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Problems with water quality or pressure

Find out when to call the City versus a plumber for water pressure problems.

Vancouver's water system is large and complex, and you may sometimes experience problems with the water quality or pressure in your home or business.

If you are experiencing a problem with water quality or water pressure, the City would like to help you to locate the source of the problem, and will fix problems on the public part of the system.

Follow this guide to determine the next steps in resolving problems with water quality and pressure. In certain instances where you are advised to Call a plumber, you may be able to repair the problem yourself.

Type of problem Call 3-1-1 Call a plumber
Cloudy or brown water from your taps or your neighbour's taps (called turbidity), which doesn't clear up even after cold water taps are run for 15 minutes

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Water discoloured, has a poor taste, or smell

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No water flowing from all taps in your home or in your neighbours' homes

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Sudden drop in water pressure in your entire home, and several neighbours are affected

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Low water pressure or no water flowing from any taps in your home, and none of your neighbours are affected

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Sudden high water pressure

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Excessively hot water, or no hot water at all

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Low water pressure in only one faucet, tap, or fixture

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Water does not work in one area of your home, or water pipes may be frozen

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Request a City water service crew

When you call 3-1-1 to request a City crew to investigate a water quality or pressure problem:

  • For non-emergencies, only a property owner, and not a tenant, can request the City to dispatch a crew
  • Charges may apply if the problem is not caused by the City water system
  • Someone who can approve the possibility that the City may charge for the service call will need to be on site to let the crew in when they arrive

Fees and appointment times

Daytime: $50.00 (regular call-out)

  • Monday to Friday, 7:00am – 6:00pm
  • Saturday and Sunday, 8:30am – 6:00pm

Evenings and holidays: $200.00 (emergency call-out)

  • Monday to Friday, 6:00pm – 7:00am
  • Saturday and Sunday, 6:00pm – 8:30am 
  • Statutory holidays, all day

Follow-up appointments within 24 hours: free

If we turn off your water supply and you request another appointment to turn it back on within 24 hours, there's no charge for the follow-up.

Ask. Tell. Connect.

Phone 3-1-1 to ask, tell, and connect with the City

Outside Vancouver:

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When should you call 9-1-1? Click to find out       Deaf? Have difficulty speaking? Click to learn how to make a TTY call

More ways to contact us

Commercial buildings

If you have concerns about water pressure in a commercial building, contact 3-1-1.

Health concerns

If you have health-related concerns about water quality, contact Vancouver Coastal Health at 604-675-3800.

Flooding and drainage problems

Water leak, flood, or drainage backup

When you find water where it shouldn't be, we'll help you find out who to call.

Floods and backups

Last modified: Fri, 13 Jul 2012 10:44:42