The Town is responsible for delivering municipal water services to connected properties.
Are you looking to connect your dwelling to municipal services? Please visit our Planning & Development Services page for additional information.
The safety and quality of municipal tap water is a provincial and municipal responsibility.
Our drinking water is very, very safe. The Town's licensed water Operators ensure the high quality standard for our drinking water adheres to all Provincial Regulations as legally enforced by the Province of Ontario. For more information please visit their website.
The Blue Mountains' water consistently meets all Ontario Drinking Water Standards. The regulation focuses on treating and testing drinking water and mandates public access to information and notification of adverse results. In accordance with Ontario Regulation 170/03 (11) under the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002, our most recent Annual Report is available in the documents section of this webpage. To learn more about our drinking water sampling program, please visit the Town Hall at 32 Mill Street, Thornbury or contact the Town's Compliance and Efficiency Coordinator.
The Town operates its water system in accordance with the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002 and all applicable Ontario Regulations, all of which are available for review on the Provincial Government’s e-Law website.
In accordance with Ontario Regulation 170/03, the Town maintains a Drinking Water System Public Access Binder. This binder contains information regarding the Town's Water System including the Annual Report, water sampling results and daily operational checks. All information contained within the binder is current as of January of the present year. Past information can be made available with advance notice, as much of this information is stored off-site. The binder is located outside of the Infrastructure & Public Works Department on the second floor of the Town Hall and can be reviewed during regular business hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.
For additional information regarding water quality and other compliance issues, please contact the Town's Compliance and Efficiency Coordinator.
In October 2006, the Ministry of the Environment introduced the Drinking Water Quality Management Standard (DWQMS) in response to Justice O'Connor's Part Two of the Walkerton Inquiry requirement for the "adoption of quality management systems for drinking water systems."
The purpose of the DWQMS is to protect public health by achieving consistent good practice in managing and operating a water system. The implementation of the DWQMS will strive to promote the adoption of best practices and continual improvement as well as preventative rather than strictly reactive strategies to protect public health.
As part of our commitment to supplying safe drinking water, the Town has adopted the following Quality Management System Policy:
The Town of The Blue Mountains, consistent with its current policy of providing the public safe drinking water, reaffirms its commitment to supplying safe, consistent drinking water while maintaining and improving the Quality Management System (QMS) meeting regulatory requirements. The Town will continue to achieve these goals through the implementation of a Quality Management System comprised of policies and procedures through risk assessment evaluations, staff competencies, open communication, workplace safety and emergency contingency plans.
If you would like to provide feedback regarding the Town's Quality Management System Policy, please contact the Town's Compliance and Efficiency Coordinator.
If you would like to learn more about your drinking water or would like to have your drinking water tested by one of our licensed Operators, please contact Water Services for more information.
A copy of the 2018 Annual Water Report is available for download.
The Town is reminding municipal water users to take voluntary measures during the winter season to minimize the chances of experiencing frozen water pipes. To reduce the chances of your pipes freezing, please consider the following:
Ensure that you’ve properly drained all outside water pipes/hose faucets using shut off valves to bleed out water remaining in the line. Look around the home for areas where your water lines may be vulnerable due to a lack of insulation or heating such as in basements, attics, garages and crawl spaces. The water lines serving or running through these areas are at risk and should be insulated to avoid freezing.
As an economical option, homeowners can wrap towels around the pipes to provide insulation; there are also several products on the market that can be used to help avoid the freezing of pipes, which should be handled by a plumbing professional to ensure efficiency and safety.
Check around your home for areas where water supply lines are in unheated areas and take measures to prevent the flow of cold air into these areas. Common locations include: basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Keep bathroom and kitchen cabinet doors open to enable warm air to circulate more freely in the home, thereby reducing the possibility of pipes freezing. Areas adjacent to outside walls are most at risk.
You can run your fixtures at a very slight trickle as the temperature of the constantly running trickle is above freezing. You may also consider flushing your taps for three – four minutes several times a day instead of leaving the water running continuously. This will help prevent pipes from freezing in extreme cold temperatures. However, please note that the Town will not credit this type of water use, which could result in significant water usage fees.
