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Water Main Flushing Program

Water main flushing for 2017 is now complete.

City of Nanaimo Water Main Flushing Program

Regular water main flushing is an important component of a comprehensive water management program. The City of Nanaimo's Water Main Flushing Program flushes over 90 Kilometers of water supply mains and over 536 kilometers of distribution water mains. The City's Public Works Department annually flushes potable water at a high velocity through the water mains to ensure that all piping is refreshed and minor sediment within the pipe is removed. This is one of the methods that the City uses to help keep Nanaimo's drinking water safe and clean.

The water main flushing program starts in February with crews flushing water supply mains from South Forks dam into the City. Between March and May crews flush the in-town water distribution mains starting in the Cinnabar area then through town, finishing in the north end of Nanaimo.

While this program is underway, short periods of low pressure and discoloured water may be expected. Any discolouration is temporary and not a health hazard. Residents are asked to minimize their water consumption if a change in water appearance is noticed. To clear water lines, residents are advised to turn on their cold water tap until the water runs clear. Anyone with a weakened immune system should reference information on Island Health's website.

We thank you for your cooperation and apologize for any inconvenience this program may cause.


Map of the flushing area

Flushing Areas for 2017

Phase 1:


- Harewood/Old City area bordered by Bowen Road in the North
- South to Tenth Street
- From Wakesiah Avenue, Nanaimo Lakes Road and Dogwood Road in the West
- East to Kennedy Street, Railway Avenue and Douglas Avenue
- Old City
- College Park area 
- Westwood Lake area 
- Miner's Park/Bird Sanctuary area 
- Stewart Avenue, Newcastle Avenue, Townsite Road area

Phase 2:




- Stewart Avenue/Estevan Road/Beach Drive area 
- Townsite Road/Waddington Road area
- Jingle Pot Road/Ashlee Road/East Wellington area 
- Garner Crescent/Emery Way area 
- Lower Departure Bay Area
- Stephenson Point/Departure Bay area 
- Waddington Road/Boundary Avenue area 
- Quarterway/East Wellington area 
- Bowen Road/Meredith Road/Crescent View Drive/Northfield Road Area 
- Smuggler's Hill/Sherwood Drive/Nottingham area 
- Uplands Drive/Norwell Drive/Country Club Drive area

Phase 3:


- Bowen Road/Meredith Road/Northfield Road area 
- Rosstown Road/Labieux Road/Diver's Lake area 
- Uplands Drive/Turner Road/Lost Lake Road/Rutherford Road area
- Metral Drive/Aulds Road/Brannen Lake area 
- North end of Hammond Bay Road/Applecross Road/Dover Road/Dickinson Road area
- Eagle Point/McGirr Road area

Phase 4:


- Eagle Point/Rocky Point areas 
- Hammond Bay area from Brickyard Road in the west to Piper's Lagoon in the east 
- Protection Island; Cinnabar Valley area
- Extension Road/Roberta Road East and West areas
Phase 5:


- Hammond Bay Road/Piper's Lagoon/Canterbury Crescent/Upper Nottingham Drive area
- Duke Point
- Various parts of the City that weren't done previously

Frequently Asked Questions

How will I be affected?
In most cases you will not be aware that flushing is taking place. Crews will use fire hydrants to flush the water mains. While this is occurring, you may notice turbid/discoloured water or low pressure.

Why is my water discoloured?
During the water main flushing, water from the Water Treatment Plant is clear and virtually free of sediment. However, miniscule amounts of sediment can accumulate over time. Flushing creates a velocity high enough to remove all of this material from the water mains.

If your water is discoloured or cloudy, it is recommended that flush your waterline by turning on a cold water tap for 5 – 10 minutes or until clear.

Why do I have very low water pressure?
As the hydrants are opened and a high volume of water is used, it may affect the pressure of water to your home and is perfectly normal during water main flushing.

Is the water safe to drink if it is discoloured or cloudy?
This discolouration will have no harmful effects on the health of the persons using the water.

How long will they be flushing in my area?
Generally it will take 1 – 2 days as crews move through neighbourhoods. Flushing dates/times will depend on the quality of water and the length of time required to remove the accumulated silt. Please watch the City website and follow us on social media (, for updates.

Can I do laundry?
We recommend that you do laundry on weekends or evenings to avoid discolouration of clothing.

Will I always have water while flushing occurs in my area?
You should always have water and your service should not be interrupted, but you may experience low water pressure at times.

Isn’t flushing a waste of water?
Flushing helps to maintain the high water quality for Nanaimo residents and maintains the integrity of the City’s infrastructure.

What should I do if water pressure or volume seems low after flushing?
Check your faucet and washer screens for trapped debris.

Who should I contact if my water supply is interrupted or does not seem to clear?
Please contact Public Works at 250-758-5222.

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