Drinking Water Sources and Treatment

Algoma Public Health

Drinking Water Sources and Treatment

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A drinking water source refers to bodies of water that may be used for drinking water and include:

a) Surface water
b) Ground water (Wells)

It is important for those who are not using municipal water services to know their water source to ensure it is safe for drinking. Water treatment may be required depending on the drinking water source and potential sources of contamination.


Surface Water

Surface water collects on the ground to form bodies of water (i.e. streams, rivers, lakes, and ponds). Surface water may contain contaminants which can be found in the environment through runoff from surrounding land, exposure to wildlife and human activities (e.g., animal waste, sewage), and decaying vegetation. Surface water is replenished over time by rain and snow.

Do you need to treat surface water sources?

These sources contain germs such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other contaminants which can make people sick. Municipal water services, homeowners on a private water system and owners of small drinking water systems that use water from streams, rivers, or lakes must treat the water before people drink it.

Ground Water (Wells)
Choosing a Water Treatment Device