Water conservation efforts keep Nanaimo stable at the tap

By Spencer Sterritt
June 26, 2017 - 4:08pm Updated: June 26, 2017 - 5:37pm

Despite Nanaimo's population growing to more than 90,000, residents are using less water then when the City was significantly smaller. File photo/NanaimoNewsNOW

NANAIMO — Summer is in full force on Vancouver Island and Nanaimo is doing its part to conserve one of the Earth's most precious resources and not excessively use water to beat the heat.

Bill Sims, Nanaimo's water resources manager, said he was startled to learn on average 220 liters of water per person is being used a day.

“We're using the same amount of water as we did in the 1990's to supply 25,000 more residents,” he said.

The recently released 2016 water quality report also showed how conservation efforts are helping Nanaimo's future.

“We've got some really major infrastructure upgrades to do, capacity upgrades that can now be deferred for potentially a decade or more, just as a result of saving some water.”

The water quality report also highlighted how Nanaimo's newest water treatment plant has faired in its first year of operation.

Sims said the South Fork Water Treatment Plant helped the City avoid approximately 70 boil water advisories throughout 2016.

He admitted there was a learning curve with the facility, which saw a significant number of complaints about a chlorine taste in the water earlier in the year.

Now though, Sims said they've worked out any possible kinks and the number of complaints has dropped to nearly zero.

The full report can be found here.

-with files from Ian Holmes


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On Twitter: @spencer_sterrit

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