Nanaimo celebrates opening of new water treatment plant

Council joins Federal and Provincial officials to mark filtered water milestone


Today, Nanaimo City Council accompanied by Councillor Chris Good and Elder James Johnny of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, MP Joyce Murray and members of the public met near Nanaimo to formally open the City's new Water Treatment Plant.

With the construction completed and daily operations underway, Nanaimo residents have begun enjoying some of the cleanest and safest drinking water in Canada. Water leaving the plant is filtered to 0.1 micron (one ten-millionth of a metre) which is smaller than most bacteria.

Between 30 million (winter) and 60 million (summer) litres per day are estimated to be delivered to Nanaimo's population of 91,000 residents, with an additional capacity to filter up to 117 million litres per day to meet future demand.

Link to Strategic Plan: Water: a safe and sustainable water supply

Key Points

  • This $72.5 million project was made possible thanks to contributions of over $36 million from the Building Canada Fund, Federal Gas Tax Fund and BC Hydro's energy incentives program.
  • Construction of the water treatment plant was completed in December 2015.
  • Since becoming operational December 2015, the new plant has averted several boil water orders.


"Today's announcement provides the citizens of Nanaimo with an important and very unique piece of infrastructure - a facility that provides safe and clean drinking water, purpose built to not only be extremely efficient, but with capacity for the future growth of our community. I am very pleased with the outcome of the project and the support provided by our federal and provincial partners."

City of Nanaimo

"A new water treatment plant for Nanaimo and area will ensure that tens of thousands of local residents enjoy a reliable system that provides safer and better quality drinking water for years to come."

Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
Province of British Columbia

"Nanaimo is fortunate to have a pristine water supply available and with the opening of this facility, residents can enjoy safe drinking water for generations to come."

City of Nanaimo

Quick Facts

  • Nanaimo's new Water Treatment Plant is one of only two facilities in Canada to use gravity syphon to draw water through the membranes, rather than suction pumps. This is estimated to save in excess of $60,000 per year in power costs.
  • The Building Canada Fund, Communities Component provided a major share of funding. The Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM), in collaboration with the Government of Canada and Province of British Columbia, administers the Gas Tax Fund in BC.
  • The plant features two stages of filtration which recover greater than 99% of the water that passes through.
  • The membranes, designed by GE Water and Process Technologies, remove particles down to 0.1 micron – one ten-millionth of a metre, smaller than most bacteria.





Ben Stanford
Regional Communication Manager
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Ragnar Haagen
Public Affairs Officer/Communications
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
Bill Sims
Manager, Water Resources
City of Nanaimo

Print News Release

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