Water

Have you ever wondered if our tap water is safe to drink or if there's fluoride added to it? These commonly asked questions are answered below! If you have a question that is not addressed here, please call our Infrastructure Services Department at 613-354-3351.

Commonly Asked Questions About Water Consumption
 
Is Napanee tap water safe to drink?
Yes! Napanee tap water is safe to drink! It is filtered and disinfected at the water treatment plant before it is pumped to your home or business. Napanee tap water is monitored continuously for a number of quality indicators. Testing for bacteria is conducted weekly at various points throughout the distribution system. Other requirements include regular testing for the presence of many compounds, including pesticides and herbicides, metals, and organic compounds. Napanee tap water consistently exceeds all of the Ontario Drinking Water Standards, so please continue to enjoy convenient, clean and safe drinking water - right at your tap! 
How can I help reduce water consumption?

Here are some tips that you can use to help reduce water consumption:

  • While waiting for hot water to flow from the tap, catch the cool water in a bucket or watering can. This can be used later for watering plants or as a drink for pets
  • You could save 50 litres of water if you switch to showering rather than taking a bath. If you already take showers, try shortening them
  • Try reducing the number of times you flush your toilet with multiple uses before flushing
  • Plan ahead for meals so that frozen foods do not need to be thawed under running water
  • Put a plug in the sink while rinsing fruits, vegetables or dishes. Rinsing under a running tap sends clean water directly into the drain
  • Run your washing machine or dishwasher only when you have a full load. You will save on both water and electricity
  • Try not to leave the tap running while you brush your teeth, shave or wash your face
  • Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge rather than running the tap until the water is cold enough to drink
  • When watering your plants, only give them the amount of water they need; don't overwater your landscape! Even better, try to plant drought-resistant grass, shrubs and plants
  • Check your toilets, faucets and pipes frequently to ensure there are no leaks
  • Don't run the hose while washing your car. Clean the car with a bucket of soapy water and use the hose only for rinsing
  • Use a broom for cleaning driveways and sidewalks instead of a hose
Do I need to filter or boil my water before drinking it? 
You do not need to filter or boil your Municipal tap water. Be aware of door-to-door salesmen or imposters making false claims about the Town’s tap water being unsafe. Napanee's tap water is tested multiple times a year at various locations.

Residents serviced by a communal or private well may consider purchasing an in-home treatment system for aesthetic purposes such as taste or odour.

Is fluoride added to the drinking water in Napanee?
Fluoride is NOT added to the drinking water in any of the facilities operated by the Town of Greater Napanee. However, fluoride is an inorganic chemical that occurs naturally in the Earth's crust in very small amounts. It is found in all natural waters at some concentration. Concentrations of fluoride in systems operated by the Town of Greater Napanee are well below the maximum allowable concentration.
Commonly Asked Questions About Water Quality 
Where does the water in Napanee come from?
Napanee tap water comes from Lake Ontario. Water is pumped 16 km from Lake Ontario to reservoirs located at the corner of Golf Course Lane and County Road 8. From there, the water flows by gravity to the water treatment plant at the south end of East Street.
Why does my water look cloudy? 
At certain times during the year, you may find that your tap water appears cloudy. This is not a health concern.

The cloudy water you are experiencing is due to air bubbles that are trapped in the tap water. As the water warms up slightly in your household plumbing and pressure is reduced through your tap fixture, dissolved air will be released, resulting in the cloudy white appearance. When filling a glass of water, this cloudy appearance should disappear within a few minutes.

To confirm this, pour some cold water into a glass and observe. You should notice the air bubbles gradually disappear from the bottom of the glass upwards within 1 to 2 minutes. If the cloudiness persists, please call our Infrastructure Services Department at 613-354-3351. 

