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

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

Province Protecting Water from Source to Tap

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

The Inspector's 2016-2017 annual report, released today, highlighted results for Ontario's regulated drinking water systems, including:

  • 99.8 per cent of drinking water tests from municipal residential drinking water systems met Ontario's strict drinking water standards. These municipal residential drinking water systems serve more than 80 per cent of Ontario's population.
  • 99.4 per cent of municipal residential drinking water systems received an inspection rating greater than 80 per cent, with 70 per cent receiving an inspection rating of 100 per cent. Inspection ratings show how well the systems are operating and meeting Ontario's strict regulations.
  • 98 per cent of flushed test samples from schools and child care centres met the province's standard for lead in drinking water.

Ontario uses a multi-barrier approach to protect drinking water through strong legislation, stringent health-based standards, regular and reliable testing, highly trained operators, regular inspections, source water protection program and transparent reporting.

Quick Facts

  • Almost 60 per cent of Ontarians get their drinking water from the Great Lakes.
  • The Chief Drinking Water Inspector’s Annual Report provides information about the performance of Ontario’s regulated drinking water systems and laboratories, drinking water test results, and enforcement activities and programs.
  • This summer, the province further strengthened requirements to ensure that every water tap serving drinking water to children in schools and child care centres is tested for lead.

Additional Resources


“Access to clean and safe drinking water is a priority for our government. Working with our partners, we will continue to fight climate change and protect and improve the health of all water sources so everyone in Ontario can be confident that their drinking water is among the safest in the world.”

Chris Ballard

Minister of the Environment and Climate Change

Media Contacts



Environment and Energy