Home > Home, Property, and Development > Water, sewer, and energy

Water, sewer, and neighbourhood energy systems

Taking care of the environment, taking care of our future.

Our goals related to water supply, sewage treatment, and energy supply are:

  • To provide the best drinking water of any major city by 2020
  • To conserve potable water, and ensure water is available at all times 
  • To protect Vancouver's waterways, and the environment 
  • To ensure we are prepared for emergencies, including major disasters
  • To develop neighbourhood-scale energy centres that use low-carbon, renewable resources to provide heat and hot water

Safe, accessible drinking water

Vancouver's water is collected in the Capilano, Seymour and Coquitlam reservoirs. On an average day, the water system delivers 360-million L of high-quality water throughout the city.

Water conservation and protection

Reducing water consumption, and being aware of what goes into the sewer are important parts of working towards the goal of becoming the greenest city in the world by 2020.

Environmental protection and innovation

Replacing combined sewer systems with separated sewer systems so sewage does not enter Vancouver's waterways, and using innovative sources of energy such as sewage waste heat protects the environment.  

Emergency preparedness

A major disaster, such as an earthquake, could make our conventional fire protection system unusable. Our dedicated fire protection system is designed to pump potable water, plus salt water when needed.

Managing Vancouver's utilities

Providing high-quality, affordable water is one of the City's priorities.

Water quality and pressure

Find out how the City and Metro protect drinking water quality, and how the City controls water pressure.

Conserving water saves water resources for future generations, and money.

Conserving and protecting water

Find out about the City's water conservation efforts to ensure that everyone can have safe drinking water all year long.

Neighbourhood energy utilities at night

Neighbourhood Energy Strategy

The Neighbourhood Energy Strategy is a plan to build an environmentally friendly community energy system that provides heat and hot water.

Get help with your water and sewer concerns

Sewer crew hard at work

Fix leaks, floods, and sewage problems

Find out how to track down the source of water leaks, flooding, or drainage problems and when to call the City or an independent plumber.

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

Problems with water quality or pressure

Is your water cloudy or brown? Did the water pressure suddenly change? Find out who to call to resolve problems with your water quality and water pressure.

Residential and commerical permits

A water service permit allows you to connect a new building with the City's water and sewer system.

Water and sewer connection permits

Find out how to apply for permits to connect your new home, laneway house, or other building with the City of Vancouver's water, sanitary, and storm sewer services.

Water drop from pipe

Wastewater discharge permit (for construction at contaminated sites)

This permit covers soil remediation and contaminated water discharge during construction. Read the requirements, view the bylaw, download the application.

Ask. Tell. Connect.

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

Outside Vancouver:

Speak your own language

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

Drinking water scores

Vancouver's drinking water quality is consistently excellent.

View water quality results by neighbourhood

Did you know?

Dedicated Fire Protection System hydrants are located in the downtown core, and Kitsilano.

Blue fire hydrants, seen in Kitsilano and the downtown core, are connected to a pipeline that can harness salt water in the event of emergencies.

Emergency strategies

Water regulations

Metro Vancouver

Many of our water regulations are set by Metro Vancouver and implemented and enforced by the City.

Read about Metro Vancouver's Water Treatment and Supply initiatives.

Learn more

Last modified: Fri, 06 Dec 2013 11:56:56

Conserving and protecting waterWater quality and pressureHow the water and sewer system worksLeaks, flooding, and drainageNeighbourhood Energy Strategy