Is there a specific 'taste' or 'odour' that water is supposed to have? 
Depending on where your water source is coming from, it may have a specific 'taste' or 'odour' to it:
  • “Earthy” or “musty” odour: Napanee's water system draws from Lake Ontario, which has a natural, slightly "earthy” or “musty" odour. This odour is caused by trace levels of natural organic substances produced by plants and algae in the lake. The water purification process removes almost all of the odour present in the lake water. Some sensitive consumers may still notice an odour, especially when tap water is warmed up (e.g. showering). The odour is not a health concern.
  • “Sulphur” or “septic” odour from your tap: If you notice a "septic” or "sulphur" odour when using the bathroom and kitchen faucets, it is usually caused by decaying hair, dirt and debris that is caught in the drain. It is not coming from your tap water. To check this, fill a glass with cold water and take it immediately to another room in the house. If this water is odourless, the odour is coming from your drain. To correct the problem, the drain must be cleaned physically or with the use of a chemical drain cleaning product. Alternatively, you can pour a small amount of baking soda, followed by vinegar down the drain. Wait a few minutes and then run your cold water tap for one minute.
Why does my water look rusty/discoloured? 
If the water in your cold water tap or toilet tank is rusty, yellow, or discoloured, this could be a result of sediment coming from the water main. This often occurs when water main construction or fire hydrant maintenance is being conducted in your area. Sudden changes in flow can disturb rusty or iron sediments within older water main pipes. The red/yellow discoloured water is caused by the presence of iron, and while it is not aesthetically pleasing, it does not pose a health concern. If you experience discoloured water, remove the aerator from the tap and let the water run for a few minutes, after which it should run clear. After it is running clear, replace the aerator.
What does it mean if I find particles or sediment in my tap water? 
Occasionally, particles might be observed in your tap water. There are a few common situations that can lead to particles:
  • White/brown particles: If the particles are white and appear to have a slight brown appearance on one side, it might be a piece of ceramic from the liner of your hot water tank. To check this, the particle should be able to be crushed with a spoon and should fizz when vinegar is added. Contact your hot water tank supplier and have it inspected if you find ceramic particles in your water.
  • Sand or sediment: If the particles appear to be sandy and are observed in the storage tank at the back of your toilet, it is most likely sediment that was disturbed in the water main. Hydrant flushing will generally clear any sediment from the water mains in your area.
  • Black particles: Black particles can sometimes be small pieces of rubber from a deteriorating gasket or rubber washer in your tap fixture. 
  • Reddish/brown particles: If you observe tiny red/brown spheres in your tap water, it might be resin beads from a water softener or filtration system. These beads look almost translucent and their presence indicates your water softener needs to be inspected or replaced.
Is Greater Napanee's water hard or soft? 
The Municipal tap water in Greater Napanee typically averages 120 ppm or mg/L CaCO₃. This is described as 'moderately hard' on the hardness scale.  
 
Commonly Asked Questions About Water Services 
 
Do you conduct water quality testing at private residences?
Please note that the Town of Greater Napanee does NOT typically conduct water quality testing in private residences. All employees carry proper identification. If you have concerns, please call our office 613-354-3351.
What should I do about a water leak in my home?
A dripping faucet, leaky hot water tank or running toilet can significantly impact your water consumption.
Who is responsible for the water service to my home?
Our customers are financially responsible for the water and wastewater service pipes in the ground from the property line into the building. Take a look at the pipe ownership diagram we've created to help our customers visualize. 
How does the Town purify water at the purification plants? 
Napanee's drinking water is drawn from Lake Ontario and is treated at a purification plant located on East Street. For information on how our plants work to purify our water, please see our Service Area page.
 How do I turn my water on/off when I'm moving?
If you are looking to turn your water on or off, please contact Lesa O'Toole, Utilities Billing Clerk, at 613-776-1034.

If you are moving into or out of a property in Greater Napanee that is on municipal services, you must complete a Utilities Information Form set up or close out your account. Please see our Utilities, Water and Wastewater page for more information and to find the Utilities Information Form.
 
Drinking Water Source Protection 
The Town of Greater Napanee, in conjunction with local conservation authorities and the province, is committed to protecting our sources of drinking water from contamination or overuse. This multi-barrier approach ensures clean, safe and sustainable drinking water for Ontarians, by protecting sources of municipal drinking water including our lakes, rivers and well water. Looking for more information on protecting our drinking water sources? Take a look at our main drinking water source or our back up drinking water source.
Information on Town of Greater Napanee Annual Drinking Water Reports 
The Town prepares an annual report for each municipal drinking water system, in compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. The Town's Annual Drinking Water Reports can be found on our Water Reports page.
Hydrant Flushing Information & Schedule

The hydrants within our Municipal Drinking Water Systems are flushed at a minimum of once per year. Our Infrastructure Services Department flush water mains and test fire hydrants throughout the spring and summer season. 

Please note: This work may cause rust coloured water to appear from taps at or near the area of work. If this occurs, remove the aerator from the tap and let the water run for a few minutes, after which it should run clear. After it is running clear, replace the aerator.

 

The 2021 Water Main Flushing has been completed.

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