Drinking Water System


Information on Residential water service and water bill payments


Service Requests will be received by phone by calling 905-885-2431 or email at publicworks@porthope.ca

For after-hours emergency assistance related to Water, Wastewater or Roads please call 905-885-2431 and Press "2". Our Contact Centre Agents at T.A.S. Communications will be very pleased to assist you.


The Municipality of Port Hope owns and operates the Port Hope Drinking Water System (DWS) which supplies water to the community for residential, commercial, industrial and institutional use. The DWS is classified as Large Municipal Residential system and consists of the Water Treatment Plant (WTP) and the Water Distribution system. The WTP uses membrane ultrafiltration technology and chlorination to treat raw water from Lake Ontario prior to pumping water into the distribution system. The distribution system is divided into two zones: Zone 1 and Zone 2. Zone 1 is located in the eastern portion of the urban area and includes a 1,082 m3 standpipe which provides water storage and also regulates pressure in Zone 1. Zone 2 encompasses the more elevated urban lands to the west and includes a 2,273 m3 reservoir, a 3,000 m3 elevated tank, and two booster stations. Both the Victoria Street Booster Station and the Jocelyn Street Reservoir maintain the DWS pressure and flow rates in the Zone 2 area.

The operation and maintenance of the DWS is the responsibility of a Water Operations Manager, Water Operations Foreman, six Operators and one labourer. All DWS Operators are certified by the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) and are members of the Ontario Waterworks Association.

Clean, safe drinking water is essential to a healthy community. The Municipality follows the testing and monitoring program identified in Ontario Regulation170/03 and the Municipal Drinking Water Licence to ensure the drinking water quality meets the requirements of the Ontario Drinking Water Quality Standards. Sampling results are summarized in the annual and summary reports. The results confirm that water supplied to the Port Hope residents is of high quality.

As per Ontario Regulation 170/03, Section 11, the Municipality of Port Hope, as the owner and operator of the DWS, is required to prepare an annual report describing our DWS operation and the quality of the drinking water supplied to the community. The Annual Report is submitted to the MOE and is made available to the public. Additionally, as per Ontario Regulation 170/03, Schedule 22, the Municipality is required to prepare annual Summary Report for the Council.


Key Terms 

MAC (Maximum Acceptable Concentration) is established for parameters which have known or suspected adverse health effects when above certain concentrations. The length of time the MAC can be exceeded without health effects will depend on the nature and concentration of that parameter.

IMAC (Interim Maximum Acceptable Concentration) is established for parameters when there is insufficient toxicological data to establish a MAC with reasonable certainty, or when it is not feasible for practical reasons to establish a MAC at a desired level.

Parameter is a substance in the water to be sampled and analyzed.

mg/L (milligrams per litre) is a measure of the concentration of a parameter in water sometimes referred to as "parts per million" (ppm).

µg/L (micrograms per litre) is a measure of the concentration of a parameter in water sometimes referred to as "parts per billion" (ppb).

AO (Aesthetic Objectives) is established for parameters that may impair the taste, odour or colour of water or which may interfere with good water quality control practices. For certain parameters, both Aesthetic Objectives and health-related MACs have been derived.

OG (Operational Guidelines) are established for parameters that need to be controlled to ensure efficient and effective treatment and distribution of the water.

˂MDL (Less than Method Detection Limit) indicates that the parameter being analyzed is in a quantity that is less than the lowest possible detection limit for the analytical method used.



