Is tap water safe to drink in Vancouver?

Depending on where you come from, this question may be unusual to ask or it may be a genuine concern. About a third of the world population doesn’t have access to safe drinking water and in several places, people will buy bottled water to drink as it is the only option.

Fortunately, tap water in Vancouver and in Canada is generally safe to drink and there is usually no need to purchase bottled water at all.

As part of its Greenest City initiative, the city of Vancouver aims to provide its residents with the cleanest drinking water of any city in the world. The water comes from rainfall and melted snow and is collected and protected from human activity. It is then treated in special plants to disinfect it from pathogens. In Vancouver city and the surrounding area, the water passes by the Seymour-Capilano Filtration Plant which runs it through UV lamps to disinfect it and use chlorine in liquid form (which is safer for operators).

The reservoirs are known to be slightly acidic, so the PH is then neutralized, and a little chlorine is added to prevent bacterial growth further down the pipes. The water is then distributed through the pipes to everyone.

What if I don’t like the taste?

It can take some time to get used to the taste of tap water. In our case however, we were not able to get accustomed to the taste quick enough. Filtering the tap water is a great way to remove the chlorine and lead added as the result of the distribution and improve the taste without having to spend a lot of money.

We highly recommend the Brita Water Filter System. Brita filters absorb chlorine, reduce unpleasant odors and taste while also removing metals like mercury, copper and cadmium which can cause sickness.

Brita provides several easy solutions from a simple pitcher to the faucet mount systems. We have a simple Brita pitcher, it’s the best, cheapest and quickest solution. It’s slim which means it doesn’t take up to much space inside the fridge. We change the carbon filter every two months. The result is always healthier, and great-tasting drinking water.

It is important to note that in Canada, tap water is regulated by the Federal Agency and municipal water is tested several times a day. You might think bottled water is safer, but in fact bottling factories are inspected by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and the water is tested once a year, not to mention plastic use.

Is it safe enough for my baby formula?

It is always recommended to check with your local water supplier first to find out more details about your tap water and if it is safe to use for your baby’s formula. If your water is not safe or if you are simply not sure, it is recommended to use bottled water. In all cases, make sure to follow the directions on the label and never make baby formula with water from the hot water tap as it contains more lead out of the pipes than the cold water.

When using the cold water for your baby formula, we recommend letting it run for 5 minutes in the morning or whenever the plumbing system has not been used for a number of hours. But in all cases, using a water from a filter, like the Brita filters we mentioned above, will easily solve all your drinking water issues and provide you with an easy and safe solution.

Want more information? You can call local and provincial agencies for all the details regarding the safety of your drinking water.

New pipes vs old pipes

You would expect to have older pipes in older buildings in the city. But in reality, plumbing lasts approximately 25 to 30 years after which the plumbing needs to be updated.

Buildings with newer pipes will naturally provide residents with cleaner, fresher water as the pipes will not leak lead or other chemicals into the water, providing residents with cleaner and lighter drinking water straight from the tap.

When moving into a building, it’s better to ask about the plumbing and when it was last updated. If the building was re-plumbed between 2000 and 2006 a type of copper plumbing (manufactured out of China) could’ve been used and it was found to be faulty. Who wants to go through a full re-plumbing project while living in a building?

In general, the pipes of most buildings around the city are well maintained, resulting in very good quality water being delivered to all residents throughout the year. You can also receive answers to all your questions by contacting your local agencies and relevant companies in your area. Keep in mind that the water is tested from 53 dedicated water sampling stations when it enters Vancouver’s distribution system.

The water quality must always comply with the health standards set out in the BC Drinking Water Regulation, which is your guarantee that what you’re drinking is the best and naturally very soft solution.

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