Ensuring that residents receive a high quality water supply is a duty of The Town of Qualicum Beach. The Town’s goals related to water include:
Our residents expect to get clean potable water from their taps every day and this is ensured through the monitoring, testing, and maintenance of its water system.
As a supplier under the British Columbia Drinking Water Protection Act, the Town of Qualicum Beach is required to provide an ANNUAL REPORT on the quality of the water and its distribution.
The Town draws water from 2 ground water sources; the River well field and the Berwick well field. Both well fields are high quality and quantity deep well sources. The primary supply comes from the River well field, with the Berwick well field supplying auxiliary support for peak summer demands.
The distribution system is a looped system made up of over 100km of pipe that is gravity fed with the water being pumped from the well fields to 1 of 3 reservoir locations: Jones ST, Berwick, or Village Way. The pipe used ranges in both sizes and materials with the majority of pipe being PVC and older pipe being either AC (asbestos/cement) or Cast Iron. There are 5 reservoirs in total with a combined capacity of 9100 m3 or 9.1 million litres. The reservoirs feed 4 different pressure zones, each designed to ensure that there is enough pressure to meet fire flow requirements in all areas of the community, as well as provide adequate pressure to the consumers.
The Qualicum Beach water supply is treated with both Ultraviolet (UV) disinfection and Chlorination as prescribed by the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA). The primary treatment is done by UV disinfection, with Chlorination being used as a secondary treatment. Chlorination by-products are not a concern as the chlorine dosage is low and the water chemistry does not identify any complicating components.
Weekly bacteriological testing is done for Total, Fecal, and E. Coli. Water samples are taken weekly from at least 2 of the 9 sample stations throughout the Town on a rotational basis. Samples are forwarded to the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) and to two independent labs. This redundancy in testing is done to ensure the accuracy of the results for immediate and proper interpretation, to make certain correct sampling and lab work has been completed, and for the identification and elimination of false positive results with confidence.
A full chemical analysis is also done on the raw water. This is completed annually as per the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality and gives us a better understanding of the overall quality of the water and its make-up.
The system is flushed annually by Town water system operators. The flow rates used during the flushing process are monitored to ensure proper scouring of the pipes occurs and that the process is having the desired effect.
If customers notice their water is discoloured, we suggest running the cold water tap (preferably a laundry tub or bath tub tap with no screen) for approximately 5 - 10 minutes to clear any discolouration.
Water meters are an important component of the municipal water system. Every household, business, and facility that is connected to the municipal water service located within the Town of Qualicum Beach is equipped with a water meter to track water usage and to ensure that customers are being billed only for the water their system uses.
There are approximately 4,000 water meters in the Town. The Engineering and Utilities department is responsible for installing, testing, and maintaining meters.
For information on water service installations, user rates, and consumption see the Water Works Rate and Regulation Bylaw.
Leaky toilets, taps, and irrigation systems can waste a significant amount of water and money so taking immediate action to find and repair a leak is important. Contact us as soon as possible if you want us to check the water flow for a possible leak.
One time leak adjustments are available. Any person whose water use exceeds $300.00 per billing period, due to an undetected leak in the waterline on the person's private property, may apply to the Town for relief from charges in excess of $300.00. More information on leak adjustments is included in the Water Works Rate and Regulation Bylaw.
Information on identifying leaks can be found in the Team Watersmart Document.
Information on water conservation can be found on the RDN Website.
Qualicum Beach Town Hall
PO Box 130
#201-660 Primrose Street
Qualicum Beach, BC V9K 1S7