In Hastings and Prince Edward counties, we are fortunate to have access to drinking water that is generally of very high quality. However, no naturally-occurring water is 100 per cent pure. Water picks up minerals and contaminants found in the soil or deposited from the air. Most water contamination is the result of human activity. Agriculture, industry and urban development can all adversely affect the quality and quantity of our surface and groundwater.
If you are like many Ontarians, you receive treated drinking water from your municipal supplier. Municipal water treatment systems fall under Ontario Regulation 170/03. Under this regulation water treatment systems are required to follow strict procedures for testing and monitoring water quality to ensure it meets the Ontario Drinking Water Quality Standards. If you have specific questions about the quality of the drinking water in your community, the best place to start is by contacting your city or municipality.
Source Water Protection
Under the Clean Water Act (2006), each region in Ontario is producing a local, science based plan to protect sources of municipal drinking water. This proactive approach protects our environment and may eliminate the need for additional expensive water treatment technologies in the future. To find out more about this initiative please visit the Quinte Source Water website.
If you live in a rural area, chances are your daily water supply comes from a private well on your property. As an owner of a private well you are responsible for making sure your water is safe to drink. Proper maintenance and regular testing lets you fix any water quality issues sooner, reducing the chance of becoming ill from your drinking water.
See also: Wells
If your drinking water comes from a lake, bay, river, spring or shore well then your water comes from a surface water source. All drinking water from a surface water supply should be treated and tested regularly. Bacterial testing is available for free through your nearest health unit office. Test for bacteria every spring, summer and fall. To learn more about the right water treatment for you, explore the links below or contact a water treatment company.
Blue-green algae are a natural part of our waterways and have been around for hundreds of years. Many do not cause harm, however, a few species of blue-green algae produce toxins. These toxins can poison animals and humans. To learn more visit the links below.
• Questions and Answers on Bottled Water
• Effects of Lead on Human Health
• Blue-Green Algae (Cyanobacteria) and their Toxins
Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
• How to Use Water Safely During a "Boil Water Advisory"
• Water Safety during an Electrical Power Blackout
• How to Prepare Baby Formula during a Power Failure
• Licensed Laboratories
Ontario Ministry of the Environment
• Information about blue-green algae: Background, potential impacts to human health and safety of drinking water
Quinte Conservation & Lower Trent Conservation
• Protecting Water
• Living On A Waterfront Property
• A Guide to Operating and Maintaining Your Septic System
• The Simple Guide to Septic Systems
Bay of Quinte Remedial Action Plan
• Habitat Enhancement Program provides funding to waterfront owners to assist with naturalizing their waterfront.
• Rural Water Stewardship Checklist
• Working With Your Well Contractor
• Cost Comparison – Bottled Water Versus Well Upgrade
Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit
• Video: Testing Your Well Water*
*Note that water samples must be dropped-off the same day for Hastings and Prince Edward Counties Health Unit
• Private Wells: A Resource for Home Owners with Private Wells
• Lead in Drinking Water Fact Sheet
• Blue-Green Algae Fact Sheet
• Water Sample Drop-Off Schedule for Hastings and Prince Edward Counties
• Licensed Laboratories close to Hastings and Prince Edward Counties