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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 Kingston, and how to fix them

Because the majority of Kingston’s water comes from Lake Ontario, it’s not uncommon for Kingston residents to experience the hallmarks associated with sourcing surface water for municipal use.

Hard, Poor-Quality Water

Lake water is notorious for being high in dissolved solids, like calcium, iron, manganese, and other minerals. Depending on the geography, it may also accumulate its fair share of sediment from the surrounding landscape. This can be a hassle for residents when it creates the following issues:

  • Limescale buildup on appliances, fixtures, and plumbing
  • Climbing utility bills
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Scratchy, stiff laundry

Sulphur and Water Odours

Water odours associated with sulphur (that telling rotten-egg smell) can sometimes be aggravated by seasonal conditions in the lake — namely, temperature fluctuations that can cause the bacteria responsible for that hydrogen sulphide to peak.


Reddish stains that are hard to miss, and the trails they leave behind, can make for a cleaning headache, in addition to being unpleasant to drink. Kingston residents most often notice this typical manifestation of dissolved iron and other sediments as they make sinks, tubs, fixtures, and toilet bowls unsightly to look at.

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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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