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revised February 17, 2023

Health Protection

Water

Drinking Water

Sodium in drinking water

Sodium is an essential nutrient that is found in table salt, many foods, and drinking water.

Our bodies need a small amount of sodium to function properly but too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure (hypertension), a major risk factor for stroke, heart disease and kidney disease. Sodium intake has also been linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis, stomach cancer and severity of asthma.

 

Recommended sodium levels in your diet

Sodium levels in drinking water

Sodium in drinking water contributes only a small fraction of the amount of sodium consumed in a normal diet. Sodium in drinking water is not a health concern for most people. However, when sodium is in excess of 20 mg/L in drinking water, it may be significant to those with hypertension, cardiovascular diseases and on a sodium-restricted diet.

Peelís Medical Officer of Health is notified when the sodium levels in the public water supply (e.g., tap water) exceeds 20 mg/L or is significantly different from typical levels in the municipal water system so that local doctors can consult with any of their patients on sodium-restricted diets.

Sodium levels in the Region of Peel municipal drinking water systems can be found at Drinking water testing and services – Region of Peel or you can contact Region of Peel-Public Works Customer Service at 905-791-7800 extension 4865.

If you rely on private wells, you can have your drinking water tested for sodium at a private laboratory: List of Licensed Laboratories | Ontario.ca.

Overuse of road salt

Sodium can get into the drinking water supply if road salt is overused. Here are some tips for how to reduce your use of road salt. Landowners and farmers can also partner with Peel Region to install snow fences, resulting in less salt being used on roads.

Water softeners

A water softener is a filtration system that removes calcium and magnesium and replaces it with either sodium or potassium.

Water softeners using sodium will increase the sodium level in your drinking water and will contribute to your daily sodium intake. It is recommended to use a separate unsoftened water supply for cooking and drinking purposes. If this is not possible, an alternative supply of drinking water (e.g., bottled water) with a lower sodium level should be used.

Removing sodium from drinking water

Boiling water and activated carbon (charcoal) filters such as Brita type filters will not remove sodium from your water.

Water treatment devices, such as reverse osmosis units, may be installed at the kitchen tap to help remove sodium. Treatment devices should meet National Sanitation Foundation International (NSF/ANSI) standards.

Consult with a licensed professional for advice on appropriate devices and maintenance requirements to remove sodium from your drinking water supply.


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Revised: February 17, 2023

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