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Frequently Asked Questions

Where does our water come from?

The tri-community’s water supply comes from Turtle Creek, a surface water supply located 10 kilometres southwest of Moncton in Albert County. The watershed is 160 square kilometres in area and extends south of the Turtle Creek Reservoir  to the top of Caledonia Mountain. Water from the Turtle Creek Reservoir is pumped to the water treatment facility, treated and then delivered to over 124,050 people.

How is our water treated?

Water from the Turtle Creek Reservoir passes through the Moncton water treatment facility, where suspended matter, colour, bacteria, organic matter, iron, and manganese are removed and the water is adjusted chemically to be less corrosive to metallic pipes. There are actually six treatment processes in a chain that purify the water and adjust the water chemistry.

Why do we need to chlorinate our water?

Chlorine is added to our water to kill any harmful bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens that may be present in the source water. Residual chlorine protects against contaminants which may find their way into the distribution system via leaks, water breaks, cross connections, or through openings in storage reservoirs. Operators strive to keep chlorine at the optimal level.

Why is my water sometimes discoloured?

Water discolouration is usually caused by suspension of sediments due to high velocity scouring of water mains, caused by water main breaks, fire fighting or water main flushing.  It can also be caused by pipe corrosion. If you are having trouble and your neighbours are not, then your own pipes or water heater may need flushing.

Why does my drinking water sometimes look cloudy or white when it first comes out of the faucet and then clears up?

Cloudy water (white water) is caused by tiny air bubbles in the water similar to carbonation in soft drinks. After a few moments, the bubbles rise to the top and evaporate and the cloudiness disappears.

Why does my water sometimes have an aftertaste?

An aftertaste in your water may come from several sources. Natural organic matter in surface water reservoirs can sometimes produce a swampy or musty taste and odour during the summer/fall months.  Pipe corrosion can produce a metallic taste.  Putting water in a container and letting it sit in the fridge overnight will reduce or eliminate the aftertaste.

Is bottled water better than my tap water?

Moncton drinking water is clean, clear and safe, and exceeds the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality. Taste is a subjective matter. Choosing between tap and bottled water is a personal choice and is often related to how much one is willing to pay. Bottled water can cost 1000 times more than municipal tap water.

Do I need a home filtration device if I have City of Moncton tap water?
No. Filters may change the taste, smell, or appearance of tap water, but will not necessarily make it safer to drink. All home filtration devices require regular maintenance and if not conducted, water quality problems may occur.

Why do water pipes break?

Most water breaks are due to the poorer quality material used several decades ago. Weather (frozen soils), construction near pipes (vibration of machines), corrosive soils and excessive pressure can also contribute to water pipe breaks. In conjunction with the development of a long-term sustainable asset management strategy, the City is continually analysing, renewing and rehabilitating its water transmission and distribution system. 

Why do we flush pipes and fire hydrants?

Flushing of pipes and fire hydrants is required to maintain water quality. The scouring effect of high velocity water helps to clean the interior of the pipes, flushing the accumulated sediments out of the system, removing stale water, and restoring chlorine residual. The City has an annual flushing program, which is carried out in the spring when there is extra water available.

What charges are included in my water bill?

Your bill includes a base (fixed) and consumption (usage) rate.  The revenue generated from the sale of water to our customers is used to maintain, upgrade and replace water and sewer assets, including transmission and distribution mains, Turtle Creek Reservoir operations, treatment facilities, pumping stations, hydrants, manholes, customer service lines and meters.

Is there a risk that Moncton could run out of water?

The Turtle Creek watershed produces ample water for the tri-community at the present time, and into the future. However, increased consumption caused by a growing population and new businesses will require expansion of storage and treatment facilities. Water conservation could delay or reduce such expansions, enabling taxpayers to save money and causing less harm to the environment through reduced demand on our sewage treatment plant. To ensure the water supply needs of our fast-growing communities are met, the City of Moncton has approved a plan to expand the Turtle Creek Reservoir, and hopes to see the expansion completed within a few years. Visit our Water Conservation section to learn more about how you can conserve water.

What is the City’s Utilities Division doing to conserve water?

Water meters monitor water consumption in Moncton. The City employs a new technology called automated meter reading, which allows us to read meter results remotely. Paperless or electronic readings not only save paper, and therefore trees, but also mean that vehicles no longer need to travel to monitor the meters, reducing our carbon footprint.

The user-pay system, which charges users for the exact amount of water they have used, has reduced water consumption by about 15 per cent. A leak detection program was recently developed to locate and repair water pipe leaks.

The City also conducts an outreach program in primary schools, educating children on water-related issues and teaching them ways to conserve water.

What can we do to conserve water?

There are many ways to conserve our drinking water. You and your family can save a lot of water by following the three golden rules of wise water use: reduce, repair, and retrofit.
Reduce: Use less water wherever possible: Every drop counts!
Repair: Leaks are usually easy to locate and inexpensive to repair but can be very expensive if ignored.
Retrofit: Install water-efficient devices on existing fixtures and look for water-efficient appliances and devices when replacing or renovating your old fixtures and appliances.

Why use a public-private partnership to run our water treatment plan?

A public-private partnership is an agreement between a municipality and a private company whereby the company will finance, build, manage, or operate municipal services on behalf of the city.

Who do we call if we have concerns about the quality of our drinking water?

You can call the City of Moncton water quality technicians at 506-853-3576 or the water treatment facility at 506-386-0120 for any concerns related to your drinking water.

What is Corrosion Control?

The City initiated its Corrosion Control program on January 30, 1998 as part of the City of Moncton’s continuous effort to improve water quality for the three communities of Greater Moncton. The process addresses the corrosive nature of the water and is designed to improve the interior of water distribution pipes throughout the system.

F-35, a blend of food grade ortho and poly phosphates manufactured by Carus Chemicals, is added to the water supply. Over time, a microscopically thin coating develops on the interior of the pipes, preventing water from making contact with the pipes.
 
The Corrosion Control program is a safe and effective method for reducing corrosion inside water pipes, as well as for eliminating many problems associated with appearance, taste, odour and staining. It allows a distribution system to last longer and operate more efficiently, as there will be less need for hydrant flushing, and will provide more efficient valve, water main, and meter performances.