All water suppliers in British Columbia are required to monitor water that reaches consumers for total coliform bacteria and Escherichia coli (E.coli) regularly. The monitoring is one part of a comprehensive approach to safe drinking water.
- The presence of E. coli in a water sample indicates that bacteria capable of causing illness may be present in the water system.
- The presence of total coliform bacteria may indicate a breakdown in the treatment process, or growth in the distribution system.
Acceptable Sample Results
The following results are considered acceptable for drinking water:
- No E. Coli detectable per 100 ml of each water sample.
- If only one sample is taken in a 30-day period:
- No detectable Coliform per 100 ml of water
- If more than one sample is taken in a 30-day period:
- At least 90% of samples will have no detectable Coliform per 100 ml of water, and
- No sample has more than 10 total Coliform per 100ml of water
Interpreting Sample Reports
In VIHA, the results of drinking water sampling are reported using the following coding system:
If you have questions or want more information regarding your water system, call your local Environmental Health Office.
- L1 Less than 1 (no detectable bacteria) – Meaning: No bacteria present
- OG Overgrown – Meaning: Too many background bacteria to give an accurate count
- EST Estimated Count
- A Sample not tested; Too long in transit
- C Sample leaked/broken in transit
- D Sample not tested; No collection date given.
The Capital Regional District provides water to the communities of Central Saanich, North Saanich, Oak Bay, Saanich, Sidney, Victoria/Esquimalt, West Shore and Sooke. Their water results are available on the CRD website, under Monthly Bacteriological Reports at the following location