the floor of the tank and the lighter floc particles are retained within settling tubes, which flocculate again and settle to the floor. Clarified water is collected from near the surface of the tank through two, full length submerged collection launders. Approximately 90% of solids will be removed during this process.
The water must then go through a filtration process to remove the remaining particles. Mixed media filters are used, which contain Anthracite coal, sand (which does the filtering), gravel (which keeps the sand from getting out) and an under-drain (where the filtered water exits). Over time particles accumulate within the filtration media, and must be cleansed in a process called backwashing. When backwashing occurs, water containing waste material is routed to a pond located adjacent to the plant, where it naturally filters through the ground and back to the resevior. The more condensed sludge material is pumped into a Geo-bag that will trap solid materials while still letting water pass through the bag marterial, through a gravel bed and finally back to the resevoir.
After the filtering system, treated water flows by gravity to the below grade clearwell structure. Soda ash is added to the filtered water as it enters the clearwell. Levels are continuously monitored in order to maintain the desired quantity of treated water available for distribution.
Finally, water from the clearwell is injected with chlorine gas before it leaves the Treatment Plant and is pumped to the Falmouth standpipe (water tower) for distribution.