Leaving during winter? Keep your thermostat set at 15 degrees or higher, and have someone check your house every second day.
Determine where your water shut-off valve is in your house and learn how to use it. For most homes the shut-off valve is located near the water meter at the point where the water line comes into your home, which is usually in your basement.
If your water service does freeze, immediately notify a licensed plumber and, if required, the Town’s Water Section by calling the 24 hour Emergency Water number, 226-665-0707.
The Town of The Blue Mountains requires 48 hours notice to schedule a Water Turn On/ Shut Off. Water Service Turn On/Shut Offs will incur a $50.00 fee unless due to an emergency.
For Water Turn On/Shut Off's Contact Water Services (519) 599-3131 x 284
The Thornbury Water Treatment Plant (WTP) is owned by the Town and is operated by Town employees. The Thornbury WTP is classified as a Large Municipal Residential System.
The Thornbury WTP supplies water to The Blue Mountains, which consists of the former Town of Thornbury and the former Collingwood Township. The existing Thornbury WTP was originally constructed in 1977 and 1978 with the plant put into service in 1978.
The Thornbury WTP has the following components: intake, low lift pumping facilities, three membrane trains, a clearwell for storage, high lift pumps, gas chlorine disinfection, a backwash wastewater system, and ultraviolet disinfection.
In 2008 the Thornbury WTP was upgraded to replace the existing conventional filters with microfiltration membrane units.
A supplemental water supply is received from the Town of Collingwood through the Mountain Road Booster Station.
If you would like to learn more about your drinking water or would like to have your drinking water tested by one of our licensed Operators, please contact Water Services for more information.
The distribution system consists of approximately 120 kilometers of water main ranging in size up to 400 millimeters. Water main materials consist of PVC, ductile iron, cast iron, asbestos cement and high-density polyethylene.
Distribution facilities consist of an elevated tank, four booster stations, two above ground reservoirs complete with booster stations, two above ground reservoirs and one standpipe.
The Town is taking a proactive approach to protect the safety of the drinking water provided to its customers by implementing a premise isolation backflow prevention program. The Town's Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection Control Program will minimize the potential for contamination of the Town's drinking water supply. The program involves identifying cross connections between potable and non-potable sources and ensuring that these connections are removed or that protective devices are installed to prevent the contamination of the Town's drinking water supply.
All Industrial, Commercial, Institutional (ICI) and Multi-Unit Residential properties connected to the Town's municipal water system are required to participate. The Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection Control By-law 2013-31 came into effect on July 15, 2013. The By-law requires that all ICI and Multi-Unit residential owners have the following services performed by a qualified contractor in order to comply:
The property owner/occupant (for which the By-law applies) is required to have a qualified contractor carry out a cross-connection survey of all plumbing in each building or structure every five years, or upon change of occupancy, and to submit a report to the Town's Backflow Prevention Coordinator.
To obtain a copy of the Cross Connection Control Survey Form, please contact the Backflow Prevention Coordinator.
The property owner is required to have the appropriate premise isolation backflow prevention devices installed as required, to have a qualified contractor perform backflow prevention device testing annually for each installed testable device and to submit a report to the Town's Backflow Prevention Coordinator.
The Fee Schedule associated with the Town's Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection Control Program is available for review and/or download.
To obtain a copy of the Test Report Form, please contact the Backflow Prevention Coordinator.
The Town maintains a list of qualified contractors approved to perform cross connection surveys and backflow prevention device testing. The Approved Qualified Contractor Registry is available for review and/or download.
It is also suggested that customers verify that contractors have appropriate insurance coverage and discuss all costs before proceeding with any work associated with the Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection Control Program. Contractors operate independently from the Town and are solely responsible for any work performed. All costs associated with the requirements of the Town's Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection Control Program will be the responsibility of the property owner.
Cross Connection Control Surveys and backflow prevention device test results will only be accepted for review when they are performed by an approved qualified contractor.
Please contact the Backflow Prevention Coordinator if you wish to obtain a copy of the Qualified Contractor Registration Application.
Please ensure that all necessary qualification documents for each tester and the applicable fees are included with your application form.
