Water is part of everything we do: showering, staying hydrated while exercising, washing our hands, watering our gardens and so much more!
York Region and your city or town work together to operate and maintain the brilliantly invisible system that brings you clean, safe drinking water.
Every day, York Region collects, treats and stores more than 325 million litres of drinking water. In turn, your local city or town purchases water from York Region and delivers it to homes and businesses in your community and collects money to cover the cost of these services. Some residents get their water from private wells located on their property.
Explore the tabs below to learn more about our water and wastewater system.
Our water's epic journey
Our water goes on an epic journey through a complex system that is rarely seen.
Do you know where your water comes from? York Region’s water comes from three sources: Lake Ontario, Lake Simcoe and groundwater wells. The majority (over 90%) is from Lake Ontario via the City of Toronto and the Region of Peel. The remainder of York Region’s needs are supplied by 40 wells scattered throughout the Region. Some of this is blended with lake water.
Watch our Source It video.
Before reaching our taps, water is treated to make it safe to drink. Water purchased from the City of Toronto and the Region of Peel comes pre-treated with chlorine. At the Georgina Water Treatment Plant, contaminants are removed as lake water passes through membranes and ultra-violet light.
Watch our Treat It video.
After being treated, water travels across the Region through pipes up to 1.8 metres wide. These watermains connect to smaller pipes that lead to homes and businesses. Depending on where you live, water might travel more than 80 kilometres to get to you!
Watch our Move It video.
Once water goes down my drain, where does it go? The drains and toilet pipes in homes and businesses carry wastewater into large underground sewers. With the help of gravity and pumping stations, used water is moved to water resource recovery facilities from treatment.
In all cases, the water entering the lakes is treated in keeping with strict environmental standards regulated by the Province of Ontario. It is returned cleaner than the raw water taken from the lake.
Learn how Water Towers in York Region supply clean water to our homes, schools and communities
Watch A Day in the Water Life
Your water dollars
When you pay for water, you are covering the cost of delivering clean, safe drinking water to your home and for the collection and treatment of your wastewater. Every dollar your city or town collects covers:
- York Region’s costs of supplying and treating water, and collecting and treating wastewater
- Your city or town’s costs of operating and maintaining its local water system
Whether you’re on a well, private system or public system, your taxes do not pay for municipal water and wastewater services. These services are funded through your water bill.
Over time, water rates are adjusted to cover the increasing costs of operating, maintaining and expanding our water and wastewater system. For example, aging pipes need to be replaced or repaired and we need to pay for increasing costs of treating water and wastewater.
York Region’s financial plan ensures we operate financially resilient and sustainable water and wastewater systems now and into the future.
Contact your city or town for questions about your water bill.