Hot water quality at UBC

Due to unexpected equipment (i.e. heat exchanger) failures, HOT WATER quality is being monitored across campus. In an abundance of caution, we are posting notices at all HOT WATER faucets in 56 building complexes that contain the problematic heat exchangers.

In effected campus buildings we have begun daily visual inspections of mechanical rooms and their heat exchangers, weekly conductivity testing of the HOT WATER to screen for potential contamination, and regular chemical testing. This ensures we have an active safety program in place until the root cause for the failure can be determined.

Our daily inspection regimen has been very successful at discovering indications of early failure. In the last week we have discovered four early-stage failures and have been able to react quickly to replace the heat exchanger before any contamination could occur, as verified by independent water quality testing.

The chance that the chemical is present at any HOT WATER tap is very, very low.  If an equipment failure were to go undetected, the health risk is only associated with directly consuming large volumes of water. To keep matters simple, rather than list all 56 building complexes, we recommend that everyone follow best practices for HOT WATER in all buildings on campus:

  • Please do not use the HOT WATER to fill kettles, for preparation of beverages, or for drinking.
  • The COLD WATER has not been affected, as it runs on a separate system.
  • Hot water can—and should—still be used for washing hands, dishes, etc.

If you notice anything out of the ordinary with your hot water, please call Building Operations immediately at 604.822.2173 so we can identify and repair the issue.


For more information, contact Safety & Risk Services
Tel: 604.822.2029 | E-mail:
Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Outside of these hours call 604.822.2173