Q2. How much tap water do Torontonians use? 1,498 million litres, is this per day, per month, or per year? (P41)
City of Toronto 2006 Water Statistics
Number of fire hydrants
Average daily water demand
Amount of waste water (sewage) treated each year
How clean is our water?
For a copy of the Annual Report visit:
The City of Toronto produces potable (drinking) water by treating and cleaning raw water taken from Lake Ontario. Clean water is important to our daily lives. We use it for many things such as drinking, cooking and bathing. Hospitals, restaurants and other businesses also rely on fresh, clean water for their operations.
Drinking Water and the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant
Whenever you turn on the tap in your Toronto home and fill a glass of water, you take about ¼ of a litre of estimated 514,000 million litres per day treated at one of Toronto's four water treatment plants. Three of the four water treatment plants are spread along the lakeshore and one is located on Centre Island.
The oldest and largest of these plants, the R.C. Harris Filtration Plant, is located in the Beaches, at the foot of Victoria Park Avenue. Built in the 1930's, is still fully functional, providing approximately 47% of Toronto and the Region of York's water supply. For over 80 years, it has drawn water from Lake Ontario, then cleaned, disinfected and converted it into safe potable/drinking water for pumping into the City's distribution system.
How does it end up in my glass?
Where do you get that water in your glass? Simply put, water is pumped out of Lake Ontario and pushed back into the City of Toronto once it's clean - into your home. The process sounds simple but in reality involves a complex combination of phases to ensure that the treatment of our drinking water meets or exceeds all standards set for drinking water by the provincial and federal environmental ministries.
Once treated, the plant then pumps water to various reservoirs throughout the City of Toronto and the Region of York. The water isn't just "taken out of the lake", but drawn from under rock deep in the bed of the lake. There is an East and a West Intake; 2,450 millimetre diameter concrete lined steel intake pipes. The intake mouths are located approximately 2,650 meters from shore in 15 meters of water. Prior to entering the plant, the two pipes join into a junction shaft, which is a 3,050 mm diameter tunnel in rock below the bed of the lake about 1,000 meters in length. Once treated, the plant then pumps water to various reservoirs throughout the City of Toronto and the Region of York.
Here's how it works
Construction Update: New Reside Management Facility
Beaches residents are looking forward to the end of construction at the R.C. plant. Since November 2004, the plant has been undergoing significant renovations. This has made the building only partially publicly accessible. The front field is open once more.
The construction - although disruptive - represents very good news for the environment. When the plant was first constructed in the 1930's, it was common practice to discharge residues collected from the water back to the source (the Lake). Today, new provincial regulations require that all waste produced during the filtration process be treated. This new practice will contribute to the City's efforts to improve the local waterfront and fulfill its requirements to the province. It also means that water being returned to the lake is cleaner than before it was removed!
The project involves the construction of facilities (settling tanks) to treat the backwash and settling basin wastewater. This work involved the excavation of an area larger than two (Canadian) football fields in order to create a space for underground tanks.
The project will not affect the heritage features of the building. The new facility will be built underground, invisible from the plant surface. Once the project is complete, the site grading and landscaping will be
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