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Where Does Coquitlam’s Water Supply Come From?

Coquitlam is a beautiful city with plenty to offer its residents and visitors alike. One of the most important aspects of any city is its water supply, and Coquitlam is no exception.

Each day, up to 80 million liters of water enter Coquitlam from surrounding streams and rivers. The city has multiple sources of drinking water, which helps ensure that everyone has access to clean, safe water.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at Coquitlam’s water supply, where it comes from, and what it goes through until it gets to our taps. So let’s get started!

Coquitlam’s Water Supply: From Reservoir to Tap

If you’re curious about the origins of your water supply, you’re not alone. Most people don’t think about the journey their water takes before it ends up in their homes. So the process begins in the…

1. Mountain Watershed

Coquitlam Mountain Watershed

The first stop on the journey is the mountain watershed. The North Shore and the mountains surrounding Coquitlam serve as a natural storage system for rain and melting snow. The Capilano, Seymour, and Coquitlam watersheds are the primary sources of drinking water for Metro Vancouver.

Among the three watersheds, the Coquitlam watershed is the largest, having an area of 20,461 hectares. Another amazing fact is that the watersheds supply potable water for around 2.4 million residents living in Metro Vancouver. This is about 95% of the region’s population!

2. Reservoirs

Coquitlam Lake

The water from the watersheds flows into reservoirs where it is stored until needed. Natural water lakes in Coquitlam serve as the main reservoirs for the region. This is where the water is initially treated before it is delivered to homes and businesses.

Coquitlam’s water supply comes from two main reservoirs—Como Lake and Buntzen Lake. The Como Lake is a man-made reservoir located in the northeastern part of the city. After being treated at the reservoirs, the water is then pumped to a water treatment plant.

3. Water Treatment Plants

Seymour Capilano Filtration Plant
Photo: Seymour Capilano Filtration Plant

At the water treatment plant, the water goes through a multi-step process that includes filtration and disinfection. This ensures that the water meets or exceeds all provincial and federal drinking water quality guidelines.

After being treated, the water is then pumped through a network of pipes to homes and businesses across Metro Vancouver.

4. Your Home or Business

The water then enters your home through the service line, which is the pipe that connects your property to the water main in the street. From there, it goes to your water meter, and finally into your home or business.

Metro Vancouver delivers over 20 million cubic meters of water to the city of Coquitlam every year. This is enough to supply the daily water needs of over 150,000 people!

Coquitlam Water Quality

The city closely monitors Coquitlam’s water quality to ensure that it meets all provincial and federal guidelines. They also undertake regular sampling and testing of the water supply to ensure its safety.


The regulation of Coquitlam’s drinking water adheres to the Drinking Water Protection Act as well as the Provincial Drinking Water Protection Regulation, in order to maintain safety and cleanliness standards set by Canada’s Health Guidelines.

Water Quality Sampling and Testing

Every once a year, the city conducts water quality sampling and testing. Over 2,400 samples are taken each year from various sources throughout the water system, including the reservoirs, treatment plants, and distribution network.

The samples are then sent to an accredited laboratory for testing. These tests are used to monitor the water quality and identify any potential issues. Coquitlam’s drinking water consistently meets or exceeds all provincial and federal guidelines for drinking water. Here’s the link to the water quality reports for the last few years: Coquitlam’s Annual Drinking Water Quality Report

What You Can Do to Protect the Water Supply

Abundant water supply

As a Coquitlam resident, there are a few things you can do to help protect the city’s water supply:

1. Use water wisely

Water is a precious resource, so it’s important to use it wisely. This means conserving water whenever possible. Some simple ways to conserve water at home include fixing water leaks, using a rain barrel to collect rainwater for watering plants, and replacing your toilet with a low-flow model. You can even avail of the toilet rebate one-year pilot program if you upgrade to a low-flow toilet.

2. Protect the watersheds

The watersheds are a vital part of the city’s water supply system. They provide the water that flows into the reservoirs and treatment plants. That’s why it’s important to protect them. Participating in activities like tree planting and stream monitoring helps to protect the watersheds.

3. Dispose of waste properly

It’s important to dispose of waste properly in order to protect the water supply. This means not dumping waste or chemicals into storm drains, lakes, or streams. It also means properly disposing of household hazardous waste, such as cleaning products, paint, and motor oil.

4. Protect the infrastructure

The water supply system is made up of a complex network of pipes, pumps, and treatment plants. It’s important to protect this infrastructure so that the water can continue to flow safely and efficiently. This means not vandalizing or interfering with any part of the system.

5. Report any problems

If you see any problems with the water supply system, such as a broken pipe or a leak, it’s important to report them to the city through Engineering and Public Works’ customer service so that they can fix it as soon as possible. Also, if you have seen malicious tampering with the system, such as someone trying to open a fire hydrant, you should report it to the police.

By following these simple tips, you can help protect Coquitlam’s water supply and ensure that everyone in the community has access to clean, safe drinking water.


The City of Coquitlam takes great pride in providing its residents with high-quality drinking water. City personnel are regularly monitoring and testing the water in order to ensure that it meets all safety standards.

As a resident, you can help protect the water supply by using water wisely, disposing of waste properly, and reporting any problems you see. By working together, we can all help to keep Coquitlam’s water safe and clean.

If you ever have any plumbing or water quality-related questions make sure to call Your Guy Plumbing in Coquitlam. We are the local plumbers of choice for most Coquitlam residents and will continue to service the community and provide 5-star service wherever we can!

John Relampago

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