Promoting municipal water

November 16, 2009

Healthy Environment

Guelph has some of the best water in the country.  We test it approximately 18,000 times a year for quality.

In October of last year, City staff initiated a Public Promotion Action Plan to:

  • promote the overall quality of City drinking water
  • promote the consumption of City drinking water in the City at large
  • increase accessibility to City drinking water in City facilities
  • lead by example in City owned and administered facilities
  • increase accessibility to City drinking water at community events
  • reduce the amount of waste related to the provision of bottled water

In addition to promoting the quality of municipal drinking water we are making it easier to use.  Staff recently reported on their work and here are some highlights from that report:

Chilled water fountains have been installed in City facilities all with a spigot filling system for staff and facility visitors to fill personal water containers.  The new City Hall was our first bottled water free facility.  Most City facilities should meet this milestone during 2009/2010.

Many community events are seeking to reduce the amount of excess waste generated through bottled water use.  Since 2007, the City provided municipal water (via water tanker trucks) to the annual Hillside Festival. 

We have since partnered with the Region of Waterloo to share study costs to find a common municipal water servicing and management approach to increase municipal water accessibility at public events.  In 2009 we had a pilot  program with:

  • Guelph Multicultural Festival
  • Guelph Canada Day Celebration
  • Guelph Faery Festival
  • Guelph Hillside Festival (like they needed water this year!)
  • Guelph Sunlight Music Festival
  • City Hall Grand Opening
  • University of Guelph Homecoming Celebration
  • Mother/Daughter Walk for Heart and Stroke


About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

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2 Comments on “Promoting municipal water”

  1. Dave Sills Says:


    Thanks for this update. It’s great to see recognition of the importance of public water at City Hall.

    One concern is the Sleeman Centre. I have noticed that bottled water is still being sold at this City-owned facility. I think the same is also true for the River Run Centre. Can you let us know when these facilities will become bottled water-free as well?


  2. ksulliva Says:

    Hi Dave,

    There are some unique challenges to making the Sleeman Centre and River Run Centre bottled water free. Water fountains have been installed at both facilities, and staff continue to look at ways to potentially make these locations bottled water free.


    Kate Sullivan
    Mayor’s Office

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