A Building Permit is required for the installation of all premise isolation backflow preventers regardless of the size of the water service connection. All installations of the premise isolation devices and all related items shall be completed in accordance with the Building Code, Canadian Standards Association B64.10 series standard and manufacturer's specifications.
For additional information on obtaining a Building Permit, please visit our Building Services page.
Every Spring and Fall, Water Operators flush Town fire hydrants and watermains to ensure proper fire hydrant operation and water quality throughout the water distribution system.
Minor water discolouration may occur periodically and can be rectified by letting faucets run until clear.
Lower pressure due to hydrant flushing may be experienced in some areas.
A Municipal residential drinking water system which proposes additions, modifications, replacements or extensions of watermain within the drinking water system shall be designed and be compliant with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change's Watermain Design Criteria and the Town's Engineering Standards.
The proponent must provide to the Town a completed Form 1 application and the completed Watermain Design Checklist along with all supporting documentation. A Form 1 Application Form can be obtained by contacting Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change's Approvals and Licensing Section. Additional information regarding Form 1 is available on the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change's Municipal Drinking Water Systems: Licensing, Registration and Permits webpage.
An application process form has been provided as a guide to a complete submission.
A: Operators measure the alkalinity of the treated and distributed water monthly. Our results for 2019 range from 73 mg/L to 109 mg/L which is considered moderately hard.
A: If you are connected to the Municipal Drinking Water supply and would like to have your drinking water tested, please contact the Water Treatment Plant at 519-599-5287 to arrange to have a sample collected.
A: At times during the year, you may find that your tap water appears cloudy. This is not a health concern. This cloudy water is due to the release of excess air bubbles in the tap water. As water travels from the Town’s distribution system to your home’s internal plumbing, it warms up. Since cold air holds less air than warm water, excess air bubbles may be released when filling a glass, resulting in a cloudy white appearance. The cloudy appearance should disappear in a few minutes.
A: It is required by law to add a disinfectant to public drinking water. Chlorine is an effective disinfectant that kills harmful bacteria and viruses found in natural fresh water.
What are trihalomethanes (THMs)?
A: Chlorine is a very effective disinfectant. Chlorine purifies water by killing harmful bacteria and other germs that pose health threats, but sometimes it can react with non-toxic, organic substances in the water to produce disinfection by-products (DBPs). Trihalomethanes (THMs) are regulated disinfection by-products that can be formed during the disinfection process. As a result, THM’s are tested quarterly both at the treatment plant and out in the distribution system, to ensure that concentrations are at acceptable levels as established by the Ministry of Environment Conservation and Parks (MECP).
A: No, the Town does not add fluoride to the Town’s municipal drinking water system. Ontario Regulation 170/03 section 13(9) requires a sample be collected and tested for fluoride every 60 months if the system does not provide fluoridation. The last sample was collected in March 2015.
A: Discoloured or rusty tap water can be caused by several different factors. If only one tap is affected, this indicates a private plumbing issue. You may wish to contact a plumber. If all taps are affected, this may be a result of plumbing work on your property, construction on a watermain in the area, or by fire hydrant use. Run your taps for five (5) minutes to flush the lines. If the problem persists, please contact the Water Treatment Plant at (519) 599-5287.
A: Earthy, musty smell and/or taste can occur in late summer or early fall and can be the result of naturally-occurring algae and high water temperatures in Georgian Bay. Taste and odour can also be a result of a private plumbing issue.
A Water Financial Plan is a long-range plan to assist Town Staff in identifying the cost of having a safe and sufficient water supply for the Town. This includes a plan for the repair or replacement of aging water infrastructure. Water infrastructure includes material and equipment such as the pipes in the ground, filtration equipment, and water treatment equipment.
After the Walkerton Water Crisis, when many Walkerton residents became sick or died from contaminated drinking water, the Province set in place rules and regulations to significantly reduce the chance of a similar event occurring again. These rules and regulations include the need for all municipal water system owners, like the Town, to have a water financial plan in place which details how we will build, repair, or replace aging water infrastructure to ensure a long-term, safe supply of drinking water for our Town.
The Water Financial Plan is not really all that different from the Town's Asset Management Plan. The two plans identify how the Town can most cost effectively deal with aging infrastructure. The difference is that the Water Financial Plan deals with our water infrastructure, and the Asset Management Plan deals with all of our municipally-owned infrastructure, a portion of which happens to be water infrastructure.
