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Water quality strategy

We work hard to ensure the clean, reliable supply of water you enjoy today will be there tomorrow. To do so, we take a source-to-tap view of water quality.

That means that as water travels from the mountains through our treatment plants and across the city through an extensive distribution system, we ensure you receive water that is clean and safe to drink. To learn more, read our annualWater Report.

Is our water safe?

Yes, Calgary's world class water treatment and testing facilities consistently provide Calgarians with clean, safe drinking water.

We continue to meet and exceed all federal and provincial health-related standards and guidelines. We continue to provide you with safe reliable drinking water at a higher quality that is normally required by these guidelines and standards.

How is Calgary's drinking water made safe from microbiological organisms such as E.coli, Giardia, and Cryptosporidium?

Calgary's water treatment facilities are designed to effectively deal with microbiological threats using a multiple barrier approach.

Learn more by taking our online tour of the water treatment process.

How is my drinking water tested?

Calgary's drinking water is tested every step of the way - from the source to our water treatment plants and to your home.

The City of Calgary performs approximately 112,000 drinking water quality tests annually. Our testing facilities maintain ISO 17025 accreditation status through the Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation Inc.

The City measures and tests approximately 500 parameters (a parameter is a substance that we sample and analyze for to ensure the quality of our drinking water. For example:

  • Inorganic compounds – fluoride, hardness and metals
  • Organic compounds – trihalomethanes and pesticides
  • Physical parameters – colour, pH, turbidity (cloudiness), temperature and conductivity
  • Microbiological parameters – bacteria and parasites

Samples from the Bearspaw and Glenmore water treatment plants are collected and analyzed on an ongoing basis, seven days a week. Additional samples are taken and analyzed within the distribution system at approximately 68 locations across Calgary.

Watershed Protection

We actively participate with stakeholder groups such as Elbow River Partnership and the Bow River Basin Council to protect and restore our watersheds to ensure we have a high quality raw water source.

We are also participating in the development of Alberta's Water for Life strategy, designed to provide a blueprint for managing our water resources in this province.

Learn more about our watershed and rivers strategy.