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For Consumers

Without a doubt, water is a basic necessity – no living thing can survive long without it.


Next to the air we breathe, water is our most important resource for existence. Yet as a society, we pay too little attention to it. Although it seems that there is plenty of water on earth, the amount available for human consumption is surprisingly small.



75% of the earth is covered by water

97% of the earth's water is salt water

3% of the earth's water is fresh water
2% of the earth's water that is fresh is frozen
in ice caps and glaciers

1% of the earth's water that is fresh is available
for for human consumption



What is Water Treatment?

Water treatment is, collectively, the processes that make water more acceptable for an end-use, which may be for drinking, cooking, bathing, industrial processes, etc. Water treatment is unlike portable water purification that campers and other people in the wilderness areas practice. Water treatment should remove existing water contaminants or reduce their concentration so that the water becomes fit for its desired end-use, including safely returning used water to the environment. 


Drinking water is subject to contamination and requires appropriate treatment to remove disease-causing agents.  At the Canadian Water Quality Association (CWQA), we are committed to helping you find quality water treatment solutions.


Even though the government regulates and sets standards for public drinking water, many Canadians use a home water treatment unit to:
  Remove specific contaminants
  Take extra precautions because a household member has a compromised immune system
  Improve the taste of drinking water


Water treatment system manufacturers, retailers and service providers are CWQA members. 


The processes involved in treating water for drinking purposes to provide a safe source of water supply may be solids separation using physical processes such as precipitation, settling and filtration, chemical processes such as ion exchange, disinfection and coagulation, or membrane filtration. Water purification is the removal of contaminants from untreated water to produce drinking water that is pure enough for the most critical of its intended uses, usually for human consumption. Substances that are removed during the process of drinking water treatment include suspended solids, bacteria, algae, viruses, fungi, minerals such as calcium, iron, manganese and sulfur, and other chemical pollutants.

Measures taken to ensure water quality not only relate to after the treatment of the water, but to its distribution after treatment, and all the way to the end of pipe and ultimate use. It is therefore common practice to have residual disinfectants in the treated water in order to kill any bacteriological contamination during distribution.


The Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality, published by Health Canada on behalf of the Federal Provincial Territorial Subcommittee on Drinking Water, establishes the health-based parameters for drinking water quality that are used by the provinces and territories to establish their own standards or objectives.


Public drinking water systems use various methods of water treatment to provide safe drinking water for their communities.  Water is treated differently in different communities depending on the quality of the water in that area. Every community water supplier must provide an annual report, sometimes called a Consumer Confidence Report, to its customers.  Visit Health Canada's site for understanding


Drinking Water Quality in Canada.  


Common Water Problems


Types of Water Treatment


Door-to-door water treatment sales people


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