To serve you better, we've assembled a list of our customers' most frequently asked questions. If you don't find your answer here, feel free to contact us.

Emergency? Dial 250 710 8207.

What do I do in a boil water advisory?  See: islandhealth.ca/learn-about-health/drinking-water/what-do-during-boil-water-notice/boil-water-faqs.

How could I have used this much water?

  • You could possibly have a leaky toilet or faucet that's difficult to detect.
  • You may also have a broken water line. 
  • Please refer to the Customer Service, High Water Bill page of this website for tips on how to detect a leak. 
  • You may also call the office and we'll work with you to solve the problem.

What do I do if I am experiencing low pressure?

  • Check your meter and the surrounding area for possible leaks.
  • Next, call the office and report low pressure for your area.

Why is my water discolored?

  • A repair could have been completed recently by you or one of your neighbours.  This could have allowed air to enter the line, causing the discolouration. 
  • Run the water until it is clear.  Call the office if it does not clear up.

What chemicals does Cowichan Bay Waterworks add to the water?

  • Only chemicals that are approved by the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality for treatment of drinking water.
  • Low levels of chlorine are added regularly

My water tastes, looks, and smells funny. Is it safe to drink?

  • Public water systems are required to maintain a minimum chlorine level of 0.2 mg/L (tested at the end of each line).
  • Disinfectant levels are tested daily to ensure safety.

Why does debris come out of the faucet when running hot water?

  • Most likely your water heater may need to be flushed.


  • Most manufacturers recommend hiring a professional to flush your water heater.
  • If you plan on doing this yourself, read the owner's manual to keep from being hurt and or damaging the water heater.

I paid my water bill, why do I have an outstanding balance?

  • some customers mistakenly pay the wrong "payee" (common examples are the CVRD or the Province of BC)
  • please check your bank statement if you are unsure whom you might have paid
  • be sure to ensure you are paying the correct 'Payee" - Cowichan Bay Waterworks District
  • nickname your accounts to be sure you use the correct one
  • contact whom you mistakenly paid to see if you can get a refund

Why did I get a parcel tax invoice?

Cowichan Bay Waterworks District collects revenue two ways:

  1. water tolls
  2. parcel taxes

Water tolls are charged to each user and are collected to recover the cost of water production and are based upon the 3-C Model [i. cost recovery, ii. conservation, iii. climate change mitigation].

Parcel taxes are applied to every parcel within the improvement district and are collected to cover the cost of capital upgrades [see the Master Plan and Action Plan].  The District must be able produce enough domestic drinking water for every parcel that is within the improvement district boundary and to produce enough water for fire protection for every parcel that is within the improvement district boundary.