Drinking water in Quesnel

The City of Quesnel water system is comprised of 6 operating groundwater wells (main system), 8 reservoirs, 5 booster pump stations, 2 main PRV stations and approximately 100 km of water main. At present there is no treatment or disinfection provided to the City’s water system. Approximately 10,000 residents are serviced by the City water system.

About the City water system

The City provides clean water throughout the community.

Water Management

The SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) monitoring system enables City staff to observe real-time data and information of changing water system conditions which includes well operation and reservoir levels. System operators have the ability to remotely respond to system conditions and demands. Should an alarm arise in the water system which requires response from an operator, the SCADA system will contact the operator by cell phone to report the condition. This reduces failure of equipment as well as increases pumping efficiency.

Water monitoring

To ensure the delivery of safe drinking water, the City has a program to monitor water quality at the source.

The City sends water samples to an approved lab for all sampling points and is in notified on results and concerns.

The sampling parameters used to monitor potability are listed in the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality (GCDWQ) and the British Columbia Drinking Water Regulations (BCDWR). These sampling parameters are used as indicators for bacteriological, chemical and physical contaminants.

As a minimum, the number of samples to be taken from the source and distribution system as required by provincial regulations are based on population. The minimum number of samples to be taken for the City of Quesnel's approximately 10,000 people is 13 per month. The City exceeds that number of monthly samples. The City samples 16 individual sites bi-weekly, for total coliforms, Ecoli, heterotrophic plate count and turbidity. As well, all reservoirs and wells are tested on a monthly basis for bacterial contaminants. In addition to the bacteriological parameters, additional testing is done for chemical & physical parameters.

Water quality

Samples are taken at the start, middle and end of the entire City water distribution system.

If it is observed during testing that certain parameters exceed the limits specified in the GCDWQ or BCDWR guidelines, a procedure is in place for re-testing and notification of any results or conditions that render or could render the water unfit to drink.

The standard protocol when a water sample is found to contain the presence of coliforms, however minute, is to resample the water immediately at the same location and resubmit for testing. The provincial Environmental Health Officer will determine if any action by the City is necessary only after a second test also shows the presence of coliforms.

In accordance with the regulations of our operating permit, the City has a plan in effect to respond to emergencies to ensure the delivery of safe drinking water to all its residents.

Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines

The City of Quesnel received the new Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines that were released by Health Canada on May 10, 2019. The guidelines state Maximum Acceptable Concentrations (MAC) for Manganese in drinking water.

View the News Release

Annual Water System Report

The City is required by British Columbia Drinking Water Regulations Drinking Water Protection Act to create the Water System Annual Report to be presented at Council annually. This ensures accountability to the community for the water service provided.

View the reports on the Reports and Documents page.

Annual water restrictions

Sprinkling or irrigation restrictions are in place between May 15 and September 30 of each year for all properties connected to the City water system within City limits.

The schedule is as follows:
On even-numbered calendar days, even numbered properties may sprinkle or irrigate;
On odd-numbered calendar days, odd numbered properties may sprinkle or irrigate;
between 6 am - 10 am and 7 pm - 11 pm.

Property Address: 694 is an even-numbered property
Property address: 685 is an odd-numbered property

For more information, read about the water restrictions in Bylaw No. 1763 Water Regulations.

Water Conservation Strategy

City Council adopted the Water Conservation Strategy on February 21, 2023.

The objectives of the City’s Water Conservation Strategy are to:

  • Understand the importance of water conservation;
  • Understand the characteristics of the water system and current water usage;
  • Predict the impact of water conservation on water system infrastructure (water treatment system);
  • Assess the viability of water conservation measures relevant to the City; and
  • Identify steps the City can take in an effort to reduce waste of water

Water Conservation Strategy

Water Quality Advisory - Manganese in Drinking Water

The City of Quesnel has issued a Water Quality Advisory (WQA) due to the levels of manganese in its drinking water supply.

View the News Release

Bulk Water

Customers are able to use the Bulk Water Station to access clean drinking water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What is bulk water

For a fee customers fill their water container with clean drinking water at the Bulk Water Station. The station accommodates a variety of connections and container sizes.

Bulk water costs

The price of water from the bulk water station is measured in cubic metres.. The most current pricing can be found in the consolidated Fees and Charges Bylaw.

Sign up for bulk water

To access bulk water, you need to sign up and pre-pay at City Hall.

Once you have signed up, you will receive an access number and a PIN number that will give you access to the bulk water station.

You must pre-pay for water at City Hall. The city accepts cash, debit or cheques for payment. CREDIT CARDS ARE NOT ACCEPTED.