Water Utility

PUBLIC NOTICE - The following public notice was included with water bills mailed April 2023. This notice also includes updates that will occur effective April 1, 2024, and April 1, 2025:

Water Utility Information

Trenton is served by a central water system supplied by several deep wells. A central treatment plant for the removal of iron and manganese was placed in operation in 1988, and a reservoir was placed in service in 1989. (Update: a new reservioir is currently under construction & will be in service in 2024.)

The Town of Trenton's Water Utility supplies the Town of Trenton and the County of Pictou (Hillside) with drinking water. To maintain our approvals to withdrawal water and operate the Water Treatment Plant we must perform a variety of chemical tests issued by the Department of Environment and Labour. These tests include weekly bacteria tests from three different locations approved by the Department of Environment and Labour. Chemical analysis for each well is done yearly and treated water is tested daily. Treated water is sent away to an approved laboratory quarterly for certain tests. We also monitor the quantity of water being pumped from each well. These are all measures to protect the water supply and the quality of the water to be able to meet the Canadian Drinking Standards. It has been over ten years since a Boil Water Advisory has been issued for the Town of Trenton.

The employees and council are committed to supply a safe drinking water. To help maintain the water quality, business and homeowners' can make sure their oil tanks are up to industry standards and are not leaking. Oil from leaking tanks and vehicles can enter the ground and may make their way to a well. This could possibly make the well unusable. This also pertains to pesticides and household cleaning supplies, which should be disposed in accordance with the Department of Environment and Labour. With the help of all Trenton residents, Council and the Water Department we can ensure a healthy water supply for the Town of Trenton for many years to come.

Why do I (as a resident and taxpayer) need to pay for water that has been treated?

The Town of Trenton is committed to drinking water safety, and has been for years. The Town uses a multiple-barrier approach to water treatment and system management. The first barrier is "Keeping Clean Water Clean." This is achieved by protecting the sources from contamination.

The