FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

Is my municipal tap water safe to drink?

Yes. The CBRM Water Utility operates under the regulations of the Nova Scotia Department of Environment Drinking Water Strategy and all water meets or exceeds some of the highest national safety standards for drinking water in Canada. The Utility conducts more than 12,000 individual recorded tests every year.

How much chlorine is in my water?

We are required by the Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labour to maintain a chlorine residual throughout the distribution system of between 0.2 mg/L and 0.4 mg/L (milligrams per litre = parts per million). Although chlorine residual can vary throughout the year for may reason, it will always be within this range. We add enough chlorine at the treatment plant to make sure we meet the minimum required amount at the most remote areas of the distribution system.

Aren't there "safer" disinfectants such as UV?

To protect against microbial contamination, a disinfectant must be used that maintains a residual (does not disappear). Chlorine is the only well understood disinfectant that maintains a residual. Other disinfectants such as ozone and ultraviolet do not maintain a residual.

What if I don't like the taste of chlorine?

Placing a pitcher or jug of water in the refrigerator for a few hours will allow any chlorine taste to disappear.

Does using a home water filter make the water safer or healthier to drink?

The devices are not needed to make CBRM tap water safe. Filters may alter the taste, smell or appearance of water, but they don't necessarily make the water safer or healthier. Please keep in mind that filters require regular maintenance; if ignored, water quality problems may occur.

Where is my water shut-off valve?

In most homes or businesses, a water shut-off valve should be found where the water line comes into the building. It is critical that every adult in the house knows where this valve is located. It also should be operated (turned off/on) regularly to make sure you can get control of the water in the building. The Water Utility may have an underground valve at the property line, however, that valve is there for Utility purposes and should not be relied upon by a homeowner to control water flow in the house. Testing the valve every couple of months will give you the peace of mind that you can stop water flow in the house in case of an emergency.