The Regional Municipality Of York

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Water Is

water is

York Region water is safe, reliable, clean, affordable, convenient.

Have you ever wondered how water gets to you? Or where it goes once you flush the toilet? Explore the path our water takes from source to tap and from your home back to the source again. We think you'll find the journey of our water amazing! 

In 2019, we launched an online survey to find out what residents thought about our water and wastewater services. The survey gave us an understanding of their/your priority issues, concerns and questions surrounding water and wastewater now and in the future.

We received input from over 1,400 respondents. Here are some examples of what you said:

  • You recognize that water is an essential part of life and it helps keep you healthy
  • You value having a reliable supply of clean, safe drinking water
  • You have concerns about long-term system integrity and the impacts of population growth

See the survey results and find out what the Region is doing to address your concerns in 2019 Water Perceptions Survey: What You Said report.

Our water story continues below!

Water is Here

Water is here - photo of lake simcoe

York Region’s journey of water starts with three sources: Lake Ontario, Lake Simcoe and groundwater wells across the Region. The majority (over 90 per cent) is from Lake Ontario via the City of Toronto and the Region of Peel who sell treated water to York Region under long-term contracts. Water from Lake Ontario is pumped north to York Region through large watermains. The Town of Georgina is supplied by two intakes from Lake Simcoe.

The remainder of York Region’s needs are supplied by 40 wells scattered throughout the Region. Some of this is blended with lake water. Water is distributed to our municipalities through a network of 360 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.

map of sources of york region drinking water

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Water is Hidden

water is hidden - photo of water pipes

Pipes, pumps, storage and more... Now that it's treated and on its way, our water travels across the Region through pipes that are up to 1.8 metres wide. These huge pipes (watermains) connect to smaller municipal pipes that lead to homes and businesses. Due to changes in elevation, sometimes we need to push water uphill. We do this with pumps.

Pumping stations can be designed to look like an average house, but behind these walls, powerful pumps push water up to water towers. Water towers play a vital role in our water system. They equalize pressure, provide large volumes of water for fire-fighting and provide an emergency supply if needed. Water towers hold up to 7,550 cubic metres of water, about as much as three Olympic-size swimming pools.

water infrastructure by the numbers

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The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Water is Moving

water is moving

Where does our water come from and how does it get to our taps? The system that makes it happen is huge, hidden and fascinating. Here's a glimpse of how it works. York Region provides water to an estimated 1.2 million residents. Before it reaches our taps, water is treated to make it safe to drink. Depending on where you live, water might travel more than 80 kilometres to get to you.

At the heart of our water distribution system are massive pumps, moving millions of litres of water from treatment plants through watermains and large distribution pipes within the system. Through this vast underground network, water is driven upward over hills into special storage tanks and water towers. From the lake  to a pumping station to a water tower ––  to your taps, our water goes on an epic journey through a complex system that is rarely seen. 

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, this used water is moved to water resource recovery facilities where it is treated.

In all cases, the water entering the lakes is treated in keeping with strict environmental standards, regulated by the Province. It is returned cleaner than the raw water taken from the lake.

regional vs local responsibilities

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Water is Safe

water is safe

How is our water made clean and safe to drink? It starts with protection at the source. Water protection requires constant care and monitoring. York Region works with governments, businesses, farms and residents to protect groundwater by ensuring it does not become contaminated or overused. We also make sure the used water going down our drains and toilets is thoroughly treated before it safely re-enters the environment. As Lake Ontario, Lake Simcoe and groundwater provide drinking water to York Region residents, it is vital that this water continue to be protected.

Our drinking water undergoes many treatment processes to make it safe. At the Georgina Water Treatment Plant, contaminants are removed as lake water passes through membranes and ultra-violet light. Chlorine is added to protect our water as it moves through the distribution pipes before it arrives at your taps.

The monitoring of water quality never stops. In 2019, York Region collected 17,920 laboratory analyzed samples and recorded 39.5 million continuous monitoring analyzer readings. These tests confirm the 325 million litres of water delivered each day to an estimated 1.2 million residents is clean and safe.

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water,is,safe The Regional Municipality of York en-US

We want to hear from you! 

Do you have a question about water? Email wateris@york.ca.



Water Is,Water quality,contest,water story,long term water conservation strategy,Hidden,infrastructure,source,pipes,treatment,Lake Ontario,Lake Simcoe,groundwater,drinking water,pumps,plants,clarifiers,organic waste,clean,safe,affordable,reliable,convenient The Regional Municipality of York en-US Water Is Safe. Reliable. Clean. Affordable. Convenient. Learn how our hidden water system works, why it’s important and how we are all connected to it.

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