Island Health requires the Town of Ladysmith to build a Water Filtration Plant to ensure that we continue to provide safe, reliable drinking water and comply with the terms of our Water Supply Operating Permit. 

Benefits of the new plant include offering the best quality water possible, and ensuring that Ladysmith offers up-to-date, reliable infrastructure to serve current and future generations of residents.  This in turn will lay a solid framework for managed community and economic growth in keeping with Ladysmith’s Sustainability Vision.

Construction costs are estimated to be $13.3 million.  A significant $8.8 million grant from the federal and provincial governments will greatly offset the total construction cost.  However, the Town needs to borrow up to $6 million for the balance.  Any loan with a term over 5 years needs the approval of Ladysmith voters.  This approval was received through an Alternative Approval Process that ended on April 12, 2017. Council chose AAP over a referendum because it was less costly for taxpayers.

Staff Report for December 12 Council Meeting on Borrowing for Ladysmith's New Water Filtration Plant.

Please check this page often -- we will post updates and more information regularly.  If you have questions, please call City Hall at 250.245.6400, or e-mail

Water Filtration Facility Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why do we need a new water treatment facility?

  • What happens if we do not build a new water filtration plant?

  • Our water has always been fine. We don’t even have boil-water advisories. Why is Island Health saying that we need to meet these water filtration standards now?

  • How long will it take to build the new water treatment facility?

  • How much will the new water treatment facility cost?

  • What is the Town’s plan for borrowing and what are the tax implications for residents?

  • How did the Town obtain approval from residents for long-term borrowing?

  • What is an AAP?

  • Why did you hold an AAP? I think a referendum is a more fair and transparent way to get voter approval.

  • I don’t believe in water filtration. Why do we have to do it at all?

  • How does water filtration benefit me?

  • How can VIHA (a non-governmental body) mandate the Town of Ladysmith to provide water filtration?

  • Why do we have to borrow an additional $1.5 million cushion? Can't we borrow just what's needed and ensure costs are kept to this amount?

  • Is the $309 parcel tax just for this project?

  • How much will taxes increase over the next 25 years? Is there a ladder of escalation?

Publications and Links

Arbutus Water Treatment Plant Ph 2 Pilot-scale Treatability Study

Island Health Drinking Water Report 2014

BC Surface Water Treatment Objectives (regulation that governs Ladysmith's water supply)

Ladysmith's Water System Operating Conditions outlining the requirement to include a water filtration system in the Town's Water Supply System