Water and sewer service
Approximately half of Bowen Island homes are served from a Municipal Water System, with the remainder supplied by private communal water systems or shared/individual wells. All Municipal Water Systems are subject to the Drinking Water Protection Act, Water Act, Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines and other requirements from the Ministry of Health and Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.
Bowen Island Municipality owns and operates several Water Systems on the island, serving approximately 1,000 connections. View the Municipal Water Systems Map.
Sign up for updates and alerts about your water system
If you are interested in receiving news and alerts about your water system, please subscribe to e-mail updates.
Read the Chlorine Residual Report for each Municipal Water System.
Emergency (after hours): 604-834-0770
Information for Private Well-Users is available here.
The "Waterscape Bowen Island" project is an exploration of the story of water on Bowen Island. To view the Waterscape Bowen Island booklet click here.
The Waterscape Bowen Island Poster can be viewed here.
Drinking Water and Persons who are Immunocompromised
The Provincial Health Officer advises all British Columbians with compromised immune systems (such as HIV, organ or bone transplants, chemotherapy or medications that suppress the immune system) to avoid drinking water from any surface water or ground water that is under the influence of surface water, unless it has been boiled, filtered ,distilled or treated with UV. Bowen Island and other areas in British Columbia use surface water sources (lakes, rivers, streams). This is not a general boil-water advisory for the general public, but rather is directed only at persons with compromised immune systems. If in doubt about your immune system status, please discuss this further with your physician.
Do you suspect you may have a water leak?
Information on how to find a water leak can be found here: Do You Know Where Your Water Meter is Located?
Information on how to mitigate the charges on your bill that result from a leak can be found here: Utility Charge Adjustment Policy.
Bowen Island is taking steps towards a drought management plan by endorsing the Greater Vancouver Regional District Water Shortage Response Plan (WSRP) in order to promote awareness about the importance of water conservation.
If you are experiencing low water pressure, try the following:
- If you have a filter system, you will have to replace your filters from time to time. This may become necessary sooner than usual during the summer with the increase of algae and turbidity in the water supply.
- If pressure reduction occurs in just one sink or bathroom: There are screens on most of your faucets that may also be plugged. Unscrew and clean them.
- Most houses have a Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV). As you can see in the diagram below, there is a fine screen through which all your household water has to go. If you haven’t cleaned this screen, this may be the problem. Shut off your water. Unscrew the hex nut at the bottom of the PRV. Remove stainless screen and clean. Reassemble making sure not to pinch the O-ring.
- Contact a plumbing contractor to trouble-shoot the issue.
Snug Cove Sewer System
Bowen Island Municipality owns and operates a Wastewater Collection and Treatment System in Snug Cove, which serves approximately 92 sewer connections throughout Snug Cove.
The Public Works Department maintains the Sanitary Sewer System to protect the health and safety of the public and to protect the environment. Secondary treatment of the wastewater is provided at the Sewage Treatment Plant located in Snug Cove on Dorman Road near the Crippen Park picnic area.
As with the Water Systems, the Public Works Department maintains all of the sewer mains, and the individual house connections from the main to the property line dividing private property from the roadway. It is noted that commercial businesses are required to have grease traps. The Sewage Treatment Plant does not accept sewage waste from septic tank pump outs at this time. The Sewer Utility is fully funded from user rates and funds are kept and administered separately.
Most Bowen Island homes rely on ground disposal of effluent from septic systems on private lots or shared septic fields. These systems are administered and permitted by the Ministry of Health through the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. However, recent changes in provincial regulations have now privatized much of the review, design and approval process. For information about septic system installations, repairs and maintenance please visit the Bowen Island Phone Book.
For information on how to care for Snug Cove Sewer System, click here: Some Things Just Don't Go in the Toilet.