Barrie celebrates Drinking Water Week: ‘there’s a lot of work that goes into keeping it safe for residents’

On average, approximately 37 million litres of water are produced each day in Barrie

The City of Barrie is celebrating Drinking Water Week by acknowledging the role tap water plays in daily life, the resources used to carry it to homes, and the labour that water workers do every day.  

To recognize the week, organizations, governments, environmental advocates, and schools are encouraging consumers to learn more about the importance of water services, and infrastructure. 

“Barrie Water Operations staff work hard around the clock to ensure high-quality drinking water is there when you need it”, said Diane Moreau, Manager of Water Operations, in a media release.  

“Water Week is a chance for all of us to appreciate and learn what it takes to bring that water to your tap.”

The City of Barrie gets its water from both groundwater and surface water sources.   

The Barrie Surface Water Treatment Plant, located at 20 Royal Parkside Dr, is one of the locations that refines and produces drinkable water for Barrie residents. 

“[It] comes through our drinking water plant – which takes water out of Kempenfelt Bay – and treats it using membrane filtration,” Jamey Adams, Supervisor of Surface Water Supply at the Barrie Surface Water Treatment Plant, told Barrie 360. 

“Which essentially will remove any contaminants that would have a negative impact on any of the public. From an operational standpoint, every day we’re checking all the equipment that does that treatment. We’re checking all the analyzers that do the measuring of the disinfection, and the chlorination.” 

Per the city, on average, approximately 37 million litres of water are produced each day in Barrie. Water quality is monitored 24/7, and thousands of samples are collected annually. 

The surface water treatment plant began its operations in 2011, with Adams noting how the driving factor behind Barrie acquiring the facility was the increasing population.  

“The City of Barrie originally was entirely a groundwater system, but they realized they were going to outgrow that system,” said Adams.  

“When they started looking at options, they realized that a surface water treatment plant was most viable for long term. And to be able to provide all water to all development that was going to come in the south end.” 

Inside the Barrie Surface Water Treatment Plant

Moreau says approximately 50 operators play a role in getting water from the various sources to the homes of Barrie residents. 

That number includes operators at the plant, the groundwater facilities that supply the north end, in the distribution system (people seen out on the roads repairing watermain breaks for example), and customer service staff (workers that go to the homes of people that have concerns or complaints). 

Moreau says Drinking Water Week is important to recognize because of the amount of labour that goes into providing drinkable water.

And, because the Barrie Surface Water Treatment Plant is a unique membrane treatment facility, Moreau says it gives even more cause to see/recognize how water is processed, and sent to the citizens of Barrie. 

“Water is essential for life,” said Moreau. “There’s a lot of work that goes into providing that safe drinking water…and it’s an opportunity for us to show it off.”  

“We are a 24/7 facility, and there’s a lot of work that goes into keeping it safe for residents.”  

To learn more about Barrie’s drinking water, visit barrie.ca/WaterServices

Images via Diane Moreau

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