The Water Financial Plan itself does not cost anything; Town Staff developed the Plan without the use of outside Consultants. Where there will be cost is in the construction, repair or replacement of our water system infrastructure, ensuring that we are compliant with Provincial regulations, and that we continue to provide safe drinking water for our community. But, this would happen in any event. That said, what this plan does is tell us how much money we need to save now to construct, repair or replace water infrastructure, and more important, how to use those dollars in the most effective way possible.
Looking to replace your old, 13 litre toilet with a new efficient toilet, save money on your utility bill and preserve the environment?
Why not consider the program!
The Town is offering a $50.00 rebate for the purchase of a low flow toilet. The program is available exclusively to residents of The Blue Mountains who are connected to the Municipal water system and who reside in homes built before 1996. Additionally, toilets must replace existing toilets that are larger than six litres per flush.
The Town will provide a maximum of two rebates per residence. There are a limited number of rebates available, and will be on a first come, first serve basis.
The program will be exhausted for the year after 150 rebates have been issued.
Need a drink of water while you are touring around our Town? Look for the Blue W!
Thanks to the Blue W Program, you can now fill up your reusable water bottle in The Blue Mountains wherever you find local restaurants, businesses and Town facilities with a Blue W decal in the window. They will fill up your water bottle for free with Town tap water.
The Blue W Program is a not-for-profit initiative, proudly promoted by the Town.
Our Tap Water. Clean Inside. Beautiful Outside.
How many businesses and facilities are part of this program in The Blue Mountains? There are over 30 businesses and facilities in the Town with the Blue W in their window.
How does a business or organization join the Blue W program? A business can sign up by visiting the Blue W website or contacting Blue W or the Town directly.
How did the Town become a Blue W community? The Town was approached by the Blue W organization to participate. Some surrounding municipalities like Collingwood are also members of the Blue W program.
Watering Restrictions are implemented annually from June 1 to September 1
Below is a summary of the water use schedule during a Stage 2 Restriction:
If Your Civic No. Ends in:
You are Permitted to Water Outdoors on:
0 or 1
2 or 3
4 or 5
6 or 7
8 or 9
Outdoor use of water is not permitted during a Stage 3 Restriction.
If you are unsure of which day you are permitted to water, please contact the Compliance & Efficiency Coordinator.
What is Outdoor Use of Water? The watering of existing lawns, gardens or outdoor use. Watering with a watering can or washing a vehicle with a hand-held hose equipped with a shut off device is permitted on any day.
What if I Have New Landscaping? For the purposes of establishing new landscaping only, any person may purchase a Landscape Watering Permit from the Town for a fee of $50 together with a deposit of $50 per the Water Charges By-law. The deposit is refundable upon confirmation of compliance with the following and any other provision as may be listed on the Permit.
How are Water Restrictions Enforced? Water Restrictions are strictly monitored and enforced. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated. A property owner who uses water from the water system, or permits that use of water from the water system contrary to Section 8.01 of By-law 2008-02 shall be subject to warnings and pay charges in accordance with the following:
The permit will enable watering for a period up to and including THIRTY (30) days from the issuance of the Permit between the hours of 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. during any day within said THIRTY (30) day period.
Please ensure that the Permit is displayed in a visible location.
To obtain a Landscape Watering Permit please contact the Infrastructure & Public Works Department. Please allow 48 hours for the preparation of the Permit.
General Water Inquiries 519-599-3131 x. 284 Water Services
Landscape Watering Permit - Operations Department 519-599-3131 x. 276 Operations Department
Did you know that in Ontario, residents who use a private drinking water system (not a municipal system) can test it for bacterial contamination free of charge? Protecting your drinking water source is important not only in providing you and your family with safe water, but also for everyone else who is drawing water from the same source.
To learn about how to protect and maintain your well and septic systems, please visit the Grey Bruce Health Unit website: https://www.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca/Your-Environment/Safe-Water/Private-Drinking-Water
Backflow Prevention Coordinator
Compliance & Efficiency Coordinator
Manager of Water & Wastewater
Water & Wastewater Services