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18th June 2015
P.E.I. drinking water tests miss many recommended chemicals

Most cities don't test drinking water for all contaminants considered a concern by Health Canada

Posted: Jun 17, 2015 8:18 AM ATLast Updated: Jun 17, 2015 8:27 AM

Charlottetown is testing for 52 of 75 substances named in Health Canada's guidelines for drinking water.

In a recent survey by CBC News of 18 major Canadian cities only one, Ottawa, was found to be testing for all 75 contaminants listed as a concern by Health Canada. Some tested for as few as 20.

Provincial governments across Canada decide what tests municipalities are required to do.

George Somers, manager of the drinking water division with the provincial Environment Department, said it is not necessary to test for all 75 Health Canada guidelines here.

"Some of them are such a remote possibility that it really doesn't make sense," said Somers.

"Other considerations are really, if you know there's no reason for it to be there why not spend the money on other things like making sure that your infrastructure is up to par, that your operators are well trained and things like that."

He said P.E.I.'s water supply is less susceptible to certain contaminants because all the water is groundwater, and not from lakes and rivers.

Somers said while testing is important, it's just as critical to make sure there are barriers in place to protect groundwater, including how and where wells are constructed as well as effective water treatment.

Is there something in the water?!!!!

Health Canada has guidelines for 75 substances in drinking water that could affect your health. Choose a city from the dropdown menu to see which substances these communities are not testing for.