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
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
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
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
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
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
Is water with Chlorine in it safe to
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.