Water Treatment: Where does our drinking water come from?

MPL’s “Learning at Home” series is designed to support elementary level students' continued learning beyond the classroom.  The posts explore topics related to the Ontario Curriculum and are designed to spark curiosity, learning and fun!


Ever wonder where your tap water comes from? Before people can safely consume or use water, it has to be sourced, treated and moved to households. This page by the City of Markham, will help you understand how water is treated and becomes safe to drink.

The above video listed steps in the water treatment process, what are they?

Want to know more about the process in detail? Watch this video:

Curious about where water goes after it goes down the drain? Well, this page on the City of Markham website, will help you understand how water is treated and becomes safe enough to be returned to our lakes and rivers:

Here is a factsheet about where Markham’s drinking water is sourced: Protecting Markham’s Drinking Water Supply

Here is a video on how to protect these water sources:

In Markham, water is consistently treated and quality tested as you can read about here; however, in some other places this is not the case. Access to clean drinking water is not universal. There are parts of the world and even Canada, where they lack safe drinking water.

Water conservation (saving water) is important as it requires a lot of energy to treat it. There are things that you can do to reduce your water usage and be a water champion. For example, you can:

  • turn off the tap while you brush your teeth
  • turn off the shower while you shampoo your hair
  • leave the tap off while applying soap to yourself or dishes
  • take shorter showers

Write a list of ways that you will use less water each day and become a water champion.

For more water education, please register for the City of Markham’s Get to Know H2O – Virtual Water Education Program.

Want to visit a water treatment facility, watch below for a virtual tour of the RC Harris Water Treatment Plant, which is where Markham’s drinking water is treated:

Want to build your own water filter at home? Then, watch our instructional video here.

For more information on water treatment, pollution and conservation, you can go to tvoLearn or take a look at the reading list below:

World Water Day

All about water: resources on water treatment, the water cycle, water conservation and water pollution.




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