The Regional Municipality Of York

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Drinking Water Quality and Monitoring

York Region’s water is safe to drink. All water distributed to our residents by the nine cities, towns and townships in the region must meet high regulatory quality standards as legislated by the Province of Ontario.

York Region’s water is monitored around the clock to ensure it is in compliance with the Ontario Drinking Water Quality Standards, which identify more than 100 criteria for safe consumption limits, proven on the basis of medical research. These criteria are revised frequently by the Province to reflect new scientific findings or concerns.


Frequently Asked Questions

Where does my water come from?

York Region provides clean, safe, reliable drinking water to more than one million people. It originates from three sources: Lake Ontario, Lake Simcoe and groundwater wells within York Region.

Approximately 80 per cent of water comes from Lake Ontario via the City of Toronto and the Region of Peel who sell treated water to York Region under long-term water supply contracts. The lake water is pumped north to York Region through large watermains. The Town of Georgina is supplied by two intakes in Lake Simcoe. The remainder of York Region’s needs are supplied by 40 wells scattered throughout the Region. Some of this water is blended with lake water.

Water is distributed to our municipalities through a network of approximately 344 kilometres of water mains. The municipalities then deliver it to users and collect money for both the supply of water and the treatment of wastewater. Some residents get their water from private wells located on their own properties.

Learn where your water comes from

Surface water Lake Ontario:

  • City of Markham
  • Town of Richmond Hill
  • City of Vaughan

Groundwater:

  • Township of King (Nobleton, Schomberg, Ansnorveldt)
  • Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville (Ballantrae and Musselman’s Lake)
  • Town of East Gwillimbury (Mount Albert)

Surface water — Lake Ontario and Groundwater (blended together):

  • Town of Aurora
  • Town of East Gwillimbury (Holland Landing, Sharon, Queensville)
  • Town of Newmarket
  • Township of King (King City)
  • Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville (Stouffville)

Surface water — Lake Simcoe:

  • Town of Georgina (Keswick, Sutton, Lakeshore communities)

York Region ground water map

Where does my water come from The Regional Municipality of York en-US

How does York Region disinfect my water?

York Region uses a disinfectant in water treatment processes in order to ensure that its residents get water that is protected from harmful bacteria and other microorganisms. There are two kinds of disinfectant used, depending on the area (chlorine, or the combination of chlorine and ammonia called chloramine). The dose of either disinfectant maintains "chlorine residual" which safeguards our drinking water. After treatment, water is safe for drinking and other uses.

Chlorine is used to treat the water supply in:

  • Ansnorveldt
  • Ballantrae and Musselman’s Lake
  • Georgina, Sutton and Keswick
  • Mount Albert
  • Nobleton
  • Stouffville

Chloramine is used to treat the water supply in:

  • Aurora
  • Richmond Hill
  • Holland Landing
  • King City
  • Markham
  • Newmarket
  • Queensville
  • Sharon
  • Schomberg
  • Vaughan and Kleinburg

Water purchased from the City of Toronto and the Region of Peel – approximately 90 per cent of York Region’s total supply – comes pre-treated with chlorine. The treated water is integrated with the Region’s other supplies and further chlorinated if necessary.

Water from Lake Simcoe undergoes multi-stage treatment at the Keswick and Georgina Water Treatment Plants. At these Water Treatment Plants, an intake pipe extends into the lake to draw water to the plant. Screens are in place to remove debris. Raw lake water is then passed through ultra-fine membranes that remove virtually all contaminants, including viruses.

At the Georgina Water Treatment Plant, the water also passes through ultraviolet light reactors that destroy any remaining bacteria. The water then passes through activated-carbon filter beds that take out taste and odour-causing molecules.

Finally, a chlorine residual is added to protect the water from bacteria that might reside in pipes during its journey to users.

Fish owners and kidney dialysis patients

Fish owners must be careful when using disinfected water because chloramines and chlorine can hurt the sensitive skin of fish, reptiles and amphibians. Chloramines and chlorine should be removed from the water before use in aquariums. There are tablets, drops and filters you can find at pet shops that will remove chlorine from the water.

