2023 Water System Flushing

March 2, 2023 to May 8, 2023 Critical Water Service Disruptions

 Water Flushing Zone Maps/ Schedule. Click/ Zoom to enlarge:

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The District of Ucluelet is completing annual water system flushing. Water system flushing is routine and necessary maintenance that improves the quality of the town’s water. We’re working hard to improve upon our practice and continually reduce the impact flushing has on the community. We acknowledge the burden this process has on residents, businesses, and visitors to Ucluelet. We sincerely apologize for the impacts this process will have on your home and business during the flushing periods.

The District of Ucluelet will be flushing all District water pipes, and your water supply/quality will be affected. We anticipate significant impacts on water quality, including water discolouration and low water pressure during the flushing periods for all users of the municipal water system.
Sediment in the form of iron and manganese accumulates in the distribution system as a byproduct of the filtration process. In most communities, sediment accumulates in water distribution systems, and regular flushing is the maintenance that helps reduce it. Flushing is a safe and effective method to remove sediment from the system. The District implemented Ucluelet’s Clean Drinking Water Action Plan last year.
Who Does It Affect?
All homes and businesses who receive water from the municipal water system will be affected. This includes Ucluelet, portions of the ACRD Area 'C’, and Yuułuʔiłʔatfi. Homes and businesses in the specific flushing zone will see the most impact during their specific flushing dates. Homes and businesses adjacent to flushing zones will experience residual impact during flushing dates. All other properties will likely see increased discoloration throughout the process.
The Public Works team will be completing the flushing procedure. Each zone will be isolated to strategically open fire hydrants and release water and sediment from the water system.
What Should I Expect?

System flushing stirs up sediment in the water system. The adverse effects of system flushing are extremely discolored water and low pressure. It is highly likely you will experience discolored water and low water pressure at your home and/or business during flushing periods. We strongly recommend not using the municipal water supply during your zone’s specific flushing dates.

Instructions for Homes and Businesses
1. Residential Homes: During flushing in your zone, we recommend that you not use the municipal water supply. Please do not use your water in any capacity, including opening water taps, flushing toilets, doing laundry, taking showers and baths, or using dishwashers. Using municipal water during flushing periods could draw sediment into the water supply of your building and require additional flushing in your home/business.
2. Businesses: We are requesting that businesses follow the same instructions as homes; however, certain businesses will have extreme challenges operating normally without access to water during their flushing period. Businesses should plan to limit their use of municipal water as much as possible during their specific flushing dates.

3. After flushing in your zone is complete: We recommend fully opening your taps to flush any sediment out of your service piping. In most cases, the water should begin to clear within 10 to 15 minutes. If the water does not clear, please contact the District office.

Is The Water Safe To Use/Consume?

Yes. During the overall flushing schedule, the water is safe to consume. Our water quality is tested with oversight from health officials at Vancouver Island Health. Although the water is safe to consume, it will be heavily discolored and unappealing. We urge you to use caution and good judgement during the overall flushing period. During your zone's specific flushing date, we ask that you avoid consumption. Please make arrangements to avoid consuming the municipal water during your zone’s specific flushing dates. For more information on water quality and standards, please visit the Guideline for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.

Updates and Additional Information

Up-to-date information will be posted to the District’s website and Facebook page. Please note, flushing dates may change due to unforeseen circumstances, and those changes will be updated throughout the flushing period. Information concerning the District’s Clean Drinking Water Action Plan and general water system facts can be found on the District’s website.

Important Contacts
If you have questions or concerns about water system flushing, please contact the District main office at 250-726-7744, or James MacIntosh, Director of Engineering Services at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The overall flushing period is from March 2, 2023 – May 8, 2023. The District has been divided into (14) unique zones, each with its own flushing date. The tentative flushing dates for each zone are identified in the Flushing Zone Schedule. Flushing in each zone will occur between 8:00AM – 4:00PM, however, additional time may be required in specific zones to ensure a high-quality result. System flushing will not occur on weekends or holidays to allow a break for residents and businesses.

Water System News & Notifications 

  • 2021: On August 12, the governments of Canada and British Columbia announced funding of over $7 million for the District of Ucluelet to improve its local treatment system and storage capacity for drinking water.
  • 2021: At the November 9Council meeting, the Engineering and Public Works Department presented a plan to overhaul the District’s water distribution system operations and maintenance routine: Ucluelet’s Clean Drinking Water Action Plan.
  • 2022: On June 14, 2022, District of Ucluelet Council approved the Proposed Water Treatment Upgrade next steps

Water System Facts & History

The District of Ucluelet operates two water supply sources, the Lost Shoe Aquifer and Mercantile Creek. These water source provide drinking water for the citizens of Ucluelet, portions of the ACRD, and the Ucluelet First Nation.