By-law 79-2014 Water and Wastewater Rates

Water Financial Plan Update Report

Water Financial Plan #146-301 (Revised)

Watson & Associates Economists Ltd. (Watson) was retained by the Municipality of Port Hope (Municipality) to undertake an update to the 2014 Water and Wastewater Rate Study. Part of this undertaking is to prepare a Water Ontario Regulation 453/07 Financial Plan to address the submission requirements for maintaining a municipal drinking water license, as per the Safe Drinking Water Act. In general, a financial plan requires a forecast of the Municipality's financial statements for water services (i.e. statements of financial position, operations, changes in net financial assets/debts, and cashflow). The Safe Drinking Water Act requires that municipalities prepare a water financial plan for a forecast period spanning at least 6 years, and that this plan be submitted to the Ministry of Environment every 5 years. As per these requirements, the Municipality’s Financial Plan must be approved by Council and submitted to the Ministry of Environment. The Municipality is currently in the process of completing the 2020 Water and Wastewater Rate Study. This study will require Council to approve the water and wastewater net expenditure forecasts and corresponding funding sources to achieve full cost recovery from rate payers. This study is scheduled to go before Council later than the compliance deadline under the municipal drinking water license program. As such, an interim financial plan was being presented to Council for approval and submission to the Ministry of Environment to comply with the licensing requirements. This interim financial plan is based on the Municipality’s approved 2015 Water Financial Plan with extension of the forecast period from 2024 to 2025 to comply with the minimum 6-year forecast period requirement. It is anticipated that once the 2020 Water and Wastewater Rate Study is approved by Council, that the financial plan will be updated to reflect this approval. Correspondingly, the updated financial plan will be submitted to the Ministry of Environment at that time as an amendment to this interim Financial Plan.

Council Resolution 20/2020 has authorized staff to post the Water System Financial Plan on the website with information regarding how to obtain copies of the plan and how to make submissions to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, as well as the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and any other steps required pertaining to the Water System Financial Plan. 

Paper copies of the Plan will be made available upon request, free of charge, at municial offices.


What is the Drinking Water Quality Management Standard (DWQMS)?

In the final report of the Walkerton Inquiry, "A Strategy for Safe Drinking Water - Part Two", Justice O'Connor recommended that the concepts of quality management for drinking water be incorporated. This recommendation has been mandated through the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002. In 2007, the Ministry of Environment introduced a quality management standard specific to the needs of the drinking water systems in Ontario, known as the Drinking Water Quality Management Standard (DWQMS).

The Walkerton Inquiry Report states: "The purpose of the quality management approach in the context of drinking water is to protect public health by achieving consistent good practice in managing and operating a water system. The hallmarks of this approach include:

• The adoption of best practices and continual improvement
• Real-time process control (e.g., the continuous monitoring of turbidity, chlorine residual, and disinfectant contact time) wherever       feasible
• The effective operation of robust multi barriers to protect public health
• Preventative rather than strictly reactive strategies to identify and manage risk to public health
• Effective leadership

What is a Quality Management System?

A quality management system is a documented and implemented set of policies and procedures defining how an organization manages and directs its business processes, or the business that it does, with regards to the quality of its product or service. The system enables an organization to identify, measure, control and continually improve upon these processes, ultimately leading to improved performance in the management of its business.

What does this mean for the Municipality of Port Hope?

The Municipality of Port Hope has developed the Quality Management System (QMS) that conforms to the Ministry’s Drinking Water Quality Management Standard. The Municipality’s QMS is documented in an Operational Plan, which describes how Port Hope meets or exceeds the requirements of the Ministry of the Environment prescribed standard. Port Hope received certification as an "Accredited Operating Authority" in August 2010 and continues to maintain this status.

A copy of the QMS Operational Plan is available at Town Hall, the Water Treatment Plant or by the following link QMS Operational Plan. For any questions related to QMS, please contact the QMS Representative at 905-885-2209

What is the Municipality of Port Hope committed to?

QMS Policy

the municipality of port hope hasll provide safe drinking water that is compliant with the Safe Drinking Water Act and applicable regulations and legislation. We are committed to: Provide safe drinking water. Obey all applicable legislation and regulations. Review, maintain and continually improve. treat and produce water that is clean and reliable. Hold the highest standards of quality. Operate in an environmentally responsible manner. Provide a sustainable drinking water system. Educate the public about importance of water.