Kidney dialysis patients must be careful when using chloraminated water. If you are on a dialysis machine, be sure to contact your physician for more information.

How does York Region disinfect my water The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Why is my water a different colour?

Iron in groundwater can cause tap water to be discoloured. Municipal water is treated with a method called iron sequestration. This treatment method keeps iron from accumulating on fixtures. However, when water is heated in a hot water tank, the iron sequestration breaks down. This allows the iron to fall out and build up in the bottom of the tank. It is found more often in tanks with high water temperatures and low water usage.

Draining and flushing the hot water tank regularly will keep iron from accumulating in the home.

Occasionally, discolouration can occur in underground pipes. Watermain swabbing is an important maintenance practice, and is the most common cause of outside sources of discolouration. Staff make every effort to notify home owners in advance of maintenance work in their area. Contact your city of town for instructions on how to respond to these events.

This video shows two methods of watermain cleaning used by the Town of Newmarket to maintain and improve water quality conditions within its water distribution system.

Why is my water a different colour The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Why does my water have a strange taste or odour?

There are a few reasons why your drinking water may have a slight taste or odour, the two most common are caused by sitting water and the time of year.

Sitting Water

Problem: The water has been sitting in the pipes for an extended period of time.

Solution: Open your taps for a few minutes to allow fresh water to enter your plumbing system. If your hot water has a musty odour, the hot water tank may need to be drained and flushed.

Time of Year

Problem: Lake algae can cause your water to have a musty or earthy taste and odour during late summer or early fall. When algae die, they release a harmless organic chemical that gives off a musty or earthy smell.

Solution: Municipal filters remove these problems in most cases but may not remove all mustiness in the case of extreme algae growth. York Region’s municipal water is safe to drink regardless.

The areas most commonly affected by lake algae are:

  • Keswick
  • Sutton
  • Vaughan
  • Richmond Hill
  • Markham

As an option to improve taste, you may choose to use a home treatment device to filter your tap water. Be sure to use and maintain as directed to keep your water clean and safe.

Why does my water have a strange taste or odour The Regional Municipality of York en-US

How much sodium is in my water?

Sodium is normally found in drinking water. It usually comes from natural sources, road salt, water treatment chemicals and ion-exchange water softening units. It can be a concern for people who:

  • Have severe hypertension
  • Have congestive heart failure
  • Are on a sodium-restricted diet

According to federal guidelines and provincial standards, the objective for sodium is 200 milligrams per litre (mg/L). Anything over 200 mg/L will affect the taste of the water. According to the law, the local Medical Officer of Health must be notified when the sodium in our drinking water is more than 20 mg/L, at which point the officer will notify local physicians. Local physicians will advise patients on sodium-restricted diets.

For more information about sodium in drinking water and your health, please read the Sodium in Drinking Water Fact Sheet.

Average Amount of Sodium – Milligrams per Litre

(Last updated September 25, 2018)

Ansnorveldt

Ansnorveldt Well 2,3 Treated 42.5

Aurora

Aurora East ET
20.5
Aurora North Elevated Tank 19.8
Aurora North Reservoir 20.6
Aurora Ridge Road Reservoir 17
Aurora South Reservoir 21.4
Aurora Southwest Elevated Tank 18.2

Ballantrae

Ballantrae/Musselmans Lake Elevated Tank 10.3

Georgina / Keswick

Keswick West Park Heights Reservoir 31.6
Keswick Woodbine Elevated Tank 32.2
Sutton Elevated Tank 31.9

Holland Landing

Holland Landing East Elevated Tank 19.8

King City

King City Dufferin St Elevated Tank 19.9
King City Elevated Tank 20.2

Kleinburg

Kleinburg Elevated Tank 21.5

Mount Albert

Mount Albert North East Elevated Tank 9.31

Newmarket

Newmarket Glenway Reservoir 18.9
Newmarket Southeast Elevated Tank 32.2
Newmarket West Reservoir 33.4

