Water Treatment Plant

The City’s 2007 Water Supply Strategic Plan identified the provision of a safe, sustainable and affordable water supply with a multi-barrier approach while recognizing that water is a shared resource.

Traditionally the City supports water conservation including water metering of all properties and full cost pricing that places both peak and average day demands well below Provincial and National averages.

The South Fork Water Treatment Plant will be a major initiative on several fronts

  • A key barrier in a multi-barrier approach
  • Provides safe drinking water that meets or exceeds current legislation to residents of Nanaimo
  • Strengthens partnerships with the Snuneymuxw First Nation and South West Extension
  • Opportunities to reduce greenhouse gases
  • Creation of several hundred local construction jobs and full time positions during operation
  • Progress


    South Fork Water Treatment Plant is officially open and fully operational

    The project planning initially started in the fall of 2009 and construction commenced May 2013. The treatment plant was fully operational on 4 December 2015 and the plant was officially opened on 7 April 2016.



    The overall treatment plant project budget was $72.5 million, including design $10 million, pipeline installation $9 million and construction $51 million (plus contingencies).

    • Project funding sources are; 
      • $17.8 million from the provincial and federal governments through the Building Canada Fund, 
      • Community Works (Gas Tax) $17.1 million, 
      • Strategic Priorities Fund $1 million, 
      • Development Cost Charges $8.5 million, 
      • Water Fund Reserves $5.4 million, 
      • Borrowing $22.5 million and 
      • Private Contributions $0.2 million.
  • Documents
  • Details


    Planning for the treatment plant initially commenced in the fall of 2009.

    Different types of water treatment processes were originally considered and the City diligently reviewed treatment processes undertaken by municipalities in British Columbia and across Canada.

    Testing of the quality of the City’s raw water source commenced and finally the City selected the ultra membrane filtration method as its favoured treatment process.

    The City successfully found a location that would meet the operational requirements of the treatment plant i.e.  raw water from South Fork Dam would flow by gravity to the water treatment plant. Treated potable water from the plant would then flow back to the transmission lines by gravity and into the City’s water distribution system.

    See more details on how the water treatment plant works.
  • Background


    The City completed the South Fork Water Treatment Plant conceptual design that would provide drinking water exceeding the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality using sustainable design objectives and risk mitigation strategies.

    The implementation of Vancouver Island Health Authority’s Surface Water Treatment Policy has brought the need for additional water treatment into focus.

    See the details of this new filtration requirement on the Water Treatment Plant page.

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