Drinking water and water treatment
Calgary has two water treatment plants that take water from the Bow and Elbow rivers. See where our water comes from on Calgary's Water Supply.
Water that has not yet been treated is called raw water. Treating raw water makes it safe for us to drink.
Our water treatment plants make sure Calgary produces safe, high quality drinking water 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
We use control systems to monitor and optimize flows and various processes to make sure underground reservoirs store enough drinking water to meet our city’s demand.
Returning to buildings following an extended closure?
The City of Calgary wants to remind property owners and operators to be sure to flush stagnant water from pipes in buildings that have been vacant (or had low occupancy) the last few months.
While municipalities or municipal providers are responsible to get clean, safe drinking water to each property, it is the responsibility of each property owner or property management company to ensure the safety of water within their building and fresh, clean drinking water for occupants and tenants.
For convenience sake, we’ve provided reference materials relating to best practices:
Water treatment services
Protecting our water treatment system
To meet Calgary’s water needs, conservation, not more water, is the answer.
Use water wisely indoors by:
- Install water efficient fixtures like toilets, faucents and showerheads
- Check for and fix water leaks
You can also save water outdoors by:
- Optimize your irrigation system
- Water early in the morning or late at night
- Use plants that grow well in Calgary's climate
Our water treatment system
The City works to ensure all Calgarians have a safe and reliable supply of drinking water. Calgary's water treatment plants operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Operators, electricians, maintenance, the laboratories and administrative employees all work together to ensure the integrity of our drinking water.
The Bearspaw Water Treatment Plant draws water from the Bearspaw Reservoir on the Bow River. The Glenmore Water Treatment Plant draws water from the Glenmore Reservoir, which is fed by the Elbow River.
Are you a student? Find more water facts and information about Calgary's water systems at Water Education Resources.
The City does not currently add fluoride as part of the water treatment process.
Fluoride does naturally occur in the Bow and Elbow Rivers, in concentrations varying throughout the year, between 0.1 and 0.4 mg/L.
To learn more, visit Fluoride in Calgary's Water.
Water service lines
A water pipe, also known as a water service line, is the way water is delivered to each home in Calgary.
A service valve controls the water running to a home from a City of Calgary water main.
Service valves are usually located outside your home either in the front or back of the property To learn more, see Service Valves.
From the water main to the property line: This part of the pipe is owned and maintained by The City of Calgary.
From the property line to your house: This part of the pipe is owned and maintained by the homeowner.
To learn more, visit Water Service Lines.
Frozen Pipes Prevention Program
Our winter climate can cause some water pipes and service lines to freeze, resulting in water outages for Calgary residents and business owners.
The Frozen Pipes Prevention Program monitors frost levels, and identifies homes and businesses with water services at risk of freezing during winter months.
The City of Calgary maintains and repairs fire hydrants located on public land.
Fire hydrants are connected to Calgary's water system via underground pipes. The water that comes through the hydrant is the same as the water that comes into homes. A hose is attached to the fire hydrant and the valve is opened to provide a flow of water.
To find the closest fire hydrant to your home or learn more about parking rules, visit Fire Hydrants.
Cross connection control program
In Calgary, some homes and businesses have cross connection devices at their properties. This device prevents water that has been used for washing, heating and cooling from flowing into our drinking water.
The City of Calgary oversees annual testing and compliance of these devices in order to protect Calgary's drinking water supply from contamination.
To learn more, visit Cross Connection Control Program.