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Ontario Water Quality Facts and Drinking Water Problems

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The most populous province, Ontario shoulders the largest provincial water sourcing and distribution burden in the country. Bordering four of the Great Lakes, these massive bodies of water supply 80% of Ontarians with drinking water. The province relies not only on lakes but also on Ontario’s many rivers and its proximity to Hudson and James bays to provide water for regional mining, manufacturing, and agriculture.

With much of Ontario’s water serving many purposes, the likelihood of contamination and water quality issues can be high. As a result, the province has struggled with a history of moderate groundwater pollution as a result of municipal waste, industry runoff, and fertilizer contaminants. While many of these concerns have been addressed, it’s still common for residents’ tap water to be hard or of generally poor quality. In some areas, water supplies may be impacted by dissolved solids and metal content, which can leave stains behind and cause slight discolouration. In addition to mitigating factors affecting Ontario’s water resources, it’s estimated roughly 140,000 residents across about 42 rural communities don’t have municipal water systems — they rely on independent (sometimes unregulated) or well water systems for use in their homes and businesses.

Your local Ontario 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 Sarnia, and how to fix them

Located almost directly between Lake St. Clair and Lake Huron, the city of Sarnia has its fair share of access to surface water supplies for municipal use. Like many other regions throughout Ontario that rely on lakes and rivers for water, Sarnia can experience intermittent issues with its water quality. Environmental conditions affecting Lake Huron, Sarnia’s main water source, can peak during certain times of the year, and affect different areas of Sarnia differently.

Hard, Poor-Quality Water

Typical of areas where surface water is sourced, hard water can be a common problem in Sarnia, ON. In order to get to your faucet, water travels through the ground where it accumulates minerals and sediment — like calcium and iron — as it contacts soil and as a result of its tenure in aboveground lakes and rivers. Your local Culligan Water Expert can perform a free in-home water test to determine the hardness of your water, though there are some common signs and symptoms that indicate you may be dealing with hard water in your home:

  • Stiff, scratchy laundry
  • Underperforming appliances
  • Mineral deposits or chalky residue around faucets


Usually a residual effect of municipal treatment, Sarnia residents often notice the occasional swimming pool odour coming from the tap. While it’s usually harmless and means that your water has been safely treated, it’s often less than thirst-quenching, and can irritate skin and exacerbate skin allergies in high enough concentrations.

Stains and Discoloured water

Water with high concentrations of minerals, as hard water often has, can be the reason behind rust-coloured stains and residue. From sinks, tubs, toilets, and washing machines and dishwashers, water stains can be a hassle to clean and leave surfaces looking unsightly.

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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