Canada Doesn’t Have a National Water Quality Standard

In 2000, Canada had their worst E. coli outbreak ever. Walkerton, Ontario’s drinking water was contaminated with E. coli bacteria from unfiltered runoff. Seven people died and around 2,300 people were infected from the contamination. This epidemic could’ve been avoided if the country had stricter water standards.

Almost 20 years later, Canada still doesn’t have a national water quality standard, and lead levels in some provinces are alarmingly high due to the lack of regulations. The country changed its acceptable lead level from 10 ppb (parts per billion) to 5 ppb in an attempt to combat this lead problem, but most provinces don’t follow these standards.

According to The Star, Ontario is the only province with enforceable standards in line with federal guidelines, and it’s the only province that makes their lead levels public. There are numerous health issues linked to lead contamination. Canada could have another crisis like Walkerton if they don’t enforce a water quality standard soon.