The City supplies, pumps, treats, stores, and distributes an average of 189 million litres of water daily to residents.
The City supplies, pumps, treats, stores, and distributes an average of 189 million litres of water daily to residents through more than 550 kilometres of distribution pipes, 10 pump stations, 15 reservoirs, and six wells.
How is Drinking Water Processed?
Prince George's water comes from a series of wells within the city and along the Nechako River. The city's tap water is fresh, as it is continually extracted from the environment. Bottled water can be weeks - or even months - old, depending on the source.
- Six municipal wells draw 18 billion litres of water each year from under aquifiers.
- Using underground aquifiers ensures residents are protected against bacteria and other pollutants found in surface sources like lakes or rivers.
- Raw water is chlorinated according to Northern Health Authority guidelines. The amount of chlorine is monitored daily to maintain system-wide balance and to ensure high safety levels.
- Certified City operators routinely sample the water supply for safety using accredited laboratories.
- Treated water is pumped to and stored in 15 service reservoirs.
- Water is then supplied to homes from well pumps or from one of the reservoirs.
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Frozen Water Pipes
In extremely cold weather water pipes may freeze and can rupture. Pipes are most susceptible when located:
- In an outside wall.
- Under a sink on an outside wall.
- In an unheated crawlspace.
Prevent pipes from freezing:
- Keep all rooms heated to five degrees Celsius where water lines enter buildings, or wrap lines with heat tape.
- Check heat tape to ensure they are plugged in and operational.
- Insulate all water lines that run along exterior walls, or that are located in garages and crawlspaces.
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Water Sampling and Testing
Approximately 90 samples are taken every month and sent to the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) with the goal of having zero coliforms present. The City's disinfection practices maintain product integrity and purity throughout the distribution system. Safety is equal or better than bottled water. No further treatment of tap water is required.
No Cryptosporidia or Giardia (protazoal parasites) are present in the City's water due to the natural filtering of groundwater. Prince George is rated as having one of the best water systems in the province. The City's process for negative protozoal cyst control is used in BC Centre for Disease Control and University of British Columbia studies. Since 1997, Prince George has had no incidents of Cryptosporidia or Giardia (according to the Northern Health Authority).
The buffered chemistry of the City's water, and moderate amounts of calcium and hardness, dissuade the leaching of heavy metals or plasticizers out of plumbing or containers. For example, Prince George scored one of the lowest concentrations of lead in the province in a Ministry of Health survey (Northern Health).
Reports and Plans
Water Service Network Plan
Raw Water Sample Results
The City of Prince George's Utilities Division conducted a series of tests on raw samples taken from the City's six wells. The lab reports detailing results from all six locations are now available:
March 2018 Reports
Annual Drinking Water Reports
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Cross Connection Control (CCC) Program
A cross connection is the actual or potential connection between a potable water system and any source of pollution or contamination. A backflow prevention device is required to protect municipal water quality by eliminating potential contaminants from entering any part of the municipal system from private plumbing systems through backflow. Backflow is a flow of solid, liquid, or gas from any source opposite to the normal direction of flow, back into the potable water supply or system.
All commercial, industrial and institutional must have a testable back flow prevention device and as per the City of Prince George Water Bylaw No. 7479, 2003 Section 7.2.6, all water connections with a testable backflow prevention device shall provide a test report on installation and annually thereafter.
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Voluntary Residential Water Meter
The Voluntary Residential Water Meter program has been suspended for the foreseeable future. The following information on the program is for archival purposes only.
A Water Utility that uses water meters benefits by allowing for:
- More accurate tracking of water consumption;
- More precise knowledge on leakage within the system; and
- On-site monitoring to ensure proper billing.
Besides financial benefits, water meters also provide customers with a way to measure their consumption. This makes it easier to detect and repair leaks that can waste thousands of litres of water every year.
All questions about the Voluntary Residential Water Meter program may be directed to:
Development Services (2nd Floor City Hall)
1100 Patricia Boulevard
Prince George, BC V2L 3V9
Apply for a Voluntary Water Meter
Residents interested in signing up for a water meter will need to complete an application for a plumbing permit and an application to participate in the volunteer residential water meter program.
NOTE: The Plumbing Permit must signed by a qualified plumber. Applicants are recommended to print out Plumbing Permit form, fill it, have it signed by a plumber, and bring the form to Development Services in City Hall. For more information, phone Development Services at 250-561-7611.
- The City will incur the cost of the water meter and the plumbing permit, so the homeowner only pays for installation costs.
- Water utility bills are typically less for those with water meters than those on flat utility bills. Using less water results in even cheaper water bills.
- Results from the 2005 Volunteer Residential Water Meter Program saw water usage decline by an average of 30 per cent over a three year period.
- Ability to immediately detect leaks in the water system.
- Ability to track water consumption and understand household water usage.
The water meter will be installed by a Certified Plumber hired by the homeowner and inspected by the City of Prince George Plumbing Inspector in a timely manner. Residents cannot install their own water meter.
The City will incur the cost of the water meter and the plumbing permit. The home-owner will incur the full cost of the installation of the water meter, all pipe fittings and adapters, and any construction required to repair damage created during installation.
The water meter is installed inside a home next to the water shut-off valve. No digging is required.
The water line will be cut just after the shut-off valve and installed in line with the pipe so that all water going into a home passes through the meter first.
Once a meter is installed it cannot be removed. Homeowners will be charged based on volume used after a period of one year. Meters are read remotely by City staff.
Conserving water is critical to ensure water use in Prince George is sustainable over the years. Water consumption in Prince George is currently higher than both the provincial and national averages, but residents can do their part to help lower this statistic and save some money in doing so.