Water Quality

Where Does Your Water Come From And Is It Safe?

There are two major sources of drinking water: surface water and groundwater. Surface water comes from lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. Most of Alberta’s population gets water from surface water sources. Groundwater comes from either wells or springs, which are fed by underground water sources called aquifers.

The main reason for treating or disinfecting public water supplies is to kill pathogens, which are disease-causing organisms transmitted by water. Some examples of waterborne diseases and disease-causing organisms are cholera, typhoid, E.Coli, Giardia and Cryptosporidium.

Alberta Environment issues “waterworks system” operating approvals to Alberta’s municipalities. These approvals clearly outline the municipalities’ responsibilities for:

  • treatment requirements
  • performance standards
  • compliance sampling
  • monitoring-reporting requirements

By law in Alberta, water from treatment facilities must also meet standards based on Health Canada’s stringent Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.

How does the County ensure your drinking water is safe?

Drinking water safety depends on several key elements:

  • good water supply and treatment systems
  • proper operation and maintenance of waterworks systems
  • comprehensive monitoring for drinking water quality
  • appropriate steps for correction and enforcement

One way the County does this is by flushing. Regularly flushing the watermains is an important part of a preventative maintenance program and is the most effective in scouring of the inside of the water pipe, removal of sediments (built up silt and biofilms), maintain chlorine residuals and clear the system of any dis-coloured water.