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Your Link to Muskoka's Water!


Private Drinking Water Systems 

wellcap sbPrivate households in Muskoka not serviced by a municipal water treatment plant get their water either from the ground through a well (dug or drilled) or from surface water sources such as a lake or river.

These private systems are not regulated and monitored like municipal systems are. Therefore, it is important that homeowners take special precautions to ensure the protection and maintenance of their drinking water supplies.


Private well owner's responsibilities

The Well Aware website contains extensive information about caring for your well. General guidelines include:

  1. Maintain your well after completion. Prevent surface water or other foreign materials from getting into the well.
  2. Keep your well accessible, free of debris, brush and other obstructions.
  3. Ensure that unused or unmaintained wells are plugged and sealed properly.
  4. Test the water for bacteria at least three times a year.
  5. Inspect your well at least once a year to:
  • keep it in good working order
  • eliminate/reduce contaminants
  • respond to contamination problems


What contaminants should I test for?

The Ministry of Environment and Climate CHange suggests you test your water for the following major biological contaminants:

  • Microbiological Contaminants
  • Volatile Organics
  • Inorganics
  • Pesticides and PCBs

However, it all depends on your water and your well. You may need other tests done to ensure good water quality. Talk to your local professional and refer to the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit for information.


How to test water

It is recommended that you test your water in the spring or after a heavy rainfall. This is when it is most likely to experience water quality problems. If your water quality is good at these times then it should be good the rest of the time.


More information

Visit the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit for specific information on

  • Testing your drinking water
  • Treatment of drinking water
  • Disinfecting your well
  • Iron and Hardness
  • Nitrate and Sodium
  • Surface water sources
  • Water treatment devices for bacteria removal
  • Water treatment devices for chemical removal
  • Well construction
  • Bad test results
  • Beach postings
  • Foaming of surface waters