Community

York Region tap water is ‘safe, clean, affordable’

Many people agree nothing compares to a cold, refreshing glass of water and with York Region continuing to earn perfect marks in provincial quality standards and inspections, there’s definitely no need to buy bottled.

Spending $1 on bottled water can buy the equivalent of more than 600 bottles worth of tap water, the Region reports. Bottled water also generates plastic waste that’s difficult to recycle and incurs additional packaging and transportation expenses.

“Comprehensive sampling and robust investments in our system keeps York Region a leader in drinking water scores in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area,” says Richmond Hill Mayor David West, Chair of Environmental Services. “Residents have come to know and expect water from their taps is safe, clean and affordable – and we are pleased to meet this high standard year after year.”

Water sample analysis results factors into the overall score. More than 99.99 per cent of the results from 17,390 laboratory analyzed samples and 40.5 million continuous monitoring analyzer readings passed regulated standards last year, the Region reports. Historically, York has scored high in the Chief Drinking Water Inspector’s Report, often surpassing the provincial average. For the past five years, it earned combined inspection and test results between 100 and 99.17 per cent.

“York Region’s dedicated and professional water operations staff work around the clock monitoring and testing our drinking water systems so residents can be assured our water is safe and clean,” says Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “These top scores are a direct result of our ongoing commitment to safety, compliance and continual improvement.”

Under the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002, York Region reports annually on quality and quantity of drinking water produced. The Region protects drinking water through initiatives that include source water protection, operator training, water treatment, extensive monitoring and testing, as well as emergency preparedness and regular communication with local cities and towns. 

Water here is delivered through a two-tiered water system. The Region operates and maintains 15 drinking water supply systems, which provide water to all nine cities and towns. In turn, those municipalities are responsible for designing, constructing, operating and maintaining their distribution systems.

In 2022, York Region invested $39 million to maintain and improve drinking water systems, including installing, repairing or replacing equipment used to treat, store and deliver safe drinking water. Public Works has budgeted $481 million for water system rehabilitation and replacement over the next decade, including groundwater treatment upgrades supporting the continued delivery of high-quality drinking water.

Learn more about York’s water systems and drinking water quality through the online reporting tool at  york.ca/drinkingwater.

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