Water Treatment Process


Picture of bubbles in water

Windsor Utilities Commission, an industry leader in North America, has a superior water treatment facility that uses one of the top processes for purifying water — Ozonation.

Using Ozone as a purifier is considered the best water treatment process. The water in Windsor is so pure that in studies conducted on bottles of water from local grocers, the tap water in Windsor outperformed in every area. 


What is Ozonation?

Ozone is one of the strongest oxidizing agents. It is used to reduce colour and odour, eliminate organic waste,  and reduce total organic carbon. 

Ozone is generated by passing oxygen gas inside the ozone generator, a process called Corona Discharge. Ozone is injected into the water through diffusers and the ozone gas reacts instantly to eliminate anything that could cause a disease within the raw water.

Once the ozone is finished treating the water, any excess ozone is eliminated by treating it with a chemical called calcium thiosulphate.

The treated water then moves into tanks where more chemicals are added to gather small particulates, forming heavier particles. The water containing these heavier particles then moves into a settling tank where the heavy particles settle to the bottom and the clean water is sent to filters for a final clean.

The last step is to add chlorine to the water (Chlorination; helping to maintain the integrity of the water, even when it goes through old pipes).


What is Chlorination?

Chlorination is a water treatment process that destroys disease-causing bacteria, nuisance bacteria, parasites, and other organisms. It also removes soluble iron, manganese, and hydrogen sulfide from our water. We use chlorination because it prevents bacteria from infecting us, our pets, and other animals. Some of the diseases it protects against include typhoid fever, paratyphoid fever, bacillary dysentery, and infectious hepatitis, as well as many others.

Chlorine also:
  • removes unpleasant tastes and odours that come from algae and decaying natural vegetation in water distribution systems
  • controls microorganisms like slime bacteria, molds, algae, and fungi that grow on the walls in transmission mains and treatment basins
  • eliminates or reduces organic coloration
  • destroys hydrogen sulfide and removes ammonia and other compounds that taste unpleasant and disrupt disinfection.

After this process is complete, the clean water is sent out to the residents of Windsor.


What is Corrosion Control?

Prior to the mid-1950's the service pipe that delivers water from the street into each home was commonly made of lead. Lead was also used to solder pipes together before 1990, and can be found in leaded-brass fixtures, such as faucets and valves.  As these items corrode or break down, they can cause lead concentrations in drinking water to increase.

As a result, the Windsor Utilities Commission initiated its Corrosion Control program (phosphoric acid) on August 10, 2016 to protect customers from lead sources within their building infrastructure. The phosphoric acid being used in Windsor's water treatment process is a food grade additive derived from a natural source of mineral rock.  Phosphate is naturally present in food, such as milk, nuts and beef, and has no impact on the taste or odour of drinking water.  

We anticpate that the lead levels at the tap will begin to show signs of improvement in achieving the target of all samples below the the 10 ug/L maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) level and ensure our customers are continuously protected as regulated by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) under the Safe Drinking Water Act. 

A picture depicting the entire water treatment process by step

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Did You Know?

The Albert H. Weeks Water Treatment Plant supplies approximately 125 million Litres of water to City residents per day — and even more than that in the summer?