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Water Quality

Water Quality Index

   Status: Stable

Why is it important? 
Water is essential for our health and for our community to prosper. As water passes through our community, the impact can be determined through comparing upstream and downstream water quality.
The Strategic Plan  has the long term strategy to reduce the impact of storm water run-off that is going into the river. 

Where are we now?

The South Saskatchewan River upstream and downstream of Saskatoon has consistently averaged Good water quality.

Data Table
Water Quality
  2005-07 2006-08 2007-09 2008-10 2009-11 2010-12 2011-13 2012-14 2013-15
Water Quality Index Upstream of Saskatoon (near Outlook) 94.5 94.8 83.3 83.2 83.2 95.2 91.1 90.6 91.1
Water Quality Index Downstream of Saskatoon (west Clarkboro) 90.9 91 91.7 91.7 91.7 84.8 81.8 100 100

Water Quality Index Range Water Quality Description 
Excellent 95-100 Water quality is protected with a virtual absence of threat or impairment; conditions very close to desirable levels. These index values can only be obtained if all measurements are within objectives virtually all of the time.
Good 80-94 Water quality is protected with only a minor degree of threat or impairment; conditions rarely depart from desirable levels.
Fair 60-79 Water quality is usually protected, but occasionally threatened or impaired; conditions sometimes
depart from desirable levels.
Marginal  45-59 Water quality is frequently threatened or impaired; conditions often depart from desirable levels.
Poor 0-44 Water quality is almost always threatened or impaired; conditions usually depart from desirable levels.


Source: Government of Saskatchewan, Water Security Agency, Annual Report for 2015-16: State of Drinking Water Quality in Saskatchewan

What are we doing?

South Saskatchewan River Watershed Stewards Inc.

The City is an active member of the South Saskatchewan River Watershed Stewards Inc., a grassroots, community driven non-profit organization working within the watershed to implement programs and initiatives that will protect the water resource. 

Wetlands Policy  

The City has adopted development guidelines to integrate many benefits and functions of wetlands, and meet the strategic goal of reducing the quantity and improving the quality of storm water entering the river.  

Nutrient Recovery Facility   

The City of Saskatoon Wastewater Treatment Plant treats liquids coming from our household plumbing and from businesses across the community.  Many pollutants are removed through the sophisticated processes at the plant, including recovering Phosphorus and Magnesium to make a valuable fertilizer.

Soil Handling Strategy 

The City manages contaminated and clean soils from City construction projects, which helps prevent pollutants from reaching the river.

Stormwater Management Plan

The City is in the early stages of developing a plan to protect and monitor water quality and will include the integration of stormwater management with land use planning.

What can you do?

Don’t pour harmful household chemicals down the drain. Bring household hazardous waste to a City drop off event.  


Use a car wash rather than washing your vehicle at home. Car washes use less water and are designed to keep soapy runoff out of the storm water system that drains directly to our river, harming plant and animal life.


Did You Know?

Saskatoon’s tap water is safe and healthy with over 55,000 tests per year monitoring quality. 


Water Consumption

Water Consumption

   Status: Stable

Why is it important? 
Saskatoon benefits from an abundance of water from the South Saskatchewan River.  The treatment of water and waste water, however, use significant energy and chemical inputs, generating environmental and financial concerns as the city grows. 
Measuring the per capita water consumption is a success indicator in the Strategic Plan

Where are we now?

Per capita residential use improved when new conservation-based water rates were introduced in 2010 and have remained fairly stable over the past 6 years.

Data Table
Water Consumption
  2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Per capita residential water use (litres per capita per day) 290 283 230 243 230 233 215 223 208

Source: City of Saskatoon – Saskatoon Water 

What are we doing?

Be Water Wise 

The City is providing residents, businesses and institutions the education and tools to reduce their water consumption.

Smart Meters  

The City is installing an Advanced Metering Infrastructure system that will provide more accurate water use information to residents and help them find ways to conserve. 

Rain Barrel Rebate  

Residents can qualify for a $20 rebate on a newly purchased rain barrel to help save water and reduce their utility bills. 

What can you do?
Find out how to use less water on your yard and garden with tips from the Be Water Wise campaign and Healthy Yards
Consider upgrading your showerhead, toilets, and taps. New water efficient models have been engineered to deliver high performance at the same time as saving you money.
Check your home for leaks. Toilets are the most common cause of wasted water and high water bills.

Did You Know?

Replacing older model toilets with low-flow, low capacity models can reduce the amount 'flushed' away by up to 65%. 


Maximum Daily Demand for Water

Water Quality Index

   Status: Needs Improvement

Why is it important? 

Maximum Day Demand is the largest amount of water pumped by Saskatoon Water on a single day.  It has implications for how much water is drawn from the river, the amount of energy used to treat and deliver water to customers, and the future need to build a second Water Treatment Plant.  Hot and dry summers and population growth impact how much water needs to be treated and distributed.  Daily demand can increase by over 50% in the summer compared to the winter.

Where are we now?
Maximum day pumpage (the largest amount of water pumped by Saskatoon Water on a single day) has been trending upwards since 2010, but remains below levels seen in 2006 and 2007.

Data Table: Maximum Day Pumpage














Maximum Day Pumpage (Thousand Cubic Metres)












Source: City of Saskatoon – Saskatoon Water, 2016 Annual Report.

Maximum Day Pumpage

What are we doing?


Water and Wastewater Utility Rates

The City of Saskatoon has conservation-oriented rates to reduce peak water use.  For residents this means that higher water use results in paying higher rates.  For commercial customers a flat rate is applied based on water use, without a bulk water use discount.

Be Water Wise

The City’s water conservation education program helps educate residents on how to reduce outdoor water use in the summer, which can increase by as much as 50%.

Leading by Example Strategy

The City of Saskatoon is in the process of developing a strategy to reduce water use in city owned facilities and operations, which includes ways to reduce demands associated with hot, dry summer weather such as irrigation and recreation.



What can you do?
Use the most effective outdoor watering and gardening methods to grow a healthy yard.

Check your home for leaks.  Some of the most common source of leaks are toilets, faucets, irrigation systems, and pools.