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Ontario's Drinking Water Remains Among Best Protected in the World

Archived News Release

Ontario's Drinking Water Remains Among Best Protected in the World

Province Protecting Water and Fighting Climate Change

Ontario's drinking water continues to be among the safest and best protected in the world, according to the province's Chief Drinking Water Inspector. 

The Inspector's 2015-2016 Annual Report, released today, highlighted results for Ontario's municipal drinking water systems, including:

  • 99.8 per cent of drinking water tests from municipal residential drinking water systems met Ontario's rigorous, health-based drinking water standards.
  • 74 per cent of all municipal residential drinking water systems achieved a 100 per cent inspection rating - a seven per cent increase since 2014-2015.
  • 99.6 per cent of drinking water tests from systems serving designated facilities such as daycares, schools or health care centres met Ontario's drinking water quality standards.

Ontario has the strongest water source protection program in the country to ensure that people continue to have access to clean and safe water in the face of climate change. The province's drinking water sources, including the Great Lakes, are protected by legislation, stringent regulatory standards, regular and reliable testing and inspections, highly trained operators and transparent public reporting.

Investing in the protection of Ontario's drinking water is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • In the coming weeks, Ontario will also release the Minister's Annual Report on Drinking Water, which will showcase the work the province and its partners are taking to protect sources of drinking water, including the Great Lakes.
  • Ontario is taking action to further protect the province's water resources for future generations by proposing a two-year moratorium on new or expanded water takings from groundwater by bottling companies, as well as stricter rules for renewals of existing permits.
  • Many of the effects of climate change in Ontario relate to water. Changing weather patterns, low water levels, drought and flooding may pose a threat to both the quantity and quality of our drinking water sources.
  • Almost 60 per cent of Ontarians get their drinking water from the Great Lakes.
  • The Chief Drinking Water Inspector’s Annual Report is published annually and provides information about the performance of municipal and other regulated drinking water systems, and laboratories that test Ontario’s drinking water, including the number of samples collected and analyzed and the chemicals they are tested for.
  • As of March 31, 2016, Ontario had 6,480 certified drinking water operators.

Additional Resources


“Together with our partners, we’re making sure our drinking water is safeguarded from source to tap. I’m proud to say that because of our collaborative efforts, Ontario’s drinking water is – and continues to be – among the best protected in the world.”

Glen Murray

Minister of the Environment and Climate Change

Media Contacts



Environment and Energy