Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 94, Issue 6, pp 417–421 | Cite as

The Status of Drinking Water in Ontario, Canada (1992–1999)

  • Agricola Odoi
  • Jeff Aramini
  • Shannon Majowicz
  • Rob Meyers
  • Wayne S. Martin
  • Paul Sockett
  • Pascal Michel
  • John Holt
  • Jeff Wilson



This study was conducted to investigate the characteristics of public water works (PWW) in southern Ontario with respect to their water sources and treatment regimes.


Data from 481 PWW covering the period 1992–1999 were collected and cartographic manipulations as well as descriptive analyses of the PWW attributes were performed. Tests of associations between different PWW attributes were done using Fisher’s Exact test and Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel statistics.


Water sources for the PWW included surface water (SW) (21% lakes; 13% rivers), ground water (GW) (64%) and mixed sources (2%). Most (81%) of the population was supplied with SW. Filtration was performed by 84% and 8% of the PWW using SW and GW, respectively. Similarly, disinfection was performed by 99% and 91% of the PWW using SW and GW respectively. There was no significant difference in treatment regimes between PWW in urban and those in rural areas but treatment regime was a function of water source. Overall, most PWW (87.8%) met the minimum treatment requirements of the then Ontario Drinking Water Objectives (ODWO).


The study shows that most PWW complied with the minimum treatment requirements of the then ODWO.1 The minimum treatment required by the ODWO was disinfection for GW and both disinfection and filtration for SW. The non-compliant PWW will need to comply for continued provision of safe drinking water. Suffice it to say that both watershed protection and improved water treatment will be imperative for the continued provision of safe drinking water and control of waterborne diseases.



Étudier les caractéristiques du réseau public d’aqueducs du sud de l’Ontario en ce qui a trait aux sources d’alimentation en eau et aux méthodes de traitement des eaux.


Nous avons recueilli les données de 481 installations publiques d’adduction d’eau pour la période 1992–1999 et effectué des manipulations cartographiques et des analyses descriptives des attributs de ces installations. Les associations entre les attributs des diverses installations ont été testées par la méthode exacte de Fisher et le test de Cochran-Mantel-Haenszel.


Les sources d’alimentation en eau des installations publiques d’adduction d’eau étaient les eaux de surface (lacs 21 %, rivières 13 %), les eaux souterraines (64 %) et les sources mélangées (2 %). La grande majorité (81 %) de la population était desservie par les eaux de surface. Quatre-vingt quatre p. cent des installations utilisant des eaux de surface faisaient de la filtration, contre 8 % des installations utilisant les eaux souterraines. Par ailleurs, 99 % des installations utilisant des eaux de surface faisaient de la désinfection, contre 91 % des installations utilisant des eaux souterraines. Il n’y avait pas d’écart significatif dans les méthodes de traitement des eaux des installations en zones urbaines et rurales: la méthode choisie dépendait de la source d’alimentation en eau. Dans l’ensemble, la plupart des installations (87,8 %) répondaient aux normes minimales de traitement fixées dans les anciens objectifs de l’Ontario en matière d’eau potable (OOEP).


L’étude montre que la plupart des installations publiques d’adduction d’eau répondent aux normes minimales de traitement des anciens OOEP, à savoir la désinfection pour les eaux souterraines et la désinfection et la filtration pour les eaux de surface. Les installations non conformes devront se mettre à niveau pour assurer la continuité de l’approvisionnement en eau potable. Contentons-nous de dire que la protection des bassins versants et l’amélioration du traitement de l’eau seront deux éléments indispensables à la continuité de l’approvisionnement en eau potable et au contrôle des maladies d’origine hydrique.


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Agricola Odoi
    • 1
  • Jeff Aramini
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shannon Majowicz
    • 2
  • Rob Meyers
    • 2
  • Wayne S. Martin
    • 1
  • Paul Sockett
    • 2
  • Pascal Michel
    • 3
  • John Holt
    • 4
  • Jeff Wilson
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Population MedicineUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada
  2. 2.Division of Enteric, Foodborne and Waterborne DiseasesCanada
  3. 3.Université de Montréal, St-HyacintheCanada
  4. 4.Department of Mathematics and StatisticsUniversity of GuelphCanada
  5. 5.Department of Population MedicineUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada

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