Is Hamilton’s Drinking Water Safe?

Getting access to quality, safe drinking water is a problem that we in Hamilton luckily never have to worry about. Because of the stringent water quality standards that the City of Hamilton follows, you can count on the water flowing from your Hamilton taps to be completely safe and ready to be enjoyed.

Hamilton’s Drinking Water Quality Management System

Established in 2002 by the Province of Ontario after the Walkerton water events, the Safe Water Drinking Act (SWDA) ensures that all owners and operating authorities of municipal residential drinking water systems have an accredited Operating Authority.

Responsibilities of an Operating Authority include creating and maintaining a quality management system that meets Ontario’s Drinking Water Quality Standard requirements, and accreditation by a Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change approved accreditation body.

Hamilton has a set of policies and procedures known as the Drinking Water Quality Management System (DWQMS) which are used to ensure clean tap water is consistently provided to Hamilton residents.

The Safe Water Drinking Act (SWDA)

The SWDA sets and legally enforces drinking water quality standards. Besides focussing on testing and treating drinking water, the SWDA also provides the public with information regarding any problematic water results.

Testing and Treating Hamilton’s Drinking Water 

Over 100 locations around the City have water tests completed every week. Upon sample collection, chlorine levels are measured. Total coliform, E. coli, and heterotrophic plate count are also analyzed from the water samples.

Because the City of Hamilton consistently meets all Ontario Drinking Water Standards, there’s truly no cause for concern when drinking Hamiton’s tap water!       

Water Quality Concerns – Answered!

There are two main concerns that residents occasionally have about their water supply:

1. Yellow/Rusty Coloured Water:

Rust and scale products can sometimes build up on the inside of a water main when there is construction or an open fire hydrant in your area. Although the water may be discoloured, it is still safe to drink.

Quick Fix: Turning your cold water tap on for up to ten minutes (or until the water clears) normally fixes the issue.

2. Water Tastes/Smells Different:

The taste of Hamilton’s drinking water may differ depending on the season we are experiencing. Normally, this is as a result of algae growth in lake Ontario, which can cause a musty smell and/or taste in the water. 

Quick Fix: Keeping the water cold and adding lemon slices can help remove the taste. In addition, stagnant water in your pipeline can cause a different taste in your water. Remove this issue by running your taps for a few minutes to get rid of the stale water.

Safe Drinking Water: An Added Bonus of Living in Hamilton!

The City of Hamilton is well known for its beautiful waterfalls, numerous dining options and close proximity to neighbouring cities. But having access to safe drinking water is another major advantage of living here! Thanks to the City of Hamilton’s stringent water standards, having access to safe drinking water is never a concern to city residents.