When I meet new people who are considering a move to Collingwood and area, I like to give them what I call my "cook's tour." What people see driving through or visiting on vacation merely scratches the surface and never meets the core of what a town is really all about.
On just such a tour last week, I drove my clients past our water treatment plant. They thought this was a rather odd thing for me to show off and then, when I told them that Collingwood had one of the safest and best water supplies in the world, I saw them snicker to one another. I'm sure they were thinking that I was in full sales pitch mode. But then I explained.
Collingwood's Water Works was established way back in 1889 and later became a public utility in 1912. With our water supply coming from Georgian Bay, our old water treatment plants was basically comprised of a settlement process and chemical disinfection prior to pumping in to our water distribution system. That system worked for a very long time and likely because Georgian Bay is known to contain some of the purest water in the world.
Nonetheless, water borne parasites are endemic and in 1996, the town was gripped by an illness called cryptosporidium believed to potentially originate in water. The leaders of the day didn't want to take any chances and so a decision was made to build a state-of-the-art water treatment facility which was completed in 1998.
This plant uses ZeeWeed® membrane technology from a company called Zenon which utilizes ultra filtration methods to process the raw water without the use of chemicals for coagulation. Today, our Water Treatment Plant is the International training centre for Zenon Membrane water treatment facilities. To date, over 1500 people from cities around the world have visited our plant to look at the ZeeWeed® technology.
In the most recent Ministry of Environment inspection that examined every aspect o the water filtration plant and system, Collingwood scored a perfect 100 per cent. While I would hope every system in Ontario would need to meet a 100% score, the reality is that only about 200 of 710 water systems in Ontario receive a perfect score. That's only about 28% and that scares the heck out of me!
So, now you might understand why I like to show off our water treatment plant. And yes, we do have one of the best and safest water supplies in the world. Yet another reason to move to Collingwood!