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Water Conservation Tips:

In the Bathroom - Turn off the water tap while brushing your teeth.  Fill a cup with water for rinsing after brushing.  
More Water Conservation Tips

Water Quality

Sampling & Test Results

Water quality sampling in the Lake Huron & Elgin Area Primary Water Supply Systems exceeds the minimum sampling requirements in place by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.  Thousands of samples are taken throughout the year, and tested for various physical, chemical and microbiological parameters.  Some samples are tested by the water treatment plant operators at the in-house laboratory, while others are sent away to an external accredited laboratory for analysis.

For more information on water quality, please see our Reports page.

Frequently Asked Questions

Information about Sodium in drinking water...

Information about Fluoride in drinking water...

Information about Pharmaceuticals and Emerging Contaminants in drinking water...

What is the hardness of my water?

The average hardness (total, as CaCO3) of the treated water from the Lake Huron Primary Water Supply System is 102 mg/L.

The average hardness (total, as CaCO3) of the treated water from the Elgin Area Primary Water Supply System is 125 mg/L.

 

 

Degree of Hardness

Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) Concentration

 

Soft

0 mg/L to <60 mg/L

 

Medium Hard

60 mg/L to <120 mg/L

 

Hard

120 mg/L to <180 mg/L

 

Very Hard

180 mg/L and above

Are chloramines used to treat the drinking water?

Chloramines most commonly form when ammonia is added to chlorine to disinfect drinking water.

Neither the Lake Huron Primary Water Supply System or Elgin Area Primary Water Supply System utilize chloramines in the treatment of the drinking water.  Chlorine is used for primary and secondary disinfection.  The City of London also does not utilize chloramines.

What is the pink substance on my bathroom fixtures?

Some homeowners periodically find a pinkish substance on their bathroom fixtures.  Pink residue is not typically a water quality problem, rather it is due to naturally occurring airborne bacteria.  The bacteria produces a pinkish film or residue on surfaces that are regularly moist, such as toilet bowls, showerheads, sink drains, the bottom of the shower or tub, and tiles.  The pink staining is likely from the bacteria Serratia marcescens.  These bacteria will thrive on moisture, dust and phosphates.  They are naturally occurring in the environment and once airborne, they seek a moist place to grow.  They are often found during and after new construction or remodeling activities, as the dirt and dust stirred up probably contain the bacteria.

The amount of bacteria can be affected by a homeowner's cleaning habits.  The best solution to keep bathroom fixtures free from this bacterial film is continual cleaning.  A chlorine bleach solution is best.  Periodically add a small amount (three to five tablespoons) of bleach to toilet bowls.  Cleaning and flushing with bleach will not necessarily eliminate the problem, but will help to control the bacteria.  Also try keeping bathtubs and sinks wiped down and dry to avoid this problem.   

I would like to have the tap water in my home tested.  How can I do this?

Please visit the website of your local municipality.  Municipalities are required by regulation to post their water quality results online.  The information you are looking for may already be available on their website.  In some cases, the municipality may also offer an in-home test for certain parameters (eg. lead).  Please contact them directly for more information.

If you are not able to obtain the information you are looking for from your local municipality and would still like to pursue testing of the water in your home, we recommend you contact a licensed laboratory.  The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change maintains a List of Licensed Laboratories on their website.  Laboratories with locations in London include ALS, Maxxam Analytics Inc., and SGS Environmental Services. 

Should I buy bottled water?

You don’t need to buy bottled water for health reasons as the drinking water supplied by the Lake Huron and Elgin Area water systems meets all the provincial requirements and standards for drinking water.  If you wish to drink water with a different taste, you can buy bottled water but it may cost as much as 1,000 times more than your municipal drinking water.

Bottled water is considered a “food product” and governed by different regulations and standards than that of municipal drinking water. The content of some minerals and other impurities in bottled water may be listed on the bottle label along with its source. Not all bottled water is “spring water” and, in fact, may be municipal drinking water filtered to remove the chlorine.

Is water with Chlorine in it safe to drink?

Yes. Many studies have shown that the amount of chlorine found in municipal drinking water is safe to drink, although some people object to the taste. Chlorine is added to drinking water to kill pathogens (disease causing micro organisms such as germs, bacteria and viruses) and prevent pathogen contamination in the water distribution system.

To eliminate the taste of chlorine, try storing a closed glass pitcher of tap water in the refrigerator. Although some plastic bottles are okay for storing drinking water in the refrigerator, some types of plastic may cause a taste in water. If you are having trouble, use a different kind of plastic.

When I am working in the yard, I am tempted to drink from the hose.  Is this safe?

No. A typical vinyl garden hose has substances in it to keep the hose flexible. These chemicals, which can get into the water as it goes through the hose, are not good for you or pets.  Do not  fill drinking containers from the garden hose unless the water is allowed to run for a while to flush the hose before using the water.

You can obtain “food-grade” plastic hose which will not contaminate the water. Campers with recreational vehicles or trailers should use this type of hose when hooking up to a drinking water tap at a campsite. Check with a store that sells accessories for recreational vehicles.

   

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