Drinking Water Quality Information

Drinking Water in Chilliwack

In Chilliwack, we have good reason to be proud of our drinking water.  In 1997 and 1999 (the last year of the contest), the City of Chilliwack received an award from the Canadian Water Resource Association for having the "best drinking water in Canada".  In 1998, the City received the second-place award.  Although the Sardis-Vedder Aquifer currently provides excellent quality water, it is highly vulnerable to contamination.

If an aquifer becomes polluted, it is difficult, or sometimes impossible, to restore its original quality.  Therefore, it is important to adopt groundwater protection measures in our everyday activities.

The City of Chilliwack took an important step in groundwater protection in 1997, with the implementation of its current Groundwater Protection Plan.  As part of this plan, the City of Chilliwack maintains an extensive water sampling and monitoring program to ensure that Chilliwack's drinking water remains a safe and healthy resource. 

To report any drinking water problems or concerns, contact the City of Chilliwack at (604) 793-2810.

 Chemical Testing

There are six sites in Chilliwack from which drinking water is sampled and tested for chemical content levels.

Groundwater samples from the Sardis-Vedder Aquifer are analyzed every two months for over 250 parameters, including:

  • Physical characteristics, such as pH, conductivity and hardness
  • Inorganics, such as carbonate and hydroxide
  • Anions, such as chloride and fluoride
  • Nitrogen
  • Sulfate
  • Metals, such as arsenic, lead, mercury, potassium and sodium
  • Herbicides and pesticides
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Semi-volatile and volatile organics

The parameter levels in the water are compared to maximum allowable limits specified in the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines.  The concentrations of each of the parameters in the sampled drinking water were all within the limits defined by the federal guidelines.  The BC provincial government is currently working towards creating standards for British Columbia.

 Biological Testing

Drinking water from over 40 sampling points in Chilliwack is tested for potential bacteria content.  Sampling points include the production wells, reservoirs and numerous standpoints and faucets.  The bacteriological tests are conducted on a weekly basis.

The bacteriological test analyzes the water sample for the presence of total coliform and fecal coliform bacteria.  If coliform bacteria is detected in the water sample in a concentration above acceptable limits, possible adverse effects to human health could result from consumption of the water.

Chilliwack's drinking water supply source remains in compliance with the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines.  If any positive tests occur, the City of Chilliwack Engineering and Operations Department has in place an emergency plan which can be implemented to rectify the problem.


On average, Chilliwack residents use a combined total of 28 million litres of  water every day.  In the summer, that total could increase to 52 million litres of water per day!

Approximately 60,000 residents (85% of Chilliwack's total population) are serviced by the municipal production wells.

For Further Information,

Drinking Water in the City of Chilliwack
        Engineering Department
        City of Chilliwack
        8550 Young Road
        Chilliwack, BC V2P 8A4
        (604) 793-2907

Water, Land and Air Protection in BC
        Ministry of Environment
        Watershed Management Section
        10470-152 Street
        Surrey, BC V3R 0Y3
        (604) 582-5200

Water Quality Testing Results