Why Filter Water in the London and Toronto area?
Prior to 1873, the procurement and distribution of Lake Ontario water for drinking for Toronto’s residents was the responsibility of the private company, Furniss Works. In 1873, the City of Toronto assumed responsibility and quickly expanded the system as the population grew. By the mid-1950s, the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto took control over providing drinking water for Toronto and the surrounding areas. For the next 30 years, Toronto metropolitan’s areas current infrastructure was developed, including the R.C. Harris Treatment Plant (completed in 1941), the R.L Clark Treatment Plant (completed in 1968), the Island Treatment Plant (completed in 1977), and the F.J Horgan Treatment Plant (completed in 1980).
Toronto’s drinking water is considered some of the finest in the world when it leaves the water treatment plants. However, like many older cities, the tap water travels through older cast iron pipes, which are susceptible to corrosion and biofilm contamination from chemical reactions. These reactions can create clusters of pipe deterioration and bacteria along the inside of the pipe, resulting in rotten egg or decayed taste or an earthy, grassy taste. To combat the corrosion and biofilm contamination that has become synonymous with cast iron pipes, many municipal water department add high levels of chlorine, which gives the water medicinal taste.
In addition to possible contamination from cast iron pipes, Toronto and the surrounding area’s residents should also be mindful of a recent warning from the International Joint Commission about the water quality and potential problems from pollution caused by sewage discharged into of the Great Lakes.