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Ontario Water Quality Facts and Drinking Water Problems

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


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 Peterborough, and how to fix them

The Otonabee River provides the majority of the city of Peterborough’s water. In conjunction with the greater Trent-Severn Waterway, this large surface water reservoir serves many communities around the area, all of them prone to experiencing many of the same water issues that come along with sourcing municipal water from lakes, rivers, and streams.

Chlorine and Sulphur Odours

Water odours associated with chlorine and dissolved sulphur produce a particularly noticeable swimming pool or rotten-egg smell. Sometimes also described as fishy, these kinds of odours are most commonly caused by natural fluctuations in the bacteria that cause hydrogen sulphide, which produces the odour. Because heat plays a role in hydrogen sulphide levels, this can be more of a problem during the spring and summer months in Peterborough.

Stains and Discolourations

Sinks, tubs, and toilet bowls are some of the first places rust stains appear, signaling that you may have higher levels of dissolved iron in your water. Besides being unpleasant to look at, water stains often present a cleaning chore. It’s also fairly common for stains to accumulate in and around water appliances, like your dishwasher, refrigerator, or washing machine.

  • Lime and white scale buildup on fixtures and appliances
  • Soaps, shampoos, and detergents that disappear almost as soon as you use them
  • Overworked appliances
  • Rising utility bills

Hard Water

Rural parts of Peterborough and those with private well water can experience harder water than more urban Peterborough. Water that comes primarily from wells can accumulate large amounts of sediment and minerals, so that by the time it makes it to your tap, not all of the dissolved solids may have been filtered out, leaving you with some noticeable household headaches.

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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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