Water Purification in Ottawa



City of Ottawa tap water is rated as some of the safest and cleanest in the world (!) as certified by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. But some residents might be wondering how does it get that way?

I wanted to take a moment to share some information provided to me from the City’s water resource department that illustrates just how City water gets from the Ottawa River into your glass.

Water Purification Process

Drinking Water – Purification

  • The Britannia and Lemieux Island Water Purification Plants together produce approximately 275 million litres of drinking water each day.
  • For the fifth consecutive year, all seven (7) water systems operated by the City have received scores of 100% in annual inspections performed by Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC).

Drinking Water – Quality and Testing

  • The City performs more than 100,000 tests per year on its drinking water, from more than 50 sampling locations across the city, analyzing for 350 different parameters.
  • Ottawa’s water quality meets all federal and provincial standards, and is rated as one of the best in the world.
  • The City prepares an annual report for each municipal drinking water system as a requirement of the Safe Drinking Water Act. Each report includes a full summary of water quality test results for the year.

Drinking Water – Distribution

  • Safe drinking water is pumped through more than 3,000 km of water mains – roughly the distance between Ottawa and Calgary.
  • Approximately 250 million litres of water is stored each day in reservoirs and tanks, and more than 15 pumping stations ensure that water pressure is maintained throughout the system.

Drinking Ottawa tap water is not only safe but it’s also more cost efficient and environmentally friendly than drinking bottled water! So the next time you’re at home and need something to quench your thirst, consider leaving the bottled water at the grocery store.