Drinking Water Quality Testing

Memorial University is committed to ensuring that every person on campus has access to safe drinking water. In 2016, the University initiated a sampling and testing program to test drinking water quality.

University Health and Safety committee (UHSC) established a Drinking Water sub-committee to systematically assess the key parameters of drinking water quality in all buildings at Memorial and ensure that the intake of drinking water falls within the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality, published by Health Canada.

Memorial Drinking Water sub-committee developed a Terms of Reference and Drinking Water Quality guide that have been approved by the UHSC.

During the period of October – December 2016, potable drinking water was collected from eighty two (82) unfiltered sites in fifty three (53) buildings on campus. Samples were analyzed by an external accredited laboratory in St. John’s and results were compared to the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality, published by Health Canada. 

Each of the 82 site locations were sampled at:

  • first-draw - collection after the water has been stagnated for 6-24 hours; and
  • 5 minute sample - collection after the water has been flowing for a period of five minutes.

A first-draw sample shows the highest possible concentrations of metals that are commonly found in stagnant drinking water. It is not representative of average human consumption, but it provides important information about the components of the plumbing system and helps to determine the need for additional sampling and remedial action.

The most recent water quality results indicate that 90% of first draw samples met the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality and that this percentage increased to 94% after the location was flushed for 5-minutes. Where exceedances were observed immediate action was taken to remove the fixture from service, inform the building owner as well as the Workplace Health and Safety Committee of the elevated level and inform building occupants of alternate drinking water locations within the workplace. The areas where elevated results were detected are localized and mostly related to individual fixtures at the site.

Members of the University community are reminded that the best sources of drinking water are the chilled and filtered stations located throughout campus. Washrooms are not a recommended source of potable drinking water.

For more information on drinking water quality testing please contact Facilities Management at 864-7600 (Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4:30 pm).

Latest Sample Results:

Drinking water Quality Testing Results - 2016

Drinking water Quality Testing Results - 2015

Safety Moment  - Drinking Water Quality






Environmental Health & Safety

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000