Drinking Water System
The City of Port Colborne is the Owner and Operating Authority of the Port Colborne Distribution System (PCDS), which serves approximately 19,000 residents. The PCDS is a stand alone distribution system, consisting of approximately 105 km of water mains constructed over a period of 85 - 90 years, which obtains water on a volume basis from the Regional Municipality of Niagara's (RMON) Port Colborne Water Treatment Plant.
The Port Colborne Water Treatment Plant draws water from the Welland Canal, disinfects it and distributes it to the City owned distribution system via Region-owned large diameter trunk water mains and through the King Street Water Tower and the Fielden Avenue Reservoir.
A process flow chart showing the general movement of water through the City's Water Distribution System is provided in the figure below.
Process flow chart for the Port Colborne Water Distribution System
All chlorination/disinfection occurs at the plant and there is no other in-line chlorination of the distribution system. Further information on the supply of water can be obtained on the Region of Niagara's website.
Water Quality Monitoring
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 must summarize the results in an annual report, which must be prepared by February 28 of the following year. Our drinking water is tested for E.coli, Total Coliforms, Free Chlorine Residual, Turbidity, pH - just to name a few! These tests, and the stringent reporting and corrective action requirements ensure that the water reaching your tap is clean and safe.
Free copies of all reports prepared within the last two years are available at City Hall, 2nd Floor Engineering and Operations Department and at the Public Works office, 11 King Street, Port Colborne. Annual reports can also be accessed through the website by clicking on the Water Quality Report tab.
Additionally, the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) provides a summary of the percentage of sample results that met the provincial standards and a summary of the annual inspection results for the PCDS on its website. Click on the link below to view the City's results:
In 2007, the MOE 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 MOE 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.
The City is pleased to announce that effective 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 the next two years, and sample and test the distribution system every third year for lead.
We'd like to extend our appreciation to all residents and businesses that volunteered to have their water tested in the past - the results from your home or business assured all the residents and businesses in the City of Port Colborne that lead is not a concern in our drinking water.
For more information you can visit the Ministry of Environment website at: http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/environment/dwo/en/responsibilities/STDPROD_095963.html