Drinking Water System

The City of Port Colborne is the Owner and Operating Authority of the Port Colborne Distribution System (PCDS), which serves approximately 16,000 residents. The PCDS is a stand alone distribution system, consisting of approximately 115 km of water mains constructed over a period of 100 years, which obtains water on a volume basis from the Regional Municipality of Niagara's (Region) Port Colborne Water Treatment Plant.

The Port Colborne Water Treatment Plant draws water from the Welland Canal, disinfects it and distributes it to the PCDS via Region-owned large diameter trunk water mains and through the Barrick Road Water Tower and the Fielden Avenue Reservoir.

A flow chart showing the general movement of water through the PCDS is provided in the figure below.

Port Colborne Water Distribution System

 

All chlorination/disinfection occurs at the Region's facilities. Further information on the supply of water can be obtained on the Region of Niagara's website.

 

 
 

Water Quality Monitoring

Routine Sampling

 

Under Ontario Regulation 170/03 - Drinking Water Systems, the City, as the Owner and Operating Authority of the Port Colborne Distribution System (PCDS), must regularly sample and test the drinking water throughout the PCDS and summarize the results in an annual report by February 28 of the following year.  The City’s drinking water is tested for E.coli, Total Coliforms, Free Chlorine Residual, Trihalomethanes - just to name a few!  These tests, and the stringent reporting and corrective action requirements ensure that the water reaching our customer’s tap is clean and safe.

Free copies of all reports prepared within the last two years are available at the Engineering and Operations Centre, 1 Killaly Street West, Port Colborne.  Annual reports can also be accessed through the website by clicking on the Water Quality Report tab.

 

Lead Sampling

 

In 2007, the Ministry introduced the Community Lead Testing Program.  Under this program, all municipalities were required to collect samples from private residences, non-residential buildings and from the distribution system to check for lead in the drinking water.  Samples were collected from December 15 to April 15 (under winter conditions) and from June 15 to October 15 (under summer conditions).  

Late in 2009, recognizing that sample results were indicating that several municipalities did not have lead problems, and that smaller municipalities were having difficulties finding volunteers, the Ministry amended the Drinking Water Systems Regulation, O.Reg 170/03, to provide criteria for a municipality to qualify for an exemption from the lead testing requirements. 

Since December 15, 2009, based on samples collected from residences and businesses that volunteered to have their water tested in 2007, 2008 and 2009, the City qualified for sampling exemption and is now required only to collect samples from four locations within the distribution system twice annually and test the samples for pH and alkalinity for two years, and sample and test the distribution system for lead every third year. 

Since 2009, the samples collected from the distribution system have confirmed the plumbing results from 2007-2009 - lead is not a concern in the City’s drinking water. 

For more information, you can visit the Ministry’s website at: https://www.ontario.ca/page/drinking-water