Water quality standards in Whistler are very high and drinking water is safe to drink from the tap. Rainbow Glacier (21 Mile Creek) and numerous wells supply Whistler's delicious drinking water.
Municipal Water Supply and Distribution
The RMOW operates two drinking water supply and distribution systems:
- The community water system
- Emerald neighbourhood water system
Whistler’s drinking water begins as rainfall and snowmelt in the surrounding mountains. Whistler’s main source of drinking water is 21 Mile Creek. Water from the creek is disinfected and sent to the water distribution system.
The RMOW prepares annual water system monitoring public reports that summarize the water system’s performance including usage and quality. Whistler water consistently receives low hazard ratings from Vancouver Coastal Health and meets all regulations.
Although Whistler’s water sources can be abundant much of the time, water conservation is critical to the resort particularly during peak tourism times and during periods of high fire risk.
During Drinking Water Week each year the RMOW shares key information about our water system and water conservation. Visit www.whistler.ca/valuewater for a complete listing of events.
The RMOW drinking water system is operated and maintained by qualified and EOCP certified RMOW staff. Learn more about Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines here. Vancouver Coastal Health oversees the management and delivery of drinking water systems wtihin the Coast Garibaldi area, and it has approved the RMOW water testing program.
Why does Whistler have both surface and ground water sources?
- While 21 Mile Creek is an excellent and abundant source of water, the ability to use 21 Mile Creek is limited by periods of high turbidity when the creek water isn’t acceptable to be used as drinking water.
- Supplementing the supply provided by 21 Mile Creek are 14 groundwater wells that draw from underground aquifers, which are in turn slowly recharged from surface water.
What kind of testing is done on Whistler water and what are the results?
- We test about 1000 water samples annually in 40 sites in the water system. Water is tested every two weeks for six parameters including PH, E-coli and overall chemistry including lead, and is tested for another 36 parameters less frequently. Lead is not detectable in Whistler’s water system. Whistler drinking water is not fluoridated, but does have standard required levels of residual chlorine. Chlorine is the only chemical we add to our drinking water.
- The water generally has neutral pH, low turbidity (cloudiness), and excellent flavor.
How do I ensure the water out of my tap is safe to drink?
- Vancouver Coastal Health recommends that a best practice is to flush your tap water until it runs cold before drinking it. This will ensure that the water coming from the tap has not sat for too long in your home's pipes without disinfection, making the water more at risk of carrying pathogens. This will also ensure any metals that may have leached into the water from pipes or fixtures have been flushed out.
- Vancouver Coastal Health recommends that hot water be used for cleaning only, and not as cooking or drinking water as contaminants can build up in hot water tanks.
- Check the Vancouver Coastal Health website for more information about drinking water quality.
- Click here for Whistler's Drinking Water Quality Monitoring
Who can I contact if I have more questions about drinking water in Whistler?
604-935-8190 or Engineers@whistler.ca
Private and Internal Water Systems
Private and internal water systems in Whistler include:
- Commercial and residential strata developments, which typically own and are responsible for their own water distribution systems
- Function Junction businesses and residents that are served by a private water distribution system
- Whistler Blackcomb, which operates separate potable and non-potable private supply and distribution systems
- Whistler Sliding Centre, which operates a private potable water distribution system
- Some Whistler’s parks, which have dedicated irrigation wells
- Some golf courses, which have dedicated irrigation wells
- The Whistler RV Park
RMOW water production totals 5.7 million cubic metres, of which 39 per cent was surface water, and 61 per cent ground water. These mains provide supply and distribution of drinking and fire protection water to most buildings within the current boundaries of the RMOW, and none outside of those boundaries.
Total water volume produced 2008-2014
|Year||Total Volume Produced (litres)|
Annual Drinking Water Reports
The RMOW prepares annual water system monitoring reports that summarize the water system’s performance. The reports are prepared for the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, as a requirement by the permit to operate.
Download the following annual water drinking water reports:
604-935-8190 or Engineers@whistler.ca
After-hours emergency phone: 604-935-8320