Port Hope Drinking Water System
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The Water Treatment Division and Water Distribution Division are part of the Works and Engineering Department (Works and Engineering) of the Municipality of Port Hope
For more information contact the Works and Engineering department
Port Hope Drinking Water System
The Municipality of Port Hope has a population of 16,500 and is located within Northumberland County. The Port Hope Drinking Water System is owned and operated by the Municipality of Port Hope, which supplies water to the community for combined residential, commercial, industrial and institutional use. Clean, safe drinking water is essential to a healthy community. All the Water Treatment Plant and Distribution System Operators are licensed by the Ministry of the Environment and are members of the Ontario Waterworks Association, a section of the American Waterworks Association.
The Ontario Regulation 170/03 (O.Reg.170/03), Drinking Water Systems, was introduced June 1, 2003. The Municipality continues to follow the testing and monitoring program identified in O.Reg.170/03 to ensure the drinking water quality meets the requirements of the Ontario Drinking Water Quality Standards. As per O.Reg.170/03, Section 11, the Municipality of Port Hope, as the owner and operator of the drinking water system, is required to prepare an annual report describing our drinking water system operation and the quality of the drinking water supplied to the community. The annual report is submitted to the Ministry of the Environment (MOE) and is made available to the public. Additionally, as per O.Reg.170/03, Schedule 22, the Municipality is required to prepare summary reports for the members of Council.
Both annual and summary reports for the Municipality of Port Hope's Drinking Water System, are available at the Water Treatment Plant, the Works and Engineering office and the Municipal Administrative Office or by clicking on the links below.
Terms You Need To Know When Reading the Reports
MAC (Maximum Acceptable Concentration) is established for parameters which have known or suspected adverse health effects when above certain concentration. The length of time the MAC can be exceeded without health effects will depend on the nature and concentration of the parameter.
IMAC (Interim Maximum Acceptable Concentration) is established for parameters when there is insufficient toxicological data to establish a MAC with reasonable certainty, or when it is not feasible for practical reasons, to establish a MAC at a desired level.
Parameter is a substance in the water to be sampled for and analyzed
mg/L (milligrams per litre) is a measure of the concentration of a parameter in water, sometimes referred to as parts per million (ppm)
µg/L (micrograms per litre) is a measure of the concentration of a parameter in water, sometimes referred to as parts per billion (ppb)
AO (Aesthetic Objectives) are established for parameters that may impair the taste, odour or colour of water or which may interfere with good water quality control practices. For certain parameters, both aesthetic objectives and health-related MACs have been derived
OG (Operational Guidelines) are established for parameters that need to be controlled to ensure efficient and effective treatment and distribution of the water
<MDL (Less than Method Detectable Limit) indicates that the parameter being analyzed is in a quantity that is less than the lowest possible detectable limit for the analytical method used (MDL)
Drinking Water Quality Management Standard (DWQMS)
Incorporating the concepts of quality management to drinking water was recommended by Justice O'Connor in the final report of the Walkerton Inquiry, "A Strategy for Safe Drinking Water - Part Two". This recommendation to adopt a quality management system approach has been mandated by the provincial government through the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA). To address these requirements, the Ministry of Environment, with input from stakeholders in the water sector, has introduced a quality management standard specific to the needs of the drinking water systems in Ontario -- Drinking Water Quality Management Standard (DWQMS).
The Municipality of Port Hope has developed the Quality Management System (QMS) Operational Plan, which defines and documents the quality management policies and procedures for the Municipality's Water Treatment Plant (WTP) and Distribution System. A copy of the QMS Operational Plan is available at the Municipal Administrative office, the Water Treatment Plant or download the QMS Operational Plan here. For any questions related to QMS, please contact the QMS Representative at 905-885-2209.
Statement of Commitment and Endorsement
The Municipality of Port Hope is committed to ensuring that a QMS is developed and implemented for the Municipality's drinking water system in accordance with the requirements of the Drinking Water Quality Management Standard. The Owner and Top Management are committed to ensuring that the established QMS complies with all applicable legislation and regulations and that all resources required for the maintenance and continual improvement of the system are identified and provided. They are also committed to ensuring that the Operating Authority is aware of all applicable legislative and regulatory requirements governing the provision of safe drinking water.
To promote awareness and understanding of the QMS, the Municipality of Port Hope's QMS will be communicated to the relevant parties according to the procedures outlined in Section 12 of the Operational Plan, Communications.
This Operational Plan is endorsed and supported by the Owners and Top Management of the Municipality of Port Hope Water System and was signed on August 26, 2009 by: Linda Thompson - Mayor ("Owner Representative"), R. Carl Cannon - Chief Administrative Officer ("Top Management") and Peter Angelo - Director of Works and Engineering ("Top Management")
Water Treatment Division
The Port Hope Waterworks Commission was established in 1896. In 1917, Port Hope's first water treatment plant was constructed. In 1938 a new plant was constructed to replace the original plant to take raw water from Lake Ontario, treat it and deliver to people's homes and businesses. Over the years upgrades were made to the plant on 21 Marsh Street to improve water quality and its distribution. The water treatment process evolved from infiltration wells to slow sand filtration, to dual media rapid sand filters. Chlorine was added at various stages to effectively control bacteria, algae and viruses. For years the water treatment plant provided a reliable source of quality water for Port Hope.
