Water Conservation FAQ

Water Conservation FAQ

What's the Water Conservation Order that I've heard about?
How do I know if my water is safe to drink?
I don't like the taste/smell/appearance of my tap water. What's wrong with it?
What if I have a severely compromised immune system?
What should I do if I have my own drinking water well?
What about bottled water?
What about home water treatment units?

What's the Water Conservation Order that I've heard about?
Water production and consumption in the St. John’s Region increases during the summer months, primarily due to the outdoor use of water (e.g. car washing, lawn watering, etc.). This extra demand on our fresh water resources may result in a ban on outside water use during the summer months. Since 2002, the Water Conservation Order has permanently been in place by Council to promote wise water use by residents throughout the year.

How do I know if my water is safe to drink?
The water in the St. John’s Region is continuously monitored and tested regularly to ensure it complies with the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.  Water Samples are collected daily from designated sample ports throughout the distribution system and sent to the Provincial Public Health Laboratory for bacteriological analysis. Additional samples are also analyzed by the City Laboratory Services Division and by third-party accredited laboratories for a variety of parameters to ensure the safety of the water we deliver to consumers. 

I don't like the taste/smell/appearance of my tap water. What's wrong with it?
Even when water complies with the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water, you may still object to its taste, smell, or appearance. Common complaints about water aesthetics include temporary cloudiness (typically caused by air bubbles), colour (may be caused by water main maintenance) or taste (source water quality varies with the seasons).  If you find that your water has a chlorine smell or taste that you dislike, then filling a jug with water and leaving it in the fridge overnight should dissipate the chlorine.  If you do have a water quality concern please contact Access St. John's at 311 or 754-CITY (2489), and then press “6” to get in touch with a Service Representative.

What if I have a severely compromised immune system?
You should consult with your health care provider regarding your drinking water.

What should I do if I have my own drinking water well?
You are responsible for making sure that your well water is safe to drink.  The Provincial Department of Environment and Conservation information on its website to assist private well owners:

Well Aware Booklet

What about bottled water?
Consumers who choose to purchase bottled water should carefully read the label to understand what they are buying as some bottled waters actually come from Municipal Water Supplies. Bottled water is not necessarily safer than your tap water, but can be valuable in emergency situations. Tap water provided to the residents in the City of St. Johns complies with the  Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.

What about home water treatment units?
Consumers do not need to treat their drinking water at home to make it safe, however for some consumers it is a personal choice to use a home water treatment unit.  Consumers who choose to purchase a home water treatment unit should carefully read it’s product information to understand what the unit is designed to treat. No single unit can treat for every type of water contaminant, so you must decide which type suits your needs. The City of St. John’s neither endorses nor recommends specific home water treatment units, but a good resource to research units is the NSF International website.  The City of St. John’s does recommend that if you do decide to purchase a home water treatment unit, be certain to follow the manufacturer’s operating and maintenance instructions especially changing of the filter on a regular basis.

NSF Water Treatment Website