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Drinking Water FAQ

Interested in learning more about water in East Gwillimbury? Check out some frequently asked questions below! 

How safe is our water? 

The water supply to all residents is safe and meets the quality standards within the parameters as established by the ONTARIO DRINKING WATER OBJECTIVES of the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. Water Operations Staff sample daily to ensure our drinking water is safe and healthy from source to tap.

Where do we get our water from?

The Region of York is responsible for supply of water to the Town. The source of water from the Region is both ground based (wells) and surface based (lake).

Why does my water have a chlorine taste or smell?

A disinfectant is used in both the treatment processes by York Region in order to ensure your water is protected from harmful bacteria and other microorganisms as it travels through the watermains. In order to achieve this, chlorine or the combination of chlorine and ammonia (process is known as chloramination) is used in York Region's treatment processes 

What is the hardness of my drinking water?

Most of the water supplied to the Town by York Region is from ground water wells which mineral content. Water with a higher mineral content contributes to a higher degree of hardness.  This average hardness varies between the Town's different water systems and can be measured in parts per million (ppm) or grains per gallon (gpg):

  • Mount ALbert = 315ppm or 18.4gpg
  • Holland Landing/ Queensville/ Sharon = 175ppm or 10.2gpg
  • Yonge/ Green Lane = 170ppm or 9.9gpg

Why is the water sometimes discoloured?

  • Red- Water supplied by York Region may contain higher concentrations of naturally occurring iron from its water supply aquifers. York Region uses a treatment method known as iron sequestration to keep iron in suspension in the water to reduce the tendency for iron to "fall" out of solution and deposit and accumulate on fixtures. The iron sequestration process involves adding a chemical called sodium silicate to the groundwater treatment process. Iron tends to accumulate in plumbing location such as water softeners and filtration systems.
  • White- The water become 'milky' when air is trapped in the system during the transmission of the water. The water is still safe to drink.
  • Yellow/Brown (hot water) - May occur in the hot water system within your home.  Occasionally, the natural phenomenon of iron coming out of suspension does occur inside hot water tanks, especially if the tank hasn’t been flushed out for a while. It is a common practice for hot water tanks to be flushed out once per year, due to the stagnation effect combined with  heat which accelerates the oxidation of the natural iron and accumulates in the bottom of the tank.   

Why are there variations in my water pressure?

Water pressure may be impacted by local demand such as peak periods of use, sprinkler systems in the summer months, regular maintenance procedures by the Town or Region, mineral build-up within your plumbing (water softener, filters, etc) and emergency events such as fires. If you experience low water pressure please ensure that there are no leaks anywhere on the private side of the water service or in the home. Ensure (if installed) that your water softener by-pass and tap aerators are not obstructed by mineral deposits.   

Why does my faucet sputter and spit when I turn on the water?

This is typically caused by air which may be trapped in the water distribution mains. The Town and Region have air release valves on our systems but some air may still make it into your home. Running the taps for a short period of time should release the trapped air.    

Is there fluoride in our water?

York Region does not add fluoride to the water supplied to the Town, however, small amounts of fluoride may be present in the water naturally.  

Why is there sand in my water?

The supply of water from ground sources (wells) occasionally results in small amount of sand being transmitted  through the drinking water system.  In the event of water main breaks sand can also enter the system. The Town is able to reduce sand and sentiment through our regular watermain flushing activities.

Does my drinking water contain lead?

Lead samples in the town's distribution system show there is no detectable level of lead within the drinking water supply. In homes built prior to 1980's it is occasionally found in plumbing solder and may contribute low levels to the tap. However, several years of samples taken from private plumbing through-out East Gwillimbury do not indicate that there are unsafe levels of lead in private plumbing.  

Why do water employees open fire hydrants?

East Gwillimbury Water Operators routinely open fire hydrants to “flush” the system. This is done to remove mineral build-up and sedimentation within the water system.  Additionally the flushing helps ensure that water adequately moves through the system minimizing the occurrence of 'old water'.  'Old water' is water that has a lower concentration of chlorine residual.  Fire flow volumes and pressures are also checked by staff through our maintenance process.   

What is the round metal plate in my front lawn, driveway or sidewalk?

This is your water shut-off valve (also called a curb box). Please keep this valve accessible at all times. This will ensure that in the event of an emergency or for major plumbing work in your home, the water to your home can be turned off.  

Can I have the water shut off  at home when completing renovations?

Please contact the Town to arrange to have the water supply turned of by the Town.

If you have any questions, please see our Customer Service Team at 905-478-4282.