UBC owns and operates its own water distribution system. UBC’s Energy and Water Services (EWS) unit is responsible for the distribution of potable and firefighting water on the University’s 1,000 acre campus.
Metro Vancouver provides our campus water through the University Endowment Lands (UEL). Water is sourced from the Greater Vancouver Water District (GVWD) Sasamat Reservoir. We receive water through two separate water mains: one along University Boulevard, and the other along West 16th Avenue.
UBC’s Pressure Zones
Our water distribution system is divided into two pressure zones. The North zone, which mainly feeds all the academic buildings and student residences, is the “high-pressure” zone. UBC-owned and operated water pumps currently located in the UBC powerhouse maintain the high water pressure.
The South zone is the “low pressure” zone, primarily servicing the residential buildings in the University neighbourhoods and the Lower Mall student residences. This zone has no pumping capability. Therefore, the water pressure is set by the pressure Metro Vancouver uses to deliver our campus water.
We have some ability to address the low water pressure in the South zone. Through a series of pressure reducing stations, we can regulate the various connections between the two water distribution systems on campus.