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Drinking Water Safety

Drinking water describes water that is safe to drink. You also need safe water for everyday activities like cooking, washing fruits and vegetables, doing dishes, and bathing. Drinking water can come from many different sources (a municipal water system, surface water, or a well) and each source of water must be properly treated to ensure it's safe. In Ontario, all public water systems follow Provincial regulations to make sure that water is safe to drink.

The Northwestern Health Unit helps to reduce and prevent water-borne illness (sickness caused from unsafe water) by:

Working with operators
The health unit works with the operators of local municipal water systems and the operators of small drinking water systems.

Boil water advisories and orders
When water is not safe to drink, the health unit works with municipalities to issue advisories and can issue orders to small drinking water systems that fall under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. The health unit provides information and guidelines for child care facilities, dental offices, health care institutions, premises that make ice, and small drinking water systems on how to operate safely during a boil water advisory or order.

Public education
Learn about private well water and surface water, and how to test your drinking water.

For more information please contact a Public Health Inspector during work hours at your local health unit office.

Learn more about:

Public Health Question
  • Q:
    How do I know if there is a Boil Water Advisory in my community?
    For information on Boil Water Advisories in your community, click here.