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Water Treatment

The City must be capable of providing an adequate supply of safe drinking water for the growth envisioned by its approved Official Plan. Approximately half of Barrie is supplied with surface water; the other, groundwater.

Open pdf: Surface Water Process

Surface Water Treatment 

Approximately half of Barrie is supplied with surface water (primarily the southern portions; see Surfa​ce Water Supply map).

The Surface Water Treatment Plant (SWTP) began supplying water to Barrie in 2011. Surface water is drawn from Lake Simcoe (Kempenfelt Bay) through a pipe nearly 1km  from shore and 26m deep. Water is pumped to a low-lift pumping station close to the shoreline, then up to the SWTP at 20 Royal Parkside Drive.

Tours Available: The SWTP offers pre-arranged tours to the public that can be booked by contacting Jamey Adams, Supervisor of Surface Water Supply, at 705-739-4220 x6180 or

Surface Water Treatment Process
1: Intake

Raw water is gravity-fed from Kempenfelt Bay to the low lift pumping station and directed through a screen to remove larger particles. Seasonal pre-chlorination is done for zebra mussel control.

2: Pumping

Water is pumped from the low lift pumping station to the Surface Water Treatment Plant (SWTP) where it is directed through a number of treatment processes as described in the following steps.

3: Screening

The water goes through screens to remove particles greater than 0.5mm in size

4: Mixing

A solution is added to the water. With gentle mixing, FLOCs are formed (large particles formed by smaller particles bonding together)

5: Membrane Filters

The membrane filtration process removes FLOCs as small as 0.02 microns. There are 5 primary membrane trains that house the membrane filters. Clean water is drawn into the fibre and all other particles are left behind, allowing only clean water to be drawn through the fibres.

6: Carbon Filters

The membrane-filtered water is sent to the Granular Activated Carbon Contactors. Any unpleasant taste and odours are removed by the carbon.

7: Chlorine

Chlorine is injected into the filtered water to ensure water is free of all harmful agents. It then travels through large chambers where it is provided time to disinfect the water.

8: Storage

Water is stored in reservoirs and towers, ready for use in the community.

Open pdf: Groundwater Process

Groundwater Treatment

Approximately half of Barrie is supplied with groundwater, mainly including the north portions and the city centre (areas not highlighted in the Surface Water Supply map).

The City currently has 12 wells, 3 in-ground reservoirs, 3 water towers and 6 booster pumping stations that supply 5 major pressure zones throughout Barrie. Water is supplied from wells drilled into a deep aquifer that is not under the direct influence of surface water.

Groundwater Treatment Process
1: Site Selection

Well sites are chosen then tested for numerous qualities. Strict regulations are stated by the Province to provide optimal drinking water.

2: Drilling

Water is supplied by drilling deep into the ground to reach an Aquifer (body of underground water

3: Pumping

Water is lifted to the surface by pumps from deep, small-diameter wells.

4: Chlorine

Water is treated with a controlled and monitored dose of chlorine. Chlorine is used to disinfect, creating healthy, safe drinking water.

5: Iron Removal

Minerals from the ground remain in the water. Sodium Silicate is added to remove iron.

6: Storage

Water is pumped to the reservoirs and towers where it is stored, ready for use in the community

Wastewater Treatment

Wastewater is the mixture of liquid and solid materials that residents and businesses flush down toilets and empty down sinks and drains. This material is directed to the plant through a network of pipes that make up the City’s sanitary sewer system to the Wastewater Treatment Facility. Treating wastewater is a process of cleaning it to remove solids, chemicals and other undesirable material before it is pumped to Lake Simcoe.

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