Water Treatment & Distribution

Magnesia Creek Intake
Water Treatment & Distribution

Public Works manages the annual production of between 400 to 600 million litres of potable drinking water which complies with federal and provincial water quality standards while continually meeting system demand at all times. Lions Bay's water is treated in accordance with the federal Drinking Water Protection Act and the Provincial Drinking Water Protection Regulation. The Municipality also follows Health Canada's Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality. Regulatory monitoring of the Municipality's two water systems, Magnesia Creek and Harvey Creek, is mandated by our licence to operate which is provided through Vancouver Coastal Health.

In addition to this, Public Works staff ensures that treated water meets the strict water quality parameters set out in the federal Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality. Public Works staff assures the safety and quality of the drinking water by monitoring water contaminants, turbidity levels, chemical usage, and treated water quality.

Water Treatment

The Village of Lions Bay’s water is supplied through two surface water supplies: Harvey Creek and Magnesia Creek. Water is drawn into the system via two creek intakes which feed the water treatment plants. There, raw water is initially treated by Ultraviolet (UV) light in order to inactivate pathogenic organisms and then followed up by the injection of chlorine in a liquid state (sodium hypochlorite) for disinfection. 

Water Distribution

Once treated, water is distributed throughout the Village via a network of pipes, storage tanks, pressure reducing valve stations, and fire hydrants.


Storage Tanks


Water storage tanks are a critical component of the Village’s water distribution network.  Some key benefits of these facilities are:


  • They supply water during emergencies such as fire flow and power outages,
  • They help to balance the daily supply and demand volumes throughout the system
  • They provide contact time for disinfectants to inactivate pathogens


The Village of Lions Bay maintains 5 potable water storage tanks; four on the Harvey Creek system and one on the Magnesia Creek system.


Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV)Stations 


Like many other mountainous communities, the Village of Lions Bay requires PRV’s to keep water pressures within reasonable tolerances. Water pressure within the distribution network can exceed 200 pounds per square inch (psi). Pressures in excess of 75 psi can rupture pipes, damage fixtures, and even injure people.  Public Works operates and maintains 17 PRV stations throughout the distribution system.


Fire Hydrants


The Village of Lions Bay has 72 hydrants dispersed throughout the distribution network. Not only do they provide water for fire fighting purposes, fire hydrants are used to clean the water distribution networks pipes. A fire hydrant's large diameter port enables the movement of large volumes of water which creates a scouring action and moves sediments and debris out of the system before it reaches residential water lines.

Turn Your Water Service On or Off

Have a leak? You may need to turn off your water at the property line. Public Works will loan you a water shut off key to do so.


The curb stop valve is usually located at the property line and can be an older or newer model. Older model valves keep turning and vary the water flow as the valve turns. Newer valves only turn one quarter turn either clockwise or counter clockwise.


To operate, place the shut off key on the valve stem and turn the key clockwise or counter clockwise to start or stop the flow. When the valve stem is in line with the service pipe the water is on and when it is perpendicular to the service pipe the water is off.


Water Monitoring & Quality

Public Works closely monitors the water quality of the Village’s water supply. Daily checks of the treatment plants are augmented by a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system that allows Public Works to view and manipulate settings at the treatment plants. Daily, weekly, monthly, and biannual sampling of the Village’s water ensures that the Village’s water meets provincial and federal standards.

Each year Public Works submits a report on the prior year's drinking water quality. These reports can be found here.

Water Quality

Public Works performs mandated daily, weekly, and biannual water testing throughout the distribution network. Special sampling is conducted as necessary in response to emerging contaminants through Vancouver Coastal Health. Water chemistry and microbiological results are used to optimise chemical feed rates and assess the need to perform distribution system maintenance


Sampling frequencies are as follows:


Raw Water (Harvey and Magnesia Intakes):


  • Turbidity on a daily basis (workdays)
  • Bacteriological samples (E. Coli and Total Coliforms) on a monthly basis
  • Metals and Chemical Composition on a biannual basis.


Treated Water (5 station at Harvey and 3 stations at Magnesia):


  • Chlorine Residual and Turbidity on a daily basis
  • Bacteriological samples (E. Coli and Total Coliforms) on a weekly basis
  • Metals and Chemical Composition on a biannual basis.


UV Reactors (Harvey and Magnesia Plants):


  • Bacteriological samples (E. Coli and Total Coliforms) on a monthly basis.
Water Main Flushing

A comprehensive biannual flushing campaign is carried out in the spring and fall for the purposes of cleaning the entire water main system. Predetermined fire hydrants are fully opened to generate the appropriate flows required in order to remove excess sediment and scour the mains. Water samples are taken at the start of flushing and at 5 minute increments to analyze for turbidity and chlorine residual.


Flushing may cause pressure changes, some discolouration, and sediment in the water from your residences taps. These short duration events can be cleared up by running a cold water tap for about 20 minutes. Running the cold tap in your bathtub is suggested to avoid clogging screens in faucets. Avoid running hot water until the cold water has cleared up. This is to avoid filling your hot water tank with dirty water. If these issues do not dissipate please call the Public Works On Call phone at  (604) 290-1498 so we can investigate.


Note: Public Works may perform periodic flushing of water from a main in response to water quality monitoring results or regulatory criteria. These criteria may include establishing a detectable disinfectant residual, the reduction or elimination of colour or turbidity, or the expulsion of water of poor quality.