Person filling a black bottle with water from a tap

Water quality and pressure

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 the City of Vancouver numerous times as it travels through the city's water distribution system to your tap. The results consistently show that Vancouver's drinking water quality is excellent.

Water pressure

Water pressure is largely provided by gravity from higher elevation reservoirs. Vancouver is divided into a number of areas by elevation in order to maintain reasonable water pressures.

The City also operates 30 pressure reducing valves, and one combined pressure reducing valve-flow regulation valve station to further control water pressure.

Protect your drinking water

Our Cross Connection Control Program plays an important part in protecting the quality of water to your home and business.

Cross-connections are plumbing connections between the drinking water supply and water used for other purposes. It is essential to remove or protect these connections with the installation of backflow prevention to prevent unwanted reverse flow of used, polluted, or contaminated water into the drinking water system.

Examples of where backflow preventers are required:

  • Fire sprinkler systems
  • Underground lawn irrigation systems
  • Commercial boiler systems
  • Swimming pools
  • Commercial food preparation equipment

Backflow prevention requirements

Review Schedule I (page 32) and Schedule J (page 35) of Water Works By-law No. 4848

Backflow prevention assemblies have internal seals, springs, and moving parts that can wear out. Under Water Works By-law No. 4848, backflow prevention assemblies need to be tested by a certified tester and the results reported to the City of Vancouver within 15 days of each test.

Testing is required:

  • Upon installation
  • Annually, following installation
  • After any cleaning, repair, or alteration
  • Upon request by the engineer

Submitting backflow assembly test reports

We've contracted Backflow Solutions, Inc. (BSI) to manage an online database management system for tracking backflow test results and information. Effective January 1, 2022, there is a $20 fee to file a City of Vancouver test report with BSI.

As of July 1, 2019, we no longer accept paper copies of backflow assembly test reports for existing or replacement backflow tests. New installation test reports should be emailed to 

If you have questions about backflow testing and submission, email the Cross Connection Control team at

How the City keeps your water clean, and accessible

Drinking water monitoring and results

Learn about Vancouver's water monitoring program, and access water testing reports and results by neighbourhood.

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.

Did you know

What comes out of your faucet is fresh, potable water.Only 3% of the world's water is fresh, and less than 0.33% is available for human use.

Whether you turn on a faucet or set out your sprinkler, the water that spills out is fresh, potable water.

Water quality and pressure

Find out who can help you to fix water quality and water pressure problems.

Use our guide