Regional District of Nanaimo | Englishman River Water Service

Englishman River Water Service

ERWS building

The ERWS is a joint venture between the City of Parksville and the Regional District of Nanaimo, formed to secure a bulk water supply from the Englishman River. This regional partnership supplements existing well supply sources owned and operated by the City of Parksville and Nanoose Bay Peninsula Water Service Area.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is this project necessary?

To ensure a safe and secure water system is available for now and the future, Island Health has mandated the improvement of drinking water obtained from the Englishman River.

What is the timeline for this project?

Construction of the Arrowsmith Dam was completed in 1999. Construction of a new river intake was completed in 2018, along with commencement of a water treatment facility and installation of large water transmission mains. A new (larger) pump station was constructed on Northwest Bay Road in 2019 to convey water to the Nanoose Bay Peninsula Water Service customers year round, instead of seasonally. The water treatment plant is scheduled for completion and commissioning in November 2019.

How is the water being treated?

The water treatment plant capacity is 16 million litres per day, using membrane filtration, ultra-violet light (UV) radiation, and chlorine disinfection.

Where is the river intake and water treatment plant?

The river intake is located in Top Bridge Park where Highway 19 bypasses Parksville and crosses over the Englishman River.  The water treatment plant is located on Herring Gull Way, in the City of Parksville's Public Works yard.

What are the benefits of this project?
  • Protected fishery
  • Increased supply to RDN Nanoose Bay Peninsula Water Service Area
  • Improved firefighting capabilities
  • Reduced health risks from giardia/cryptosporidium
  • Improved water quality (less iron/manganese than groundwater wells)
  • Increased operational efficiency; reduced need for frequent watermain flushing
  • Consistent high drinking water quality all year round
nanoose peninsula map


River intake

ERWS Transmission Mains

ERWS Building Construction

ERWS membrane tanks

Top Bridge Reservoir