The Lost Shoe Creek Aquifer supply currently consists of four wells which produce approximately 9,450 m³/day. Drier summer weather patterns potentially limit this supply, as the aquifer is drawn down to the level of the deepest well.

Active water licenses also allow the District to draw up to 3,239 m³/day from Mercantile Creek; of this approximately 500 m³/day is allocated to the Ucluelet First Nations.

More details about are available in the Water System Facts Sheet.

Inspecting Our Drinking Water

The protection of the District’s drinking water is crucial to preventing the spread of water-borne disease and protecting citizens and visitors from chemical or other contamination.

The Engineering and Public Works Department complete weekly testing for E.coli and quarterly full-spectrum tests - all tests are reviewed by Island Health. 

Island Health officers approve, inspect, and monitor drinking water supplies to ensure they comply with regulatory requirements.

Water Quality & Test Results

Water samples from Lost Shoe Creek Wellfield and Mercantile Creek undergo a full chemical and physical analysis quarterly to assess water quality. The results of the water quality tests can be found below:

These samples are reviewed by the Centre for Disease Control and drinking water reports are available on the Island Health website. If you have any questions or comments, please contact either the District of Ucluelet or the local Health Authority office at 250-370-8699.

Ucluelet Water Documents and Studies

  • In 2017, the District of Ucluelet updated its Water Master Plan, which provides critical information for implementing upgrades to the system.   
  • In 2014, the District completed a Water Conservation Study, which provides a foundation for the upcoming Water Conservation Plan.
  • A high-level drawing of the District’s drinking water system is available in the Official Community Plan.

Community Water Conservation Tips

Ways of Conserving Water in Your Home

  • Set a goal to use less water.
  • Fix leaking faucets and toilets.
  • Wash only full loads in the dishwasher and clothes washer.
  • Minimize faucet use when brushing teeth, shaving, and washing dishes.
  • Don't pre-rinse dishes unless you need to. Most new dishwashers do not require pre-rinsing.
  • Save water for watering plants e.g., while you wait for hot water in kitchens and showers.
  • Install a water-efficient toilet or high-efficiency clothes washer.
  • Install an efficient showerhead.
  • Spend less time in the shower. Try to limit showers to under 5 minutes.
  • Flush your toilets less often.

Ways You Can Conserve Water in Your Yard 

  • Aerate lawns in the spring to better absorb water.
  • Avoid watering between 1OAM and 6PM to reduce evaporation.
  • Reduce lawn watering or let your lawn go dormant during the summer.
  • Mulch planting beds to decrease evaporation.
  • Tune-up and improve your irrigation system.
  • Do not wash your car unless absolutely necessary.
  • Never leave a hose running, always use a shut off nozzle.
  • Use a broom rather than a hose or pressure washer to clean sidewalks and driveways.
  • Refrain from filling empty pools and hot tubs.
  • Use a rain barrel to catch water and use this to water your garden.

 Ways You Can Conserve Water at Work

  • Check for and fix leaks in sinks, toilets, and urinals (or install water-efficient models).
  • Increase employee awareness of water conservation with memos and newsletters, or signs in restrooms or areas that use water.
  • Serve water only on request in restaurants.
  • Hospitality businesses can make daily clean linen service optional.

 Water Shortages and What Do They Mean to You?

The District of Ucluelet has a Water Shortage Response Plan to assist personnel to respond quickly and efficiently to a variety of scenarios to ensure water supplies are safeguarded, maintained, or returned to working conditions as quickly as possible. This plan uses a 4-staged approach to focus on water conservation during the summer months or other dry periods. Outlined below are the Water Use Conservation Actions required by residents, businesses, and visitors during the 4 stages that range from initial standard levels of water restrictions through to the highest levels of restriction intended for emergency water shortages.

Learn more about the District of Ucluelet’s Water Shortage Response Plan.

Contact Public Works

Public Works Yard Office: 250-726-7133
Cell: 250-266-0598
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

After-hours Emergencies
(4:30pm - 8am)
Call 250-726-8587
Emergencies could include water or sewer main breaks, dangerous debris or fallen trees on a street
or damaging potholes.