At the end of November, Ontario’s Acting Chief Drinking Water Inspector, Mili New, released the province’s annual report on drinking water quality for 2017–2018.

The report details the state of drinking water over the last year, detailing that of more than 500,000 test results from municipal residential drinking water systems, 99.8 per cent met Ontario’s drinking water quality standards.

“The 2017-18 annual drinking water report shows how key actions are keeping Ontario’s drinking water clean and safe,” wrote New in her introduction to the report.

An overview of the report noted that:

  • Over ninety-nine per cent of 659 municipal residential drinking water systems received an inspection rating indicating compliance of over 80 per cent with Ontario’s regulations. Seventy-five per cent of systems inspected had a perfect rating of compliance.
  • More than ninety-five per cent of the over 87,000 test results met Ontario’s standard for lead in drinking water at schools and child care centres. When looking at flushed samples only, this number increases to 97.6 per cent.
  • Nearly 7,000 operators were certified for drinking water systems.
  • And enforcement activities ensured that eight drinking water systems and two drinking water testing laboratories were convicted and fined a total of $314,500.
drinking water
Image Credit: Government of Ontario.

The 2017–18 report also found that the Small Dinking Water Systems Program continues to show results. “Since 2012–13, there have been progressively positive results including a steady decline in the proportion of high-risk systems (10.86 per cent in 2017–18 down from 16.65 per cent in 2012–13),” stated the report.

“In Ontario, our water is protected by strict health-based drinking water standards, comprehensive legislation and strong monitoring, reporting and enforcement that ensure the quantity and quality of our drinking water,” said Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.

The complete report can be found on the Government of Ontario’s website.


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