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Alberta Water Quality Facts and Drinking Water Problems

water drop falling and impacting on a body of water close up. Bellingham WA


Canada’s fourth–largest province, Alberta holds approximately 2.2% of the country’s fresh–water supply contained in numerous lakes, reservoirs, rivers, aquifers, and other buried channels across the province. The majority of Albertans’ daily water needs are provided for from surface water sources (lakes, rivers, and wetlands), though depending on the area, some residents may drink and use water sourced from both surface and ground–water reserves.

Like neighbouring Saskatchewan, many of Alberta’s water sources are located in the northern reaches of the province, somewhat removed from major population centers. This can create a number of complications as water is distributed to your tap from remote sources. From dry, itchy skin to mineral and white scale build–up, many Albertans find their tap water can cause headaches at home. Tending toward the hard end of the water spectrum, water throughout the area can also be of poor quality that may impact taste and odour.

Your local Alberta Culligan Water Expert is an expert on your water, can test it to determine any problems, and provide the best way to address them.

Common water issues in Medicine Hat and how to fix them

The South Saskatchewan River meanders through Medicine Hat and provides for a majority of the city’s water needs. This river is supplied by the Old Man River and the Bow River which are also the main supply of water for Calgary and Lethbridge. After undergoing municipal treatment, the river water is subject to rigorous filtration and is tested regularly to ensure its safety. While the water is safe to drink, that doesn’t always mean it’s the best quality for drinking and using around the house. Residents of Medicine Hat notice a few common issues that often affect surface water sources.

Hard, Mineral-Rich Water

Medicine Hat’s water tends to be on the hard side of average. Dissolved minerals, like iron, calcium, and others, contribute to this fairly common water nuisance, which can leave buildup behind on fixtures and in appliances, and make cleaning more of a chore. It can also contribute to other problems around the house, like:

  • Climbing utility bills
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Early appliance burnout
  • Scratchy, stiff laundry
  • Water discolouration

Spots on Glasses

Hard water minerals are also responsible for leaving glasses and other dishware looking less than clean, even right from the dishwasher. Medicine Hat residents also notice their glassware needs extra cleaning, and even after hand washing, can still have a cloudy appearance.


Chlorine is added to Medicine Hat’s water as part of the regular water treatment process, making it clean and safe to drink — but it can sometimes accumulate in excess. You’ll likely know if this is the case from that hard-to-miss smell, which can lead to an unpleasant experience at the tap.

Ready for Better Water?

Schedule an appointment now for your free in-home water test or phone consultation. Your local Culligan water expert will help you find the best solution for getting cleaner, safer water in your home.

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