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Is Vancouver Tap Water Safe To Drink?

Yes! Generally Safe to Drink*

LAST UPDATED: 12:09 pm, May 28, 2021

Table of Contents

Can You Drink Tap Water in Vancouver?

Yes, tap water is drinkable.

Tap Safe includes data from many publicly available sources, including the WHO (World Health Organization), CDC (Center for Disease Control), and user submitted databases, but unfortunately there's not enough data about Vancouver.

To see user submitted ratings of the water quality for Canada, see the "User Submitted Ratings" box on this page.

Vancouver Tap Water

If you have ever lived somewhere that has chlorinated its drinking water, or if you have ever read anything at all about why it’s good to use chlorine in the first place, then you might be saying right now that you don’t care one iota what any researcher or think tank has to say on the subject. You trust your knowledge, and that’s fine. After all, it’s your house, your home, and you know best how to get the job done, right? Still, some things are a matter of debate among people who purport to be experts on the subject matter, and one of them is this:

Yes, chlorine is often added to Metro Vancouver tap water in extensive treatment facilities to disinfect it long before it gets to your faucet. However, boiling tap water makes perfect sense in a developed, third-world country. The single most significant water quality concern is microbial and bacterial contamination. (It’s also a valid argument for those who feel that chlorination is an unnecessary expense, especially when you take into account that it costs far less than other purification methods.) In the United States, most wastewater comes from urban areas. Although treatment facilities are more stringent at the county level, the risk of bacterial contamination through water pipes in the city itself is too significant. It would make sense to add chlorine to the supply to make all of the cities’ residents aware of the potential danger.

The Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit group that works to protect the environment, recommends against the use of chlorination by-products as a means of disinfection. Chloroform is one of the worst by-products, and it is supposed to be the safest. Yet, it is a gas, which aggravates asthma and allergies and is a known carcinogen. Chloroform gas is emitted during the process of industrial waste incineration, as well as during home discharges of treated sewage. Perhaps, the best way to protect yourself and your family is by simply installing a point-of-use shower head filter.

Vancouver Drinking Water

There has been a lot of talk about the Vancouver drinking water. Is it that bad? The Vancouver area does receive a substantial amount of precipitation. Whether it be rain or not, this precipitation can affect the water quality in your city in a negative way. If you are one of those people who value drinking water to stay healthy, then maybe you should re-evaluate your average water consumption and check out the tap water in Vancouver before you make a final decision.

First of all, drinking water that tastes like plastic is not very tasty. Secondly, water that is of poor quality will not help you get rid of impurities that can make you sick. Some of the contaminants in Vancouver tap water include:

Recently, some city residents have become concerned with the presence of pesticides in their drinking water. If you were to go into almost any public facility in Vancouver and look around, you would see more than just a sign saying “no pesticides.” In some cases, you would see droplets of urine in the water. While there have been no reports of illnesses being caused by these toxins, this does not mean that they are safe. For this reason alone, I recommend that you purchase an under-the-sink water filter like the Brita Maxtra Premium Water Purifier and spend the extra few dollars for it.

Vancouver Water Quality

If you are a resident of Vancouver Island and you are looking for the best Vancouver water quality testing supplies, then you need to get online and visit my website for some good quality information. I have been testing Vancouver Island’s water for close to 20 years now and have found that there are a few really good companies that can help you to test for contaminants in your local water resources. These companies can be found by using the many online search engines, and you can usually get the best Vancouver water quality test kits at the same time as you order them. When you see the contaminants on the screen, you should make sure that you write them down so you can report back to the water resource offices. There are a number of agencies in the region of Vancouver Island that deal with this type of water pollution problem all of the time, and you will find that they are quite knowledgeable about the matter, but they do not have the funding or staff to test for every single type of contamination that you may find.

There are also a number of private Vancouver Island companies that you can approach if you feel that you need to. If you go to the town of Granville and look for the water resource office, there is a small list of companies that deal with this problem on a regular basis, and you can get on their mailing list to receive a monthly newsletter regarding the latest developments. If you want more information concerning any particular type of contamination that you have found in the local water resources, then you can write to their offices or email them directly. I have personally tested over 5000 bottles of water and have found that most of the suppliers either have a very low percentage of acceptable impurities, or they do not publish their statistics for obvious reasons.

My website also provides links to some very good quality programs that can help you test for various contaminants in your local water resources. All of the software that I have tested has passed the strictest standards set by the U.S.G. geological survey. I have tested in four different parts of the United States and have found that, on average, these four regions have very similar contaminant levels. Therefore, if you live anywhere in the United States, you have a choice to make about your local water resource.

Vancouver Water Supply

Throughout much of the west coast of North America, natural disasters have led to interruptions in the Vancouver water supply. While most Canadian areas are not likely to ever experience a severe disruption in their drinking water supply, Vancouver has. This city relies on the rainfall that comes down from the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean for its drinking water supply. However, this weather event has caused an entirely new problem, namely the West Coast Trout.

The fish introduced into the city’s water supply is from relatively unfamiliar waters, which has led to the city’s fish population expanding rapidly. This is a delicate balance that the city must maintain, or Vancouver residents will soon be faced with the possibility of having an utterly unbalanced fish population. The West Coast Trout population has recently been increased by approximately 20 percent due to the increased human interaction with the area. This sudden expansion has created problems with the natural balance of the aquatic ecosystem. Still, city leaders have taken steps to contain the fish population before it becomes a problem.

