Drinking Water Treatment & Distribution

Drinking Water Survey

Prevent Backflow at Home

Backflow preventers installed on your water outlets ensure that water flows in ONE direction. Through unprotected plumbing connections—such as a lawn irrigations system or hose connections—reverse flow can cause contaminants and pollutants to enter your drinking water system.


  • Keep your hose ends clear of possible contaminants. 
  • Install hose connection vacuum breakers on threaded faucets and hose connections at home. These devices are inexpensive, easily installed, and available at hardware stores! 
  • Install an approved backflow prevention device on above-ground lawn irrigation systems. 


  • Submerge hoses in buckets, pools, tubs, sinks, or ponds. 
  • Use a hose to unplug a blocked drain. 
  • Use chemical spray attachments without a backflow prevention device. 
  • Directly connect waste pipes from water softeners to the sewer or submerged drainpipes. 

Please refer to the Backflow Prevention and Cross Connection Control By-law.

The City is fortunate to have access to two sources of drinking water: groundwater from a deep aquifer and surface water from Kempenfelt Bay. Before reaching the consumer this water is treated to protect public health.

Drinking Water Sources

The source of the water that comes out of your tap depends on where your live in Barrie. Groundwater comes from groundwater that is extracted from the ground by municipal wells. Surface water is obtained from Kempenfelt Bay through an intake pipe nearly 1km from shore and 22m deep. Access the interactive Water Supply Zones map to determine the source of water you receive.

Water Treatment Processes

Treatment of water depends on its source. Groundwater is naturally filtered through layers of rocky sediment and therefore requires less treatment than surface water. 

Tours Available

Take a tour of Barrie's Surface Water Treatment Plant! Join us on May 3, 2023, August 2, 2023, and November 1, 2023 at 11am. Get more tour details

Water Distribution Infrastructure Maintenance

The City ensures that the infrastructure which directs water to your home is regularly ​maintained. As such, the distribution system, consisting of approximately 4,000 hydrants and 660 km of watermain, continues to reliably direct potable water to the community.​

Water Meters & Shut-Off Valves

Water meters are an important component of the municipal drinking water system. Please ensure your water meter and shut-off valve are always accessible, ready for use in case of an emergency.


Every year the City prepares reports in accordance with Safe Drinking Water Act regulations:

Hard copies of either ​document can be obtained under request at the Branch Administration Building, 20 Royal Parkside Drive, during normal business hours (8:30am–4:30pm, Monday–Friday)

Bulk Water Requests

The City's Water Operations Branch staff are available to assist residents and contractors with obtaining water in bulk supply.

Frequently Asked Questions