Statement of Commitment and Endorsement

As outlined in the QMS Operational Plan, the Municipality of Port Hope is committed to ensuring that a Quality Management System (QMS) is developed and implemented for the Municipality's drinking water system in accordance with the requirements of the Drinking Water Quality Management Standard. The Owner and Top Management are committed to ensuring that the established QMS complies with all applicable legislation and regulations and that all resources required for the maintenance and continual improvement of the system are identified and provided. They are also committed to ensuring that the Operating Authority is aware of all applicable legislative and regulatory requirements governing the provision of safe drinking water.

To promote awareness and understanding of the QMS, the Municipality of Port Hope's QMS will be communicated to the relevant parties according to the procedures outlined in Section 12 of the Operational Plan, Communications.

The Operational Plan is endorsed and supported by the Owners and Top Management of the Municipality of Port Hope Water System and was signed on April 16, 2019 by: Robert J. Sanderson - Mayor ("Owner Representative"), Brian Gilmer - Director of Corporate Services ("Top Management") and Jeanette Davidson. - Director of Works and Engineering ("Top Management").


The Port Hope Waterworks Commission was established in 1896. In 1917, Port Hope's first water treatment plant was constructed. In 1938 a new plant was constructed to replace the original plant to take raw water from Lake Ontario, treat it and deliver to people's homes and businesses. Over the years upgrades were made to the plant on 21 Marsh Street to improve water quality and its distribution. The water treatment process evolved from infiltration wells to slow sand filtration, to dual media rapid sand filters. Chlorine was added at various stages to effectively control bacteria, algae and viruses. For years the water treatment plant provided a reliable source of quality water for Port Hope.

In 2001 the Waterworks Commission was changed to the Water Division in the Works and Engineering Department in the newly amalgamated Municipality of Port Hope. In August 2000, the Ontario government introduced a new regulation mandating that all of Ontario's water treatment plants undertake an evaluation of their operations, and develop a monitoring program. The Engineer's Report, received in February 2001, identified that Port Hope's water treatment plant did not meet the new standard requirements. The report indicated that significant upgrades would be required to bring the plant into compliance. Immediate measures were taken to comply with the interim deadline of December 31, 2002, although Council was aware that they were only temporary solutions. Many options were reviewed in the Municipality's quest for a long-term water solution, which resulted in Council's approval of the budget for the construction of the new water treatment plant.

On August 23, 2005, Port Hope's new state-of-the-art membrane ultrafiltration Water Treatment Plant (WTP) at 35 Marsh Street opened its valves and provided 100% of Port Hope's water supply. The Water Treatment Division operates this facility, which is designed to produce 20,300 m3 per day of safe, clean, potable water.

The WTP uses membrane ultrafiltration technology. This technology allows for a higher level of treatment in a smaller area in comparison to the conventional water treatment plant. It also eliminates the traditional coagulation, flocculation and conventional filtration processes. Each membrane unit contains millions of tiny tubes with the diameter less than that of a grain of salt. Ultrafiltration occurs when water is pulled through the walls of the tubes and then chlorine is added as an effective disinfecting agent. Chlorine is used for primary disinfection of water as it enters the treatment process. Before pumping water into the distribution system, more chlorine is added (post-chlorination) to maintain an adequate level of chlorine residual in the distribution system. Fluoride is not added to the water. Any fluoride in the treated water is naturally occurring.

The WTP operation is fully automated using a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. There is a backup system to ensure uninterrupted delivery of water to all customers. Each control panel at the WTP is linked into a main control centre, allowing for consolidated operation and monitoring. There is a backup diesel generator at the WTP which ensures that in the event of a power failure, the WTP is still operational.


Each time you turn on your tap, flush your toilet or water your lawn in Port Hope, you and your family are receiving the highest quality drinking water that is transported through a complex network of reservoirs, pumping stations and trunk watermains.

The Municipality maintains:

~ 100 kilometers of watermains;
~ 550 fire hydrants;
~ 1200 mainline water valves (approximately); and
~ 4,820 residential and commercial water service connections and water meters.

