All About Nelson's Water System

The City of Nelson water is considered to be of excellent quality. The city collects, sanitizes and distributes water to all Nelson neighbourhoods, except for the North Shore. The City reservoir and chlorinator are located in Uphill, above the Burlington Northern Railway line. Nelson continues to work to comply or exceed provincial regulations on water quality.

The primary water source for Nelson is Five Mile Creek, located in the West Arm Wilderness Park, beyond Svoboda town site in Upper Fairview. The city also has secondary seasonal sources at Anderson Creek in Fairview and Selous Creek at Ymir Road. Creek source intake structures consist of a diversion dam, a screen assembly and electro-mechanical valves.



 The Five Mile intake structure is the start of a 250–300 mm diameter 7,500-metre-long pipeline that transports the water to the Mountain Station Reservoir. This supply main was installed in 1927.

 Raw Water Analyses 2015 [PDF - 214 KB]

The City of Nelson has three water reservoirs: Mountain Station, the main reservoir, with a capacity of 5 million Imperial gallons; Rosemont reservoir, with a capacity of 300,000 Imperial gallons; and Fairview reservoir, with a capacity of 440,000 Imperial gallons. There is also approximately 350,000 Imperial gallons of active storage throughout the system.

The Mountain Station reservoir site includes a separate storage tank called a contact chamber. At this chamber, chlorine gas is introduced to the overall water supply to deactivate giardia lamblia, bacteria and any enviro-pathogens. At both Anderson Creek and Selous Creek chlorine gas disinfectant is introduced into the water main. 


The distribution system is a fan-shaped network of gravity mains, storage reservoirs, pressure reducing stations (10), hydrants (319) and system valves (1,600), serving four pressure zones. There are about 87 kilometres of underground piping throughout the utility ranging in size from 50 to 400 mm.

Nelson has a set of baseline mandatory watering regulations that are enforced all year, along with a changing restrictions (Stages 1-3) which are based on water availabilty.

The City maintains and replaces existing water infrastructure on an on-going basis, with the primary focus on the replacement of existing galvanized steel pipe and cast iron mains with a history of breaks. As well, the City completes all emergency repairs and installation of new services.

Nelson uses an average 2,500,000 cubic metres of water a year, with peak usage occurring between June and August. The bar graph below shows monthly water usage in Nelson over the seven-year period between 2008 and 2015.




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