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Your Link to Muskoka's Water!


Drinking Water 

Everybody needs clean and safe drinking water. It is essential to our very survival. You could get your water from either:

  • A private water well, or
  • A regulated drinking water system

What is a regulated drinking water system?

A regulated drinking water system is a system that provides drinking water to: 

  • A business
  • A common space
  • A group of more than five residences

These generally include municipalities, resorts, rural restaurants and summer camps.drinking

All drinking water sources need to be tested and treated to ensure that they are supplying clean and safe water. Regulated drinking water systems are required by law to monitor water quality and to meet specific standards.

Harmful components include:

  • Pollutants
  • Contaminants


Protecting drinking water sources


What is a pollutant or contaminant?

A pollutant or contaminant can be:
  • Physical
  • Chemical
  • Biological
  • Radiological

It is a substance or matter that degrades water quality and/or threatens the safety of its intended users.

Major contaminants such as bacteria are considered hazardous to your health, while others such as colour and smell are only an aesthetic concern.


Who is responsible for drinking water?

There are three main categories for responsibilities relating to drinking water.

  • Municipal - owned by municipalities and serve large and small communities.
  • Private - owned and operated by individual property owners.
  • Owner and Operator - owned by a corporate body or municipality to serve a business or other public facility, such as a resort, condominium, rural community centre or rural church.

Visit the Ministry of the Environment site for more information on your responsibilities for treating drinking water.


Source water

Source water is untreated water from lakes, streams, or underground aquifers that supplies water to private wells and public drinking water systems. It could come from:

Importance of source water

Source water is the water supply for our drinking water. If left unprotected, source water could become contaminated or polluted. Source water remediation is a difficult and costly process.

Protecting source water

Source water protection is simply protecting our water resources, such as lakes, rivers and groundwater, from contamination or overuse so that we have enough clean and potable water for all our uses.

Planning for safe drinking water by protecting the quality and integrity of water at its source is very important. The province has amended Ontario Regulation 287/07 to support the preparation and implementation of source water protection plans under the Clean Water Act.

View reports on the Walkerton Commission of Inquiry.

Source water protection in Muskoka

The majority of Muskoka is located within the Muskoka River Watershed and source protection planning for this area is governed by The District Municipality of Muskoka in the absence of a Conservation Authority.

The eastern and southern areas of Muskoka fall within the Black and Severn River Watersheds and are therefore part of the South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe Source Protection Region.