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Two water treatment plants service the water needs of Essex residents. The Ontario Clean Water Agency operates both plants under contract with the Town of Essex. The Town's water distribution system spans 290 kilometres of watermains and serves about 7,100 residential and commercial customers.

The Town's commitment to providing safe drinking water to its customers is confirmed by our Drinking Water Quality Management System Policy, Commitment and Endorsement, and Water Systems O.Reg. 453/07 Financial Plan.

To view the annual water reports for Union Water Supply System and Harrow-Colchester South Distribution System, visit our Publications, Plans and Reports page.

Where does my drinking water come from?

Your municipal drinking water comes from Lake Erie.

Most residents of Wards 1 and 2, including Essex Centre and the former Township of Colchester North, receive their water supply from the Union Water Treatment Plant.

Residents of Wards 3 and 4, including Harrow and Colchester, receive their water supply from the Harrow and Colchester South Water Treatment Plant.

Is my drinking water safe?

The Harrow and Colchester South Water Treatment Plant uses chlorination (or the addition of chlorine) for its disinfection process.

Since 2004, the Union Water Supply System has used chloramination, the process of adding chlorine and ammonia. The change in disinfection technique was implemented to counteract the adverse sampling results and boil water advisories that had occurred in previous years. Chloramines kill bacteria by bonding with and oxidizing the organic compounds of which bacteria are made.

Chloraminated water is safe for most normal uses, including drinking, bathing, cooking, laundry, and watering plants. Exceptions apply to kidney dialysis patients and aquarium and process equipment owners. For more information, contact the Union Water Supply System at 519-326-4447.

How do I access free tap water when I'm away from home?

Take your reusable bottle to any business or building in Essex that displays the Blue W sticker. A map of participating sites can be found on the Blue W website.

When can I water my lawn or garden?

To ensure that there's always enough water, even during the summer months, the Town of Essex has passed a by-law setting conditions for lawn and garden watering. View our Lawn and Garden Watering page to find out more.

How can we ensure our water source is protected?

To ensure that we have enough clean water for drinking and other uses, we need to protect our water sources. To learn more about water source protection, visit the Essex Region Source Protection Area website.

What happens to our wastewater?

What happens to water and other substances that are flushed down our drains and toilets? The City of Windsor and the Detroit River Canadian Cleanup Initiative have partnered to create this video to de-mystify the topic and educate viewers.

Water and sewer rates

Council approves new water and sewer rates each year. Find out more on our Water and Sewer Rates page.