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Canada - Water

The quality of tap water in Canada is excellent although in some rural and remote areas you may be advised not to drink the water directly but boil or treat it first. Information on this is usually very clear when you travel to different areas. You may find in some rural areas there are two sources of water to the house, one which has been treated and is considered to be suitable for drinking and another which has not been treated in the same way and is not suitable for consumption but can be used for other household purposes.

The country has established guidelines in order to ensure that the quality of drinking water is consistent throughout the country. Each province has the power to create their own guidelines but most simply take the national guidelines and adapt them to their own requirements. It should be noted that the guidelines in some provinces have become part of the law of the region so the water suppliers are left with no choice but to comply. The guidelines in Canada are different than those in use in other parts of the world such as the US and the EU.

The responsibility for the supply and quality of the water in Canada rests with the provincial governments although in some areas there are private companies which oversee the systems. One example of this is the Ontario Clean Water Agency, which is part of the provincial government of Ontario and which oversees the maintenance of water facilities in all of the municipalities in Ontario.

Your first port of call when you need to be connected to the system is the relevant department at your provincial government. You will need to provide a certain amount of documentation such as proof of address, ID and in some instances you will need to prove that you have the right to be living in the country, so copies of your visa documentation may be requested.

The majority of homes in Canada are on a water meter, so they simply pay for the water that they use. However, around 40% of residents are not on a meter. When costs are compared to countries such as the UK and the US, Canada’s water supply is very reasonably priced although the rate varies in each province.

Homeowners receive bills for water supply on a monthly basis and many people will choose to pay by direct debit, although you are also able to pay in a number of other ways. You can choose to settle the bill by sending a cheque through the post, online or over the counter at a bank. Some provinces allow the water bill to be paid on a quarterly basis.

There are no issues with drought although some areas may experience warm weather during the summer months. However, it is rarely severe enough to cause concern. There are also few shortages of water and no restrictions on usage. However, the country is becoming increasingly environmentally aware and residents are being given advice on how to save water. Storage tanks are not normally in use in Canada.

Read more about this country

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