Drinking Water System


Information on Residential water service and water bill payments


Water Treatment Division and Water Distribution Division Contacts

Port Hope Drinking Water System

** After-Hours Telephone Emergency Procedure **

For after-hours emergency assistance related to water quality issues, watermain breaks, leaking fire hydrants, 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. WTP uses membrane filtration 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, six Operators and one labourer. All DWS Operators are certified by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) 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 annual reports 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 MOECC and is made available to the public. Additionally, as per Ontario Regulation 170/03, Schedule 22, the Municipality is required to prepare annual Summary Reports for the Council.

Hard copies of both the Annual and Summary Reports for the DWS are available at the Water Treatment Plant, the Municipal Development Team office, the Municipal Administrative Offices, and both Libraries, or by clicking on the links below.

Drinking Water System Annual and Summary Reports

Key Terms for Reading the Reports

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.


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 and Climate Change 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 Municipality of Port Hope has developed the Quality Management System (QMS) Operational Plan, which defines and documents the quality management policies and procedures for the Municipality's Water Treatment Plant (WTP) and Distribution System. A copy of the QMS Operational Plan is available at the Municipal Administrative office, the Water Treatment Plant or click the link to view the QMS Operational Plan. For any questions related to QMS, please contact the QMS Representative at 905.885.2209.

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 September 15, 2015 by: Robert J. Sanderson - Mayor ("Owner Representative"), Sue Bernardi - Executive Director ("Top Management") and Peter Angelo, P.Eng. - Director of Works and Engineering ("Top Management").

Water Treatment Plant

water treatment buildingThe 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.

new water treatment plantOn August 23, 2005, Port Hope's new state-of-the-art membrane filtration 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.

water treatment membraneThe WTP uses membrane filtration technology. The membrane filtration 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. Filtration 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 (a secondary disinfection) 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 also a backup diesel generator in the WTP to ensure that, in the event of a power failure, the WTP is still operational.

Water Distribution Division

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 (as of December 31, 2014):

~ 100 kilometers of watermains;
~ 520 fire hydrants;
~ 600 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

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 daily 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 Elevated Water Tank on Fox Road, where additional chlorine can be added when required.  Additionally, various sampling locations in the Water Distribution System are tested daily for chlorine residual levels.

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

In addition to the water sampling conducted by the Municipality, the Laboratory Services Branch of the MOECC 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 MOECC 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 also be present in drinking water; however, this does not necessarily mean that the water poses a health risk. 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.