Barrie earns perfect score in Ontario water quality inspection


Following its annual provincial inspection, the Ontario City of Barrie has earned a perfect score for its drinking water.

The city’s rating will soon be published in the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks Ministry’s Chief Drinking Water Inspector’s Annual Report.

“This perfect score for our drinking water is a reflection of the diligence and the hard work of the staff in our Water Operations Branch,” said Bala Araniyasundaran, Barrie’s general manager of infrastructure, in a statement.

Kempenfelt Bay provides drinking water to a population of approximately 152,959 residents.

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“Our staff have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to ensure the continued availability of safe drinking water. Residents of Barrie can feel comforted in knowing their drinking water system is operated and maintained to the highest quality standards,” Bala added.

Barrie’s distribution system consists of approximately 3,948 hydrants and approximately 660 kilometres of watermain and transmission main.

The city’s drinking water system consists of a surface water treatment plant and associated low lift pumping station, 12 groundwater wells, three in-ground storage facilities, seven booster stations, and three elevated storage towers.

Treatment at the surface water treatment plant (SWTP) consists of primary screening, flocculation, membrane filtration, granular activated carbon contactors, and disinfection with chlorine gas.

According to Barrie’s 2021 Drinking Water System Annual Report, the city uses the following treatment chemicals: polyaluminum chloride as a pre-filtration coagulant; chlorine for primary and secondary disinfection; and sodium silicate as iron and manganese sequestration for wells.

“Primary disinfection is achieved through chlorine contact time in the four baffled wall chlorine contact chamber and reservoir,” the report states. “Secondary disinfection is achieved by boosting the chlorine residual of the treated water upon entry into the distribution system from the SWTP’s reservoir.”

A graphic explaining Barrie’s surface water process can be viewed here.

Over 2021, the city spent approximately $800,000 on water repairs that covered mains, reservoirs, valves, pumps and hydro excavation. Most of the funds were spent on a meter replacement program worth some $338,000.

There are 656 municipal drinking water systems regulated by the ministry in Ontario. About 71% of municipal residential drinking water systems, including York Region and Brantford, received a 100% rating in 2021.


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