The water we drink can make us sick if it is not properly protected or treated. This is called waterborne illness. CK Public Health works to reduce your risk of getting sick from the water you drink. CK Public Health does not test the public drinking water system. The water system is sampled weekly by the CK Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and sent to the Ontario Water Testing Centre. Adverse water sample results are reported to CK Public Health. CK Public Health provides direction to the PUC on corrective actions. When there is a potential risk to the public, the CK Public Health issues advisories as appropriate.
What We Do
Our public health inspectors:
- Inspect certain drinking water systems that serve the public
- Enforce drinking water safety laws and provide education to drinking water system operators
- Monitor drinking water systems and notify the public when water may be unsafe to drink
- Provide free drinking water testing to homeowners with private wells
- Help homeowners with private wells understand drinking water test results
- Investigate when people get sick from drinking water
- Educate the public on drinking water safety
Things You Can Do
- Learn about the risks
- Know your responsibilities for private wells
- Get your drinking water tested
- Report a drinking water concern
Who’s at Risk
Waterborne illness often causes symptoms like diarrhea and vomiting. Symptoms are normally mild, but can be more serious. While everyone can get a waterborne illness, some people are more at risk, including children, older adults and people with chronic health conditions.
Your risk may also be greater because of the source of your drinking water. Untreated surface water, such as water from lakes, rivers and streams, often has bacteria and parasites that can make you sick if you drink it.
Some people get their drinking water from private wells. If a well becomes damaged, surface water and pollution can get into the well, making the well water unsafe to drink.
Protect yourself – do not drink untreated surface water and, if you have a private well, get your water tested regularly to make sure that it is safe to drink.
Report a Concern
If you think you have a waterborne illness, see your health care provider. It is important that you wash your hands regularly and stay home from work or school if you have symptoms to prevent others from getting sick.
You can always report drinking water safety concerns to CK Public Health. A public health inspector will follow up with you.