Water and Wastewater


Portugal Cove- St. Philip’s purchases the water for the the town from the City of St. John’s, from Bay Bulls Big Pond. The Bay Bulls Big Pond (BBBP) Water Treatment Facility collects raw water from the Bay Bulls Big Pond watershed and pumps it to the Main Treatment Building via the Low Lift Pump Station. The treatment process consists of screening, ozone disinfection, filtration through a rapid gravity dual media filter, pH adjustment using hydrated lime, and chloramine disinfection using ammonia and chlorine. The rated capacity of Bay Bulls Big Pond is 85,000 cubic metres per day.

Treated water from Bay Bulls Big Pond is pumped to the west end of St. John’s, Mount Pearl, Paradise, Conception Bay South and Portugal Cove – St. Philip’s.

Fluoride is not added to the Regional Water System’s drinking water.

Water Conservation Order

As our town water supply is sourced from the City of St. John’s, in following the City’s regulations, the Town of Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s has a permanent water conservation order in place. Through these measures, the Town hopes to avoid having to issue a ban on outside water usage. All residents are asked to please use water wisely!

Residents are asked to follow the Order so water demand can be addressed before it reaches a critical point and further actions are needed. The quality of the water is not impacted by this Order. Under the Order, lawn watering is only permitted at the following times:

  • EVEN street numbers, between 6 and 8 a.m., and 8 and 10 p.m., Tuesdays and Saturdays
  • ODD street numbers, between 6 and 8 a.m., and 8 and 10 p.m., Thursdays and Sundays
  • Hand watering of lawns and gardens is permitted at any time
  • Residents with a new lawn may water it between 6 and 8 a.m., and 8 and 10 p.m. every day for a period of 60 days following installation
  • Residents can wash cars or windows provided it is done with a hose with a shut-off nozzle

This Water Conservation Order is only applicable to those on town water and does not impact residents with private well water supply.

Connecting to the Town’s Water or Wastewater System

Are you building a new home and wanting to connect to municipal water and sewer services?  Or have an existing home in a serviced area?  Click Here to understand the process for application and approval or call the Public Works Department.  A Building & Development Application needs to be completed by the property owner through the Planning & Development Department and appropriate fees paid prior to assessment and approval.

The policy linked below outlines the conditions necessary for connection to the water transmission line by new developments and by existing property owners along the route:

Wells and Septic Systems

Wells and septic systems are the responsibility of the individual property owner.  The Town does not have any jurisdiction in this area.  Information related to obtaining approval for and maintaining wells and septic systems can be obtained by contacting the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador.

For further information on Septic System Approval and Well Approval from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, please click here.

Hydrant Use & Hydrant Snow Clearing

Hydrants play an important role in maintaining the quality of our water system and providing emergency fire response services.  Only authorized personnel are permitted to use or connect to the Town’s hydrants.  Authorization for the use of fire hydrants rests with the Public Works Department.  If you notice unauthorized use, please report such incidents to the Public Works Department at 709-895-8000, ext. 228 or [email protected].

Snow clearing of fire hydrants typically takes place after a snow event has ceased and once widening of the roads has taken place.  Residents can also play a role by ensuring they do not throw, blow or plow snow in the area of a hydrant.  As part of our water and wastewater team’s duties, the condition of hydrants are monitored.


Portugal Cove – St. Philip’s has two wastewater treatment plants. The plants process the wastewater through a total treatment system, called a Fluidyne ISAM system.

During operation, all incoming sewage enters the anaerobic basin where solids are allowed to settle, similarly to a primary clarifier.  The activated sludge is then biologically cleaned by microorganisms in the SBR tank. Short aeration and rest phases allow the plant to develop millions of microorganisms which breakdown and clean the water thoroughly. A final rest phase, allows the live sludge to sink to the bottom of the system, and allow the clarified water to be decanted from the tank. This water is then treated by a UV system before release.

Water Loss and Conservation Program

For more information on the Water Loss and Conservation Program, click here.

Contact Our Staff

Alex Rogers

Public Works Manager

709-895-8000 x228

Charlie Hamlyn

Director of Public Works

709-895-8000 x232

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