Nobleton

Nobleton Elevated Tank 17.95
Nobleton North Elevated Tank 18.3

Queensville and Sharon

Queensville Elevated Tank 19.7

Schomberg

Schomberg Water Treatment Plant
19.7

Stouffville

Stouffville Elevated Tank 50.2
Stouffville Reservoir (5/6 Treated) 23.5
Stouffville Zone 1 Elevated Tank 43.8

York Water System*

Richmond Hill 

Jefferson Reservoir 16.5
North Richmond Hill Elevated Tank 17.9
North Richmond Hill Reservoir 16
Richmond Hill Coons Road Elevated Tank 2 17.9
South Richmond Hill Reservoir 16.2

Markham

Markham Reservoir 15.7
McCowan Rd PD6  Reservoir 16
Milliken Elevated Tank 15.5

Vaughan

West Woodbridge Elevated Tank 20
East Woodbridge Elevated Tank 20.4
North Maple Reservoir 20.2
South Maple Reservoir 20.4

*The York Water System receives water from Peel Region and the City of Toronto.

Updated May 4, 2018

Should I worry about sodium in my water The Regional Municipality of York en-US

How much iron is in my water?

Average Amount of Iron – Milligrams per Litre

(Last updated September 25, 2018)

Ansnorveldt

Ansnorveldt Well 2,3 Treated 0.245

Aurora

Aurora East Elevated Tank
0.074
Aurora North Elevated Tank 0.019
Aurora North Reservoir 0.023
Aurora Ridge Road Reservoir 0.036
Aurora South Reservoir (Break Res) 0.003
Aurora Southwest Elevated Tank 0.042

Ballantrae

Ballantrae/Musselmans Lake Elevated Tank 0.269

Georgina / Keswick

Keswick West Park Heights Reservoir 0.011
Keswick Woodbine Elevated Tank 0.003
Sutton Elevated Tank 0.013

Holland Landing

Holland Landing East Elevated Tank 0.185

King City

King City Dufferin St Elevated Tank 0.015
King City Elevated Tank 0.008

Kleinburg

Kleinburg Elevated Tank 0.003

Mount Albert

Mount Albert North East Elevated Tank 0.242

Newmarket

Newmarket Glenway Reservoir 0.545
Newmarket Southeast Elevated Tank 0.144
Newmarket West Reservoir 0.016

Nobleton

Nobleton Elevated Tank 0.627
Nobleton North Elevated Tank 0.613

Queensville and Sharon

Queensville Elevated Tank 0.560

Schomberg

Schomberg Water Treatment Plant 0.123

Stouffville

Stouffville Elevated Tank 0.446
Stouffville Reservoir (5/6 Treated) 0.005
Stouffville Zone 1 Elevated Tank 0.364

York Water System*

Richmond Hill 

Jefferson Reservoir 0.010
North Richmond Hill Elevated Tank 0.004
North Richmond Hill Reservoir 0.003
Richmond Hill Coons Road Elevated Tank 2 0.004
South Richmond Hill Reservoir 0.003

Markham

Markham Reservoir 0.003
McCowan Rd PD6  Reservoir 0.006
Milliken Elevated Tank 0.003

Vaughan

West Woodbridge Elevated Tank 0.003
East Woodbridge Elevated Tank 0.005
North Maple Reservoir 0.003
South Maple Reservoir 0.019

*The York Water System receives water from Peel Region and the City of Toronto.

How much Iron is in my water,Iron,Water The Regional Municipality of York en-US

What is the level of water hardness?

“Hard” water contains calcium and magnesium carbonate. When water is “hard,” it can be difficult to lather and scale forms in pipes and appliances. Many people choose to install water softeners in their homes to reduce hardness which makes washing easier and prevents mineral buildup.

Can the level of water hardness affect my health?

There are currently no known negative health effects related to water hardness. Water softeners exchange calcium and magnesium with sodium or potassium. If this is a concern, you could consider a separate un-softened supply for cooking and drinking. Also, there are filtration units and treatments that can remove sodium from your drinking water.

Hardness Range – Milligrams per Litre of Calcium Carbonate:

  • Soft: 0-60
  • Moderately hard: 61-120
  • Hard: 121-180
  • Very hard: More than 180

Groundwater is usually harder than surface water because it travels slowly through sediments that are rich in calcium and magnesium. These sediments dissolve in the water and make it hard. Surface water in general is less likely to dissolve high concentration of minerals, but the water from Lake Simcoe and Lake Ontario tends to be hard. Therefore, the water in York Region is usually hard or very hard.

