Ottawa drinking water second to none

The City of Ottawa is pleased to announce another excellent water quality report card that shows the municipality continues to produce and deliver to its residents some of the safest drinking water in the world.

“I am pleased that Ottawa not only meets its duties and responsibilities under the Safe Drinking Water Act, but exceeds them,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “Two years in a row of perfect scores confirms that the citizens of Ottawa enjoy drinking water quality that is second to none and that City staff is committed to ensuring that this continues.”

The City of Ottawa’s Environment Committee released a report today that says the Ontario Ministry of the Environment’s 2010 inspection of the city’s drinking water program found all six drinking water systems owned and operated by the City of Ottawa scored 100% in 14 different categories. The report will be tabled at the Environment Committee’s September 20 meeting.

For the second year in a row the City has received a perfect score. Other findings include:

- The City’s water quality testing program meets or is better than industry standards;
- The City’s maintenance procedures are appropriate;
- The operator certification program is working; and
- Staff are following procedures and showing a commitment to continued improvement.

    “Our residents can be confident in the quality and the safety of our drinking water,” said Councillor Maria McRae, Chair of the Environment Committee. “Staff continuously monitor our water-purification processes to guarantee high-quality water is produced and distributed to people’s taps.”

    Ottawa’s drinking water systems consist of the central system (Britannia and Lemieux Island Water Purification Plants and central distribution) and the Carp, Richmond-Kings Park, Munster Hamlet, Greely-Shadow Ridge and Vars well systems.

    The City of Ottawa’s Drinking Water Services branch is responsible for managing, producing and distributing water to close to 800,000 residents and businesses in Ottawa. It is one of the largest water systems in Ontario under a single authority producing 289 million litres of high quality water per day that is distributed through 2800 kilometres of pipes.

    Each year, the City performs approximately 100,000 water-quality tests in municipal, provincial, federal, private and university laboratories using the most up-to-date technologies and equipment. These tests cover a broad spectrum and provide information on the physical, inorganic, organic, microbiological and radiological characteristics of the water. The results are then analysed to confirm that quality is maintained as the water travels through the distribution system on its way to homes and workplaces in Ottawa.

    The 2010 Annual Drinking Water Systems reports can be found at