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.

Water treatment services

Water hardness
Learn more about water hardness and see water hardness ratings.
Visit Water Hardness.
Taste, odour and appearance
Find answers to common questions about our drinking water.
Visit Taste, Odour and Appearance.
Water pressure
Find answers to common water pressure issues in Calgary.
Visit Water Pressure.

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.

To learn more, visit our Online Water Treatment Tour. You can also take part in Water Tours in Calgary​.

Are you a student? Find more water facts and information about Calgary's water systems at Water Education Resources.

Click image for a full-size version

Water Treatment Process


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.

Drinking Water Image  

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.

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.

Learn more at Frozen Pipes Prevention Program. You can also find tips for dealing with frozen lines by visiting Frozen Water Lines.


Fire hydrants

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.

Fire Hydrant  

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.