Nanaimo's water treatment plant provides clean water; the proof is in the pipes

2017 water main flushing done in half the time, at half the budget


In May, the City of Nanaimo's Engineering and Public Works Department completed the annual water main flushing program for 2017. This year, thanks in large part to Nanaimo’s new water treatment facility, the program came in significantly under budget.

Water main flushing is performed each year to keep the water distribution mains clear of sediment buildup. This year, cul-de-sacs and dead-end mains were the focus of flushing efforts, and these pipes were found to be substantially cleaner than during previous annual flushes.

With a cleaner distribution system, the flushing was able to be completed in half of the time of previous years, and at half of the budget.

For more information about the water main flushing program, visit the City website at

Link to Strategic Plan: Taking responsibility to be an excellent municipal government by supporting the city’s commitment to asset management.

Key Points

  • In the spring of 2017, the flushing program was significantly scaled back, as the filtered water entering the system from the new water treatment plant is clean and pure before it enters the system, and does not leave residue behind. With no sediment entering the system, the program moved along efficiently, reducing inconvenience to residents and businesses, and costs for staff time and equipment.
  • The yearly budget for water main flushing is $130,000. This year, thanks to the new water treatment plant, the cost of flushing was reduced to $65,000.
  • The flushing program targets water mains from the south end of Nanaimo to the north. On each street, clean drinking water is flushed at a high velocity through water mains to ensure that all piping is refreshed and any minor sediment within the pipes is removed.


"Following the first full year of operation of Nanaimo’s new water treatment plant, we’re very pleased with its positive impact on our annual flushing program. There are less deposited organics built up in our water mains, resulting in a significant reduction in the need for prolonged flushing. Another benefit of having highly filtered water is saving 50%, or $65,000 in the flushing program budget. "

Manager of Water Resources
City of Nanaimo


2017 Water Main Flushing Update
2017 Water Main Flushing Update
Bill Sims talks about the savings to the water main flushing program.


Bill Sims
Manager of Water Resources
City of Nanaimo

Print News Release

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