The city’s measures include restrictions on where and how people can feed the West Coast Trout. The increased human population has increased the number of restaurants that offer their services to city residents. These restaurants must purchase commercial fishing licenses from the city to allow city residents access to their city’s water supply. While Vancouver’s water supply has temporarily been interrupted, experts are confident that the situation will be resolved quickly and without drastic measures.

Water in Vancouver

Water in Vancouver is not as abundant as it used to be, and this has led to a rush for the closest source of fresh drinking water – the city’s water treatment plant. The city is one of only a few places in North America. The water supply is so threatened with a lack of modern purification methods that chlorine is added to the water to kill bacteria and keep harmful substances out. It is thought that as much as 90% of the water supply is sent through the city’s treatment plant before it reaches many of its residents. Even when treated, some of the other contaminants remain in the water, meaning Vancouverites have to find different ways of filtering their water.

Because of this, Vancouver relies on a group of private companies that have sprung up to provide water filtration in the form of bottled water. These companies work closely with the Vancouver water treatment plants to ensure that all chlorine is removed from the water. Still, they also work hard to make sure other chemicals are not present. This means that some users will notice chlorine in the water, even though it has been filtered and treated at the treatment plants. However, it is impossible to say that it harmed the people who took water from these sources because it is removed. For this reason, many people prefer to use these bottled water supplies instead.

While bottled water from Vancouver is undoubtedly better than tap water, it is still essential to watch the water quality at all times and check with the water treatment plants to make sure that everything is operating correctly. While most bottles are labeled with information about what makes them healthier than regular tap water, it is still a good idea to read the labels carefully to make sure you are getting exactly what you think you are. The same goes for the water purification process used by the bottled water suppliers. If something seems unusual, it is good to call the water treatment plants yourself to find out what can be done to protect yourself and your family.

Vancouver Water Treatment Plants

Every house in Metro Vancouver has rain gutters to keep away rainwater running down the roof. Still, most places don’t have a system that provides complete waterproofing protection from stormy weather. Storm-fronted channels let the water run down the sides of the roof, along the eaves, and into the ground where it can be carried away by run-off. This can clog gutters and septic systems, leading to blocked stormwater pipes and sewer lines. Over time, this can lead to mold growth inside the home and a severe health risk. The only way to avoid this problem in the first place is to have your roof and gutters cleaned regularly by a certified contractor. Otherwise, your home is an open invitation to mold growth, rot, and other health problems.

In British Columbia, there are several different methods for dealing with stormwater. The most popular method used today is to use what is called a “combined treatment.” With this system, stormwater is treated with untreated sewage and b.c (bacterial) bacteria before it is directed towards the ground in an infiltration tank. The bacteria then consume the untreated sewage, breaking it down into more minor compounds that plants can safely ingest. Since the soil in the area is heavily laden with bacteria and fecal matter, the resulting water quality is excellent – even clean drinking water – which is why the infiltration tanks are so important.

However, not all of British Columbia is covered by traditional stormwater infiltration tanks. Metro Vancouver has installed several eco-friendly water treatment facilities around the city, including parks, residential neighborhoods, and community centers. These eco-treatment facilities use a much smaller scale system than the traditional stormwater penetrations. However, they still do an excellent job. The result is that Metro Vancouver gets some of its cleanest drinking water in the world without using any of the toxic chemicals typically used in water treatment plants.

Is Vancouver Tap Water Safe To Drink? Tap water & safety quality

The estimated price of bottled water

$2.01 in USD (1.5-liter)


Vancouver tap water
  • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 13% Very Low
  • Water Pollution 31% Low
  • Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility 87% Very High
  • Water Quality 69% High

The above data is comprised of subjective, user submitted opinions about the water quality and pollution in Vancouver, measured on a scale from 0% (lowest) to 100% (highest).

Related FAQS


City of Vancouver

EWG's drinking water quality report shows results of tests conducted by the water utility and provided to the Environmental Working Group by the Washington State Department of Health, as well as information from the U.S. EPA Enforcement and Compliance History database (ECHO). For the latest quarter assessed by the U.S. EPA (January 2019 - March 2019), tap water provided by this water utility was in compliance with federal health-based drinking water standards.

Utility details

  • Serves: 231000
  • Data available: 2012-2017
  • Data Source: Groundwater
  • Total: 14

Contaminants That Exceed Guidelines

  • Bromodichloromethane
  • Chloroform
  • Chromium (hexavalent)
  • Dibromochloromethane
  • Nitrate
  • Total trihalomethanes (TTHMs)

Other Detected Contaminants

  • 1%2C4-Dioxane
  • Bromoform
  • Chlorate
  • Chlorodifluoromethane
  • Dichloroacetic acid
  • Haloacetic acids (HAA5)
  • Strontium
  • Vanadium


Always take extra precautions, the water may be safe to drink when it leaves the sewage treatment plant but it may pick up pollutants during its way to your tap. We advise that you ask locals or hotel staff about the water quality. Also, note that different cities have different water mineral contents.

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