Drinking Water Treatment & Monitoring FAQs 



What is the purpose of water storage tanks?
Four storage tanks are located in the City to store and provide water at adequate pressure during peak-demand periods and emergencies such as water-main breaks and fire protection.
What is the source of our municipal water supply?
The Grand River is the source for our entire municipal water needs. The Brantford Water Treatment Plant treats and pumps clean drinking water to your home through a network of underground pipes and reservoirs.
How often is the water is tested and monitored?
- Water is tested throughout the treatment process at every step starting from raw water taken from the Holmedale Canal to the finished drinking water supplied for a multitude of chemical and microbial parameters.
- There are several on-line analyzers that continuously test the water quality throughout the water treatment process.
- Water treatment operators manually test water quality and cross-check on-line analyzer readings.
- Samples of water from the Water Treatment Plant and the distribution system are also sent to a certified lab which reports the results directly to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC).
Reports on water quality monitoring are available on the City web site. Click to view Water Quality webpage. - Water treatment plant operators are physically present at the Water Treatment Plant 24/7 and 365 days a year monitoring the drinking water supplied.
Who receives the City water supply?
The City supplies drinking water to the residents and to the businesses located within the City. The City also supplies water to the County of Brant in the area of Cainsville and in some areas along King George Road and Powerline Road.
Who else provides oversight to the drinking water supplied?
The Brant County Health Unit (BCHU) monitors and advises the City on water quality issues.
The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) does an annual inspection of the water facilities. The City is proud to receive a score of 100%in the 2014 annual inspection of the facilities.
Through the Drinking Water Quality Management System (DWQMS), (similar to ISO certification that is in place), the water operations is audited by an internal auditor annually and by an MOECC approved external auditor every 3 years.
Is Brantford city water safe to drink?
Yes. All Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) Drinking Water Quality Standards are fully met by the City of Brantford and Brantford water is safe to drink. The City of Brantford Water System scored 100% on the MOECC Annual Inspection conducted in November 2015. This is the second consecutive year the City of Brantford Water System has reported a perfect score.
Why do you add chlorine to the water?
The clean drinking water from the water plant travels through a network of pipes, of more than 480 kilometers, to serve residents in the City. To inhibit growth of pathogens in the pipes and maintain microbial protection, the City is required to maintain a chlorine residual in the water throughout the distribution system.
What do you do to ensure the drinking water supplied is safe?
- The City has multiple barriers in the treatment process to protect the water quality such as ozonation, ultraviolet disinfection and chlorination in addition to conventional treatment and filtration.
- The City also has multiple layers of monitoring as explained above.
- The City maintains the distribution pipes through regular flushing and also replaces the old pipes and valves annually as a part of comprehensive Asset Management Program.
- In addition to the City, the Brant County Health Unit and the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change provide oversight to safeguard the drinking water quality.
What do you do with the dirt removed from the water during the treatment process?
The dirt removed from the plant is dewatered and the ‘cake’ is disposed at our landfill site.
How does the water treatment process work?
Brantford has a sophisticated and ‘state of the art’ water treatment facility. It is rated class IV, the highest designation of a water treatment facility by the MOECC.
The Plant takes water from the Grand River through the Holmedale Canal. The water then goes through several treatment steps before it is ready for drinking.
Screening: Water is pumped from the Canal and goes through screens to remove leaves and debris.
Coagulation/Flocculation: Coagulation removes dirt and other particles suspended in water. Alum and other chemicals are added to water to form tiny sticky particles called "flocs" which attract the dirt particles. The combined weight of the dirt and the alum (floc) becomes heavy enough to sink to the bottom during sedimentation.
Sedimentation: In the sedimentation process, the heavy particles (flocs) settle to the bottom and the clear water at the top moves to Ozonation.
Ozonation: There are many benefits to adding ozone to water. Ozone is added to break down dissolved organic particles such as the ones responsible for imparting taste and odour to drinking water. Ozone improves the performance of other water treatment processes such as disinfection and filtration.
Filtration: In the filtration process, the water passes through filters, made of layers of sand and anthracite (charcoal) that help remove even smaller particles.
Ultraviolet Disinfection: It is used to kill any remaining pathogens in the water. Most of the pathogens are removed in the earlier steps.
Chlorination: A small amount of chlorine is also added to maintain residual chlorine in the distribution network to inhibit and kill any bacteria, viruses or other microorganisms.
Distribution: Clean drinking water is then pumped through a network of pipes to homes and businesses in the community.
How much water is produced?
City produces, on average, 40 million litres of drinking water a day. This is the amount of water that flows over the Niagara Falls in about 15 seconds.
What upgrades were done recently to the Water Treatment Plant and why?
The City added ozonation, ultraviolet disinfection and chlorine contact chambers to improve drinking water quality and safety. It also replaced old and deteriorated filters and a pumping station. The City invested $55 million in these upgrades and now the Water Treatment Plant has enough capacity to serve Brantford until 2031.

Additional Information

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Water Treatment Plant Process Flow Diagram (pdf)