About the System

The Highland-Fernwood Water System is located on the north east shore of St. Mary Lake on the north side of Salt Spring Island and provides drinking water to approximately 321 service connections. CRD Integrated Water Services is responsible for the overall operation of the water system. The design and construction of water system facilities are overseen by the CRD Infrastructure Engineering and Operations Division. The day-to-day operations and maintenance are conducted by a contractor. The quality of drinking water provided to customers in the Highland-Fernwood Water System is overseen by the CRD Water Quality Division.

System Information

Water Conservation Bylaw 4492

Effective May 10, 2023 all electoral areas are required to comply with Bylaw 4492. Please read and familiarize yourself with the bylaw and ticketing information. For additional information, please refer to Bylaw 4492 frequently asked questions.  

Current Conservation Level: Stage 2

Water conservation bylaws are in effect from May 1 to September 30. By following these practices and using water wisely, you are helping protect your community from drought conditions. Every drop counts!  

Electoral Area Lawn Watering Schedule

In effect May 1-September 30

Stage 1 – Watering only permitted once per week between the hours of 4-10am or 7-10pm.

Stage 2 – Watering only permitted once every two weeks between the hours of 4-10am or 7-10pm.

Stage 3  Watering not permitted.

Source Water 

The Highland-Fernwood Water System obtains its drinking water from St. Mary Lake, a small surface water body that lies within a 650 hectare, uncontrolled watershed near the northern end of Salt Spring Island. While the lake is used for recreational purposes, only electric boat motors are allowed. During the warm months of the year, North Salt Spring Waterworks operates two large aerators in the middle of the lake. These aerators provide oxygen to the bottom layers of the lake.

Water Treatment Process

The Highland-Fernwood system was upgraded in 2012 to include one centralized treatment plant consisting of dissolved air flotation, filtration, disinfection with ultra violet light and chlorine (liquid sodium hypochlorite) disinfection.

Distribution System

Treated water is pumped to the storage tanks within the Highland-Fernwood system and distributed to customers through a network of mostly 100mm (4“) water mains. Service connections are provided to the property line with curb stops and individual household meters. Service from the property line to the dwelling is the homeowners’ responsibility. The distribution system also contains hydrants and standpipes.

Water and Sewer Emergencies 1.855.822.4426

When phoning with respect to an emergency, please specify to the operator the service area in which the emergency has occurred. This is a 24-hour line. Read more >>

General Inquiries: 1.800.663.4425

Emergency Notifications

Register for the Emergency Notification System to receive drinking water related notifications such as boil water advisories. This system is also used to notify Electoral Area residents in the event of a disaster or emergency such as earthquakes, tsunami warnings, or hazardous spills.