What you need to know
Water quality concerns such as unusual colour, taste, odour, and appearance can be temporarily caused by water main leaks or breaks, annual flushing of the water distribution system, chlorine, and turbidity (cloudiness).
Resolving water quality concerns often involves a complete investigation to determine the cause of the problem.
Several measures are taken to protect the quality of Vancouver's drinking water.
- At the source, Metro Vancouver has a comprehensive system of testing raw water for quality:
- Filtering and disinfecting the water to prevent or remove biological pathogens.
- Monitoring the water quality before delivery to member municipalities.
- Once water enters Vancouver's distribution system, the City of Vancouver further tests water quality from 53 dedicated water sampling stations. Water must comply with the health standards set out in the BC Drinking Water Regulation.
- Additionally, the City’s water-distribution system does not contain lead pipes. Lead pipes and components were eliminated in the 1980s and 1990s. We routinely test water flowing through our distribution system and can confirm lead levels are always within Health Canada’s guidelines.
- The City conducts field testing for physical and chemical contaminants. Bacteriological samples are collected and sent to the BC Centre for Disease Control for further analysis, providing another level of monitoring through a third party.
Providing public reports of water testing results is an important way for the City to:
- Keep you informed of Vancouver's overall water quality.
- Maintain accountability.
Easy access to drinking water test results is available through our interactive water quality map.
Click on the sampling station in your neighbourhood. Results are posted once a month.
What drinking water test results show
- Bacteriological quality easily meets health standards.
- Turbidity levels meet health-based guidelines.
- Water temperature meets aesthetic objectives.
Water quality and pressure
Find out who can help you to fix water quality and water pressure problems.
Water quality report
Learn more about our water quality monitoring program in the annual report.