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Water Quality

Municipal water is treated and tested in accordance with the Ministry of Environment Conservation and Parks requirements. The City meets and surpasses these requirements and provides safe, reliable drinking water. Please visit our Licensing and Regulations page for more information about the Drinking Water Quality Management Standard.

Our water is safe to drink and the City does not add fluoride to the water supply. Licensed Operators make sure all water goes through a purification process before it reaches your home. The steps in this process are:

  1. screening water to remove debris
  2. chemical treatment
  3. filtration
  4. disinfection
  5. secondary disinfection once water moves into the distribution system

Hard water

Water hardness refers to the amount of calcium and magnesium in water. Hardness is expressed as mg/L calcium carbonate or in grains per gallon. One grain per US gallon equals 17.1 mg/L calcium carbonate.

Water hardness of Kawartha Lakes drinking water systems

Drinking Water System

Hardness (mg/L as CaCo3)

Grains Per Gallon (US)

Birchpoint WTP



Bobcaygeon WTP



Canadiana Shores WTP



Fenelon Falls WTP



Janetville WTP



Kings Bay WTP



Kinmount WTP



Lindsay WTP



Manilla WTP



Manorview WTP



Mariposa Estates



Norland WTP



Omemee WTP



Pinewood WTP



Pleasant Point WTP



Sonya WTP



Southview Estates WTP



Victoria Place WTP



Western Trent WTP



Woodfield WTP



Woodville WTP



Water pressure

There are many issues that can cause low water pressure. Common causes include:

  • using a water softener with an open bypass
  • there has been a watermain break or other construction and repairs in your neighbourhood
  • a valve near your house has not been fully closed
  • the City is flushing watermains

If you experience a sudden loss of water pressure check the Public Notice section of our website or contact Customer Service.

Water colour and odour

Hot weather can mean taste and odour problems for water.

During the summer months, residents may experience a noticeable smell and musty tasting water. Taste and odour episodes are natural. They are caused by seasonal biological changes in source water, which produce odour-causing chemical compounds that can be detected by humans at very low levels. Most municipalities in Ontario that get their water supply from surface water sources experience this problem periodically in the summer. Tap water from municipal water supply systems remains safe to drink during these episodes.

Seasonal taste and odour in drinking water is not a threat to public health. We make every effort to reduce the impact of taste and odour episodes. Our water treatment plants are equipped with filtration systems designed to reduce the effects of taste and odour but may not eliminate it entirely. Taste and odour episodes will vary from one year to another. If you should notice a taste and odour in your water during the summer months, simple home remedies, such as keeping a jug of water in the fridge or adding ice cubes or lemon juice to tap water should improve it.

Chlorine is essential for public safety. We do our best to make sure it does not affect the taste and odour of our water. A small amount of the chemical is required to remain in the water throughout the distribution system to ensure that re-contamination does not occur once the water leaves the treatment plant. If you notice a chlorine taste or smell putting a jug of water in the fridge over night will eliminate any traces of chlorine.

You can learn more about chlorine and drinking water on the Health Canada website.

Yellow or rusty colour

Rust and scale products that are normally stuck to the inside of watermains can break away because of open fire hydrants or during repairs, construction or other maintenance work. The water is still safe to drink but may appear dirty or stain your laundry. Run your cold water tap for 10 minutes or until water clears to get rid of the colour. If the problem continues you can contact Customer Service

Grey or cloudy water

Very fine air bubbles cause water to look grey or cloudy. Water will clear shortly after being poured into a glass as the bubbles settle. Grey or cloudy water is safe to drink.

Musty odour

Naturally occurring algae and higher water temperatures can give water a musty taste and odour during the summer. This can be unpleasant but the water is still safe to drink.

Water testing and treatment


We add chlorine to water during the treatment process in order to eliminate bacteria, algae and viruses present in the water.


The City tests sodium levels in our drinking water on a regular basis. Anytime tests show that sodium levels in the water are greater than 20 mg/L we report the results to the Medical Officer of Health.

For most people sodium in drinking water does not cause any health concerns. It may be an issue for people suffering from high blood pressure, congestive heart failure or other medical conditions that require a low sodium diet. Sodium restricted diets usually allow 500 mg of sodium per day.

If you have concerns about your diet and how much sodium is healthy for you, please contact your doctor.


We are mandated by the Safe Drinking Water Act (O.Reg.170/03) to conduct lead sampling on our water systems. pH and Alkalinity samples are collected twice per year, once in the summer and once in the winter. We complete distribution system lead sampling once every three years. All samples are analyzed by an accredited laboratory and results are sent to the Ministry of Environment Conservation and Parks.

Water conservation

Reducing the amount of water you use saves money and energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The City practices water conservation so we can:

  • use less water and energy
  • lower long-term infrastructure costs
  • improve water sustainability
  • protect the environment

Better water management could become one of the most cost-effective energy reduction strategies for Ontario municipalities.

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