For us here in Quebec there are 3 main drinking water supply systems; the common or shared system such as municipal or private, surface water and groundwater. The information that follows is not exhaustive, but is complete enough to have you well informed, at least enough to give you the basic knowledge that will help you have a good comprehension of the matter at hand. Every one of these systems has advantages and disadvantages whereas some have higher risks of contamination.
1-Common or shared systems;
-Common or shared (subscribed or cooperative).
2-Surface water (river, lake, brook)
COMMON OR SHARED SYSTEMS
-The municipal water supply system is well known and is generally safe and without problems. I advise to have the water analysed at least annually by a laboratory accredited by the environment ministry. The cost of test is not prohibitive and this will permit you to monitor the quality of your water supply.
-Private water systems, of which there are 2 types, subscribed where the users pay a fixed amount and they are generally for profit. As for the cooperative the cost is shared amongst the users.
In both of these cases it will be very important to carefully read any contract or agreement with the water suppliers before buying a property. You will need to know the costs, also asking the other users about the quality of services. Knowing about the quantity (water pressure) is a must, because if you find yourself at the end of the network you may incur additional cost in order to bring the pressure back up to standards.
—Surface water; river, lake and brook water is not considered a safe supply of drinking water. Currently there is no government regulations of any kind pertaining to these water supplies, but this does not stop many people from using it for general purposes such as; for septic systems, dishwashing, showers or baths but never consumed, for that purpose people use bottled water. These systems are generally found in 3 season cabins that are not lived in year round.
The supply of this water requires a pumping system and permanent pipe installation, the possible problems are; the quality, the quantity and the failure of the pumping system either mechanically or electrically.