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News Release

Durham Region excels in water quality

WHITBY, ON May 02, 2017

In 2016, The Regional Municipality of Durham once again met or went beyond the requirements of the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002. The act sets out the standards for the operation, treatment and testing of municipal drinking water systems. The Region of Durham consistently meets or surpasses these requirements as it strives to provide residents with high quality drinking water.

The Region of Durham’s annual Water Quality Report for 2016 describes our waterworks and the quality of the drinking water for each water supply system within Durham Region. The report notes that 8,158 water samples were tested last year! The Region's drinking water systems are operated according to the Drinking-Water Systems Regulation 170/03 which require continuous online monitoring, as well as weekly, quarterly and annual sampling and testing of water quality at the water supply plants and in the distribution systems. In many instances, additional sampling and analysis is conducted above the regulation's sampling requirement.

“Our drinking water is sampled and analyzed for various groups of parameters which may be present in any source water—Bacteriological parameters, inorganic parameters and organic parameters,” said John Presta, Director of Environmental Services. “Bacteriological quality is the most important aspect of drinking water quality because of its association with water-borne disease. We have achieved 99.8 per cent compliance for bacteriological samples, which is a very impressive rate.”

Bacteriological sampling is performed on the raw water entering the drinking water treatment plant, leaving the plant, and throughout the distribution system. These samples are analyzed by the York-Durham Regional Environmental Laboratory (REL) in Pickering. Owned and operated jointly by York and Durham regions, the REL is a state-of-the-art facility specializing in the testing of water and wastewater. The REL is accredited by the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation to ISO/IEC 17025 and licensed by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change for the testing of drinking water.

All of Durham Region's water supply systems are accredited to the Environmental Management Standard ISO 14001 and the Quality Management Standard ISO 9001.

The Region of Durham is committed to providing residents with a clean, safe, reliable supply of drinking water. To learn more about Durham’s water supply or to view the 2016 Water Quality Report, visit

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