Ever turned on the tap at your cabin or cottage and been uncertain if you should drink it? Perhaps it wasn’t running quite clear, or you’re not sure what to make of its metallic hard-water taste. If so, you’re not alone. While most of us know Canada’s drinking water supplies are generally of excellent quality, sometimes we can’t help but question it. Whether it’s a metallic taste, concern about old lead pipes or bacteria in rural areas with untreated water, there are many reasons to wonder about the safety of your water.
The federal government has set out guidelines for drinking water quality, which outline the maximum acceptable concentrations of certain substances. But these national guidelines are voluntary and non-enforceable. Some provinces, including Ontario, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia, do have enforceable provincial guidelines.
Water quality has a natural variability across the country due to exposure to various environmental conditions. This quality can be affected by human activities as well as through the distribution system, including plumbing, pipes and wells.
To protect yourself and your family, it’s a good idea to have your water quality tested every 6 to 12 months, or at least annually. This can help you check for lead, arsenic, pesticides, hydrocarbons, iron and sulfates, as well as hardness and pH levels. An easy way to do this is with a DIY test kit from My Water Quality.
A simple at-home test kit will be sent to you, along with instructions for sampling your water and a return shipping label to have it couriered to an accredited laboratory for analysis. There are different types of tests you can request, depending on where you live and the source of your water. There are options for city dwellers, weekend visiting owners and rural owners.
Once your sample has been evaluated, you’ll receive a water quality report card, which provides an explanation of the results. If you wish to discuss your water quality results with a professional, you can schedule a virtual meeting with a hydrogeologist for added peace of mind.
Find more information at mywaterquality.ca