To convert to grains per gallon, multiply by 0.058417831.

Average Hardness – Milligrams per Litre of Calcium Carbonate:

(Last updated September 26, 2018)

Ansnorveldt

Ansnorveldt Well 2,3 Treated 116

Aurora

Aurora East Elevated Tank

132

Aurora North Elevated Tank 129
Aurora North Reservoir 129
Aurora Ridge Road Reservoir 129
Aurora South Reservoir
125
Aurora Southwest Elevated Tank 127

Ballantrae

Ballantrae/Musselmans Lake Elevated Tank 163

Georgina / Keswick

Keswick West Park Heights Reservoir 146
Keswick Woodbine Elevated Tank 142
Sutton Elevated Tank 141

Holland Landing

Holland Landing East Elevated Tank 161

King City

King City Dufferin St Elevated Tank 127
King City Elevated Tank 125

Kleinburg

Kleinburg Elevated Tank 127

Mount Albert

Mount Albert North East Elevated Tank 305

Newmarket

Newmarket Glenway Reservoir 180
Newmarket Southeast Elevated Tank 139
Newmarket West Reservoir 131

Nobleton

Nobleton Elevated Tank 231
Nobleton North Elevated Tank 230

Queensville and Sharon

Queensville Elevated Tank 161

Schomberg

Schomberg Water Treatment Plant
263

Stouffville

Stouffville Elevated Tank 346
Stouffville Reservoir (5/6 Treated) 343
Stouffville Zone 1 Elevated Tank 166

York Water System*

Richmond Hill 

Jefferson Reservoir 124
North Richmond Hill Elevated Tank 127
North Richmond Hill Reservoir 124
Richmond Hill Coons Road Elevated Tank 2 125
South Richmond Hill Reservoir 125

Markham

Markham Reservoir 124
McCowan Rd PD6  Reservoir 125
Milliken Elevated Tank 124

Vaughan

West Woodbridge Elevated Tank 124
East Woodbridge Elevated Tank 126
North Maple Reservoir 125
South Maple Reservoir 126

*The York Water System receives water from Peel Region and the City of Toronto.

What is water hardness The Regional Municipality of York en-US

How much fluoride is in my water?

Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay and naturally exists in groundwater and food. It may also be added to some regional drinking water systems.

It is recommended by The Chief Medical Officer of Health for the province of Ontario that the level of fluoride in drinking water be between 0.6 to 0.8 parts per million (ppm).  For more information about fluoride in drinking water and your health, please read the Fluoride Information Fact Sheet.

Fluoride levels are regularly monitored for each York Region drinking water system as reported in the table below:

York Region Water - 2018 Q3 Average Fluoride Content Last udated on October 9, 2018

Ansnorveldt

Ansnorveldt Well 2,3 Treated 0.25

Aurora

Aurora East Elevated Tank

0.56

Aurora North Elevated Tank 0.58
Aurora North Reservoir 0.60
Aurora Ridge Road Reservoir 0.62
Aurora South Reservoir (Break Res) 0.60
Aurora Southwest Elevated Tank 0.62

Ballantrae

Ballantrae/Musselmans Lake Elevated Tank 0.08

Georgina / Keswick

Keswick West Park Heights Reservoir 0.54
Keswick Woodbine Elevated Tank 0.60
Sutton Elevated Tank 0.58

Holland Landing

Holland Landing East Elevated Tank 0.21

King City

King City Dufferin St Elevated Tank 0.58
King City Elevated Tank 0.59

Kleinburg

Kleinburg Elevated Tank 0.54

Mount Albert

Mount Albert North East Elevated Tank 0.05

Newmarket

Newmarket Glenway Reservoir 0.13
Newmarket Southeast Elevated Tank 0.41
Newmarket West Reservoir 0.56