In 2001 the Waterworks Commission was changed to the Water Division within the Works and Engineering Department in the newly amalgamated Municipality of Port Hope. In August 2000, the Ontario government introduced a new regulation mandating all Ontario's water treatment plants undertake an evaluation of their operations, and develop a monitoring program. The Engineer's Report, received in February 2001, identified that Port Hope's water treatment plant did not meet the new standard requirements. The report indicated that significant upgrades would be required to bring the plant into compliance. Immediate measures were taken to comply with the interim deadline of December 31, 2002, although Council was aware that they were only temporary solutions. Many options were reviewed in the Municipality's quest for a long-term water solution, which resulted in Council's approval of the budget for the construction of the new water treatment plant.
On August 23, 2005, Port Hope's new state-of-the-art membrane filtration water treatment plant (WTP) at 35 Marsh Street opened its valves and provided 100% of Port Hope's water supply. The Water Treatment Division operates this facility, which is designed to produce 20,000 m3 per day of safe, clean, potable water.
The state-of-the-art membrane technology is what makes Port Hope's Water Treatment Plant unique. The compact membrane technology allows for a higher level of treatment in a smaller area in comparison to the conventional water treatment plant. It also eliminates the traditional coagulation, flocculation and conventional filtration processes. Each membrane unit contains millions of tiny tubes with the diameter less than that of a grain of salt. Filtration occurs when water is pulled through the walls of the tubes and chlorine is also added as an effective disinfecting agent. Chlorine is used for primary disinfection of water as it enters the treatment process. Before pumping water into the distribution system, more chlorine is added (a secondary disinfection) to maintain an adequate level of chlorine residual in the distribution system. Fluoride is not added to the water. Any Fluoride in the treated water is naturally occurring.
The WTP operation is fully automated using a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. There is a backup system to ensure uninterrupted delivery of water to all customers. Each control panel at the plant is linked into a main control centre allowing for consolidated operation and monitoring. There is also a backup diesel generator in the WTP to ensure that, in the event of a power failure, the plant is still operational.
Water Sampling and Monitoring
The Port Hope water treatment plant is capable of treating 14,000 m3 of water per day. The water quality meets and exceeds current regulations in Ontario and is monitored extensively at each stage of the water treatment process. In-house samples are collected daily and tested on-site by certified operators for physical and chemical parameters such as chlorine residuals, pH, turbidity and temperature. On-line analyzers monitor the process on a continuous basis.
The water distribution system is monitored using the SCADA system. On-line analyzers continuously monitors chlorine levels in the Jocelyn Street Reservoir, and an elevated tank on Fox Road, where additional chlorine can be added when required.
Water samples are tested for various parameters, as per the Ontario Drinking Water Quality Standards, to ensure that consistent water quality is achieved. Raw, treated and distribution water samples are collected weekly and sent to an accredited, MOE licensed, laboratory to be analyzed for microbiological and inorganic parameters.
There are 73 different parameters that must be sampled for and analyzed annually, including microbiological, volatile organics, inorganics, Pesticides and PCBs. These parameters are analyzed by an accredited, MOE licensed, laboratory.
The Ministry of the Environment, Laboratory Services Branch conducts analysis of samples submitted for Ontario's Drinking Water Surveillance Program (DWSP). This program started in April 1986. Samples are collected on a semi-annual basis from raw and treated water, as well as other selected consumers. The samples are analyzed for more than 180 different parameters. The results show that the water supply in Port Hope is of excellent quality.
Where does Your Water Come From?
The Port Hope WTP's raw water source is Lake Ontario, and is considered a source of good quality surface water, with minor seasonal variations in turbidity levels. The inlet for raw water intake pipe extends approximately 896 meters into the lake, south of the WTP. Because of the location and depth of the raw water intake, the raw water quality seldom changes, making it easier for WTP staff to produce consistently safe, high quality water. Spring run off from the Ganaraska River into the lake can impact raw water quality on an intermittent basis; however, the design of the treatment plant and the trained operators effectively handle these situations. Due to the significant distance of the Sewage Treatment Plant from the raw water intake, final effluent discharge has no impact on the raw water source used by the WTP.
What is in Your Water?
Some parameters are naturally occurring in source water and may also be present in drinking water; however, this does not necessarily mean that the water poses a health risk. The following is a description of the various parameters:
Microbiological parameters, such as bacteria, may come from livestock operations, septic systems, wildlife and industrial or domestic wastewater discharge. Microbiological quality is the most important aspect of drinking water quality because of its association with dangerous water-borne diseases.
Inorganic parameters, such as salts and metals, can be naturally occurring or as a result of urban storm runoff, industrial or domestic wastewater discharge, mining or agriculture. Some may be a result of treatment processes or through the distribution of water (for example, lead leached out from old solder in pipes).
Organic parameters can be naturally occurring but a majority of organics found in water are synthetic, originating from industrial discharges, urban storm runoff and other sources. This group includes pesticides from both urban and rural activities. Some organic parameters may result from water treatment processes such as Trihalomethanes, which are a by-product of the chlorination process.
All sampling, monitoring and testing for Port Hope's WTP and Water Distribution System are conducted in accordance with O.Reg.170/03 and the MOE's Certificate of Approval. Sampling results are summarized in annual reports and summary reports. The results confirm that water supplied to the Port Hope residents is of high quality.