Population growth and climate change will impact our access to water in the future. We are working to help residents and businesses use less water.
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We have excellent water quality, but action is needed to ensure our current water supply meets the increasing pressures of climate change, population growth, and a growing economy. Now is the time to focus our water conservation efforts.
In fall 2015 we partnered with FortisBC and BC Hydro to install new water and energy efficient dish cleaning pre-rinse spray valves and faucet aerators in restaurants.
These fixtures use up to 80% less water, helping restaurants cut their hot water use and energy bills. In total, 509 spray valves and 1,591 aerators were installed in 476 participating restaurants.
The estimated annual water savings—more than 100,000 m3—would be enough to fill 40 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
The Garden Parties Program was a three-year program (2012-2014) that connected residents with a trained and professional garden consultant who came to their home to deliver a hands-on workshop.
In total, 130 homes were visited and 650 residents received information on how to achieve a beautiful garden while using water efficiently. Garden hosts invited friends and neighbours to share the experience, building community as well as teaching skills in water efficient landscape management.
We replace about 10 kilometres of combined sewer pipe each year with a storm sewer and a sanitary sewer system.
Old systems are combined so that in drier weather, storm water and waste water are carried to the sewage treatment plant together. But in heavy rains, high volumes of storm water can exceed the capacity of a combined sewer system. The excess would then overflow and empty directly into our waterways. We intend to eliminate this sewage overflow by 2050.
Separated sewer systems help:
In 2014, the focus was on repairing cross connections that resulted in waste water from homes being fed accidentally into storm water channels. One example is the newly-naturalized Still Creek. Recent water testing revealed that some residential pipes had been connected to the stormwater main in error.
Technicians used a special, non-toxic dye to identify properties with cross connections, then helped homeowners make necessary changes by providing information, guidance, and a small grant.
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Find more information about metered rates for water, sewer, and energy. The City has introduced seasonal metered water rates to meet our water conservation goals.
We are installing separated sewer lines to replace the combined sewer system. Find out why we are separating them.
Understand how water meters work and how they help us conserve our drinking water supply.