Nobleton

Nobleton Elevated Tank 0.12
Nobleton North Elevated Tank 0.12

Queensville and Sharon

Queensville Elevated Tank 0.20

Schomberg

Schomberg Water Treatment Plant
0.15

Stouffville

Stouffville Elevated Tank Offline
Stouffville Reservoir (5/6 Treated) < 0.05
Stouffville Zone 1 Elevated Tank 0.08

York Water System*

Richmond Hill 

Jefferson Reservoir 0.67
North Richmond Hill Elevated Tank 0.64
North Richmond Hill Reservoir 0.67
Richmond Hill Coons Road Elevated Tank 2 0.10
South Richmond Hill Reservoir 0.67

Markham

Markham Reservoir 0.69
McCowan Rd PD6  Reservoir 0.69
Milliken Elevated Tank 0.69

Vaughan

West Woodbridge Elevated Tank 0.60
East Woodbridge Elevated Tank 0.66
North Maple Reservoir 0.60
South Maple Reservoir 0.61

*Slight increases of fluoride can occur in systems receiving water from both groundwater sources (naturally occurring fluoride) and water from Peel Region and/or the City of Toronto.
**The York Water System receives water from Peel Region and the City of Toronto.

How much fluoride is in my water The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Should I drink tap water or bottled water?

York Region provides high quality drinking water that is safe, clean and affordable.

From a cost standpoint, bottled water is dramatically more expensive. One litre of municipally supplied tap water costs about $0.001. A litre of bottled water costs about $1.50, plus the cost to dispose of the bottle.  Too often, plastic beverage containers are not recycled, ending up in landfill or the environment, taking hundreds of years to break down


Why is my water a different colour The Regional Municipality of York en-US

How does York Region respond to drinking water contamination?

York Region implements a rigorous water quality sampling program to ensure your water is safe to drink and works to identify and correct any situation that poses a threat to the area’s drinking water. York Region will issue either a Boil Water Advisory or Drinking Water Advisory if contamination is found.

For information on Boil Water or Drinking Water Advisories, contact:

York Region's Health Connection

Toll free 1-800-361-5653 | TTY 1-866-252-9933 for the deaf or hard of hearing

Email: health.inspectors@york.ca

How is Water Safety Monitored?

In 2016, York Region conducted 18,489 water-safety tests and 94 facility audits. In all cases, York Region met or exceeded Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change requirements.

Boil Water Advisory,contamination,safety,risk The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Water Quality Reporting

Drinking Water Quality Management Standard (DWQMS)

In 2007, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) finalized its made-in-Ontario drinking water quality management framework. All drinking water systems in Ontario are required to submit an Operational Plan and be registered to the DWQMS. York Region has maintained accreditation to the DWQMS since 2008. This Standard requires utilities to prepare long-term financial plans.

View the Drinking Water System Financial Plan.

ISO 9001 Quality Management

York Region's certification to the ISO 9001 standard for water operations demonstrates its continued commitment to provide safe drinking water. This internationally recognized standard of excellence focuses on quality management. All water supply and treatment plants and associated facilities, owned by York Region, are registered to ISO 9001. In order to achieve registration, an organization must establish, implement, maintain and continually improve its activities and business processes. The registration process includes evaluation and review by a third party, at least annually.

Annual Water Quality Reports

The provincial Drinking Water Systems Regulation 170/03 requires York Region to create an annual report on our drinking water systems, covering the period of January 1 to December 31. The reports describe the operation of York Region drinking water systems and drinking water quality test results.

Annual water quality reports for 2017:

This regulation also requires an annual report be provided to Regional Council for compliance, water quantity and water capacity.

For archived or accessible reports contact AccessYork@york.ca

Open Data

Open Data permits easy access to government data for public use. York Region released annual reporting data through Open Data in 2016 and 2017. The 2018 data has been expanded to include water quality and capacity data.

Steps to access data

  1. Visit the Open Data Portal
  2. Type “drinking water” in the search bar, then click search button

Interactive Report Highlights

The self-service dashboard showcases interactive reporting data about each drinking water system from Open Data. Accessible formats or communication supports are available upon request. Please contact AccessYork@york.ca or call 1-877-464-9675.

This tool is optimized for viewing on a desktop computer.



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