Red fire hydrant

What we are doing to protect and conserve our water

Hydrant leak survey program: saving money and water

More than 100 of the our 6,000+ fire hydrants are leaking at any given time.In 2013, our twice-yearly hydrant leak survey program began, which will save 200 million litres of water and up to $200,000 a year.

We are taking action to ensure our daily practices are water wise by:

  • Updating our practices to reduce water use
  • Creating infrastructure that will ensure our natural wateways stay clean for recreation and our local ecosystem

We regularly monitor Vancouver’s water distribution system for leaks and each year conduct leak detection surveys across the city. In 2015, our proactive leak detection approach saved 1,506,000,000 litres of water.

Report a water main leak

Have you spotted a leak in a City water main? Call 3-1-1 to let us know. Each report will be assessed and placed on our priority list for repair. 

Efforts to keep our waterways clean — through sewer separation, green infrastructure, and stream enhancement — have made them safe for wildlife again.

Conservation

We are reducing the amount of water we use in our facilities and practices through:

  • Our hydrant leak survey program
    More than 100 of the our 6,000+ fire hydrants are leaking at any given time. In 2013, our twice-yearly hydrant leak survey program began, which will save 200 million litres of water and up to $200,000.00 a year.
  • Letting lawns go gold
    We follow Metro Vancouver’s water restriction guidelines and and let our lawn go gold by cutting our outdoor lawn watering at our facilities that have a regular lawn, such as City Hall and Mountain View Cemetery. Seeing a lawn that’s green? It may have rained recently enough, or be a sports playing field, which requires a small amount of water to be usable. 
  • Choosing water wise plants and ground cover
    Parks is updating some areas to trial water wise ground covers that are also resilient against chafer beetles, such as micro clover.
  • Installing water efficient technologies
    In 2015, several spray parks throughout Vancouver were retrofit from running non-stop throughout the day by having them user-activated through a push button. This will help to save thousands of gallons of water each summer. 
  • Meeting green building water efficiency standards
    Our civic facilities are built to LEED gold standard, which ensures that they reach ~20% greater water efficiency than buildings under the standard building code. 
  • Checking for leaks
    We regularly monitor Vancouver’s water distribution system for leaks and each year conduct leak detection surveys across the city. In 2015, our proactive leak detection approach saved 1,506,000,000 litres of water!

Report a water main leak

Have you spotted a leak in a City water main? Report it to 3-1-1 and let us know! Each report will be assessed and placed on our priority list for repair.

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Quality

Our mission is to provide you with a sustainable supply of high-quality water.

Drinking water is tested for quality at the source waters by Metro Vancouver before the water is sold to the municipalities. This water is then tested for quality by us numerous times as it travels through our water distribution system to your tap. The results consistently show that our drinking water quality is excellent.

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Stewardship

We are protecting our waterways, streets, and sewers by:

  • Working toward the Province of BC's environmental goal to eliminate sewage overflows by 2050. In a combined sewer system, stormwater runoff is combined in a single pipe with wastewater from homes, businesses, and industry.
  • Designing streets, country lanes, and rain gardens with absorbent materials to reduce surface flooding and divert stormwater runoff from the sewer system. 
  • Rediscover and restore once buried streams to a more natural state above ground.

How we are separating sewage from rain water

How we are managing rain and stormwater runoff

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Our Greenest City goal: reduce water use and ensure our drinking water is high quality

Woman refilling bottle from a public drinking water faucet in Vancouver.

Clean Water

Our goal is for Vancouver to have the best drinking water of any city in the world. Learn more about our Greenest City goal: Clean Water.

Separating sewage from rainwaterManaging rain and stormwater runoffRestoring streams