Whistler water flows from the mountains to your tap.
Water flows from a glacier on Rainbow Mountain into what is known as the 21 Mile Creek watershed. When the glacial water is cloudy, water is sourced from fourteen ground water wells. Once the water is disinfected, it enters the reservoir, which is kept full to ensure Whistler always has enough water in case of fire. Water travels from the reservoir through a pipe network to your tap.
Whistler’s water system is funded through the Water Utility Fund. The Comprehensive Water Conservation and Supply Plan charts the lowest cost path to reduce water consumption and increase supply to meet future needs. Last updated in 2015, it is scheduled to be updated by early 2019.
Remember to flush your taps!
The RMOW is responsible for the quality of the water supply, which consistently meets Provincial standards. Like many other communities in Canada, the pH of some source water is naturally low, which is being explored further.
Once water is delivered, it is the responsibility of property owners to manage it. If water has not been used for a while, levels of dissolved metals may increase.
Dissolved metals can comes from:
- Faucets – Fixtures inside your home may contain lead
- Copper Pipe with Lead Solder – Prior to 1989 solder contained high lead levels
To reduce exposure to metals, freshen tap water by running it until cold. This is Vancouver Coastal Health’s recommendation. You can also install and maintain a water filter.
Water quality is constantly monitored. RMOW staff sample water at multiple locations in the distribution system every second week for E. coli and coliform, pH, residual chlorine, temperature and turbidity. Overall chemistry is sampled and tested annually. Samples are sent to the Centre for Disease Control and drinking water reports are available with Vancouver Coastal Health.
Water Quality Guidelines
As requested in the 2017 Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) Inspection Report, RMOW water managers are reviewing operational and interim guidelines published by the Federal and Provincial governments. The outcome of the review may be that treatment measures to increase the pH of source water are recommended. Learn more about the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines.
Testing Your Water
Should you wish to have your water tested independently, you can contact one of several labs in the lower mainland that can advise you on how these services can be provided such as:
- Caro Analytical Services
- Maxxam Analytics
- ALS Environmental
- Exova Canada
Water quality is maintained by the RMOW up to the property line. After the property line, property owners are responsible for ensuring the building's plumbing is in proper condition to maintain high-quality drinking water.
The RMOW prepares annual water system reports that summarize the water system’s performance including usage and quality. Whistler water consistently receives low hazard ratings from Vancouver Coastal Health and the systems consistently meet all conditions of the Permits to Operate. Please see the annual reports below.