The Town of Smiths Falls owns and operates a drinking water system which is comprised of a water treatment facility, an elevated storage tower and piped distribution network.
The Town draws its raw water supplies from the Rideau River at the water treatment plant located at 43 Abbott St. This surface water is then treated in a state of the art facility which includes an AquaDAF (high rate dissolved air floatation clarifier), dual media filtration, ultraviolet (UV) disinfection, chlorination, corrosion control, fluoridation, and residue. Water is then delivered to the customer through a piped distribution network comprised of over 62km of water mains and an elevated water tower.
In May 2000, the Town of Walkerton municipal drinking water system became contaminated with E. coli. At the time, numerous people died and thousands more became ill from bacteriological infection. After the Walkerton crisis, the Government of Ontario launched an inquiry led by Justice O’Connor which ultimately transformed the water industry.
In Part 2 of his report, he recommended the implementation of a quality management system for all municipal drinking water systems (DWQMS). The Town of Smiths Falls is currently implementing a quality management system in conformity with the provincial standard. If you should have any questions or would like to view the Operational Plan for the Drinking Water System, please contact the town’s Water and Wastewater Compliance Coordinator direct at 613-283-4124 Ext. 5502.
The Town owns and operates the portion of the water service that runs from the main line to the property line. If leaks should develop on this section of line then the municipality will bear responsibility for undertaking all repairs. The landowner is otherwise responsible for all maintenance and repairs of the section of the service that runs from the building plumbing systems to the property line. If you believe that your water service is leaking or frozen, please contact the Public Works and Utilities Department at 613-283-4124 Ext 3302 and the town will carry out an on-site assessment.
In 2007, the Ministry made a series of changes to the regulations regarding sampling and testing for lead in drinking water. These changes require the municipality to sample and test for lead in the distribution system, along with residential and commercial buildings. The Town of Smiths Falls has an active lead sampling program and a corrosion control program to manage lead levels to meet the requirements of the Ministry.
If your house was built prior to 1955 you may have lead plumbing within your home. Homes built before 1990 may also have lead in their plumbing. In 1989, the Ontario Building Code was amended to ban lead piping and the use of lead solder. If you are looking to have your water sampled or are planning to replace the privately owned section of lead water service on your property, please contact the Public Works and Utilities Department at 613-283-4124 Ext 3302 for additional information.
The Town issues water bills once every two months for residential accounts and once a month for commercial accounts. The bill is based upon actual readings. If a reading cannot be obtained, an estimate will be made based upon historical consumption.
If you are selling/purchasing a home, you or your lawyer should contact the Water Billing Clerk, at 613-283-4124 ext. 1149, to advise the Town of the pending change of ownership. There is a $25 fee for a Water Arrears Certificate, which the vendor/purchaser’s lawyer should obtain. This is a statement of outstanding charges at the time of closing. The town will obtain a final reading on the closing date. A final bill is then sent to the vendor at the service address unless the vendor or vendor’s lawyer requests the final bill be sent elsewhere.
For more information on water billing, please call 613-283-4124 ext. 1149.