Some of the maintenance activities include watermain break repairs, hydrant preventive maintenance and repairs, valve preventive maintenance and repairs, water line service installation/replacement/repairs. The Water Distribution Operators also respond to customer service calls related to water quality and supply, water turn off/on, and water pressure/flow concerns.

The Water Distribution Division has approximately 600 valves which are exercised annually. Valve exercising is the term used in the water industry for operating or turning the valves. These valves are used to shut off sections of the water distribution system for repair and maintenance.

The tops of the hydrants are colour coded to allow the Fire Department to know how much water is available from a particular hydrant. For example, a hydrant that has a blue top means the Fire Department can draw up to 1,200 gallons/minute of water. The hydrants are flushed twice per year to ensure their proper operation and to flush older watermains to keep them clear from iron deposits.

Where Does Your Water Come From?

The Port Hope DWS raw water source is Lake Ontario and is considered a source of good quality surface water, with minor seasonal variations in turbidity levels. The inlet for raw water intake pipe extends approximately 896 meters into the lake, south of the WTP. The raw water quality seldom changes because of the location and depth of the raw water intake pipe, making it easier for the WTP Operators to produce consistently safe, high quality water. Spring runoff from the Ganaraska River into Lake Ontario can impact raw water quality on an intermittent basis; however, the designs of the WTP, together with the expertise of the WTP operators, these situations are effectively handled. Due to the significant distance of the Sewage Treatment Plant from the raw water intake, final effluent discharge has no impact on the raw water source.

Water Sampling, Monitoring and Testing

Currently, the WTP is capable of treating 14,000 m3 of water per day. The water quality meets and exceeds current regulations in Ontario and is monitored extensively at each stage of the water treatment process. WTP samples are collected and tested on-site by certified WTP Operators for physical and chemical parameters such as chlorine residuals, pH, turbidity and temperature. on-line analyzers monitor the process on a continuous basis.

The Water Distribution System is monitored using the SCADA system. on-line analyzers continuously monitor chlorine levels in the Jocelyn Street Reservoir and the Fox Road Elevated Water Tank, where additional chlorine can be added when required. Additionally, various sampling locations in the Water Distribution System are tested daily for free chlorine residual levels.

As per the Ontario Drinking Water Quality Standards, water samples are tested for various parameters to ensure that consistent water quality is achieved. Raw, treated and distribution water samples are collected weekly and sent to an accredited MOE licensed laboratory to be analyzed for microbiological and inorganic parameters.

There are 73 different parameters that must be sampled for and analyzed annually, including microbiological, volatile organics, inorganics, pesticides and PCBs. These parameters are analyzed by an accredited MOE licensed laboratory as well.

In addition to the water sampling conducted by the Municipality, the Laboratory Services Branch of the MOE conducts analysis of samples submitted for Ontario's Drinking Water Surveillance Program. This program started in April 1986. Samples are collected on a semi-annual basis from raw and treated water, as well as other selected consumers. The samples are analyzed for more than 180 different parameters.

The results of all testing conducted by the Municipality and the MOE show that the water supply in Port Hope is consistently of an excellent quality.

What Is In Your Water?

Some parameters are naturally occurring in source water and may be present in drinking water. The following is a description of the various parameters:

Microbiological parameters, such as bacteria, may come from livestock operations, septic systems, wildlife and industrial or domestic wastewater discharge. Microbiological quality is the most important aspect of drinking water quality because of its association with dangerous water-borne diseases.

Inorganic parameters, such as salts and metals, can be naturally occurring or as a result of urban storm runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharge, mining or agriculture. Some may be a result of treatment processes or through the distribution of water (for example, lead leached out from old solder in pipes).

Organic parameters can be naturally occurring but a majority of organics found in water are synthetic, originating from industrial discharges, urban storm runoff and other sources. This group includes pesticides from both urban and rural activities. Some organic parameters may result from water treatment processes such as Trihalomethanes, which are a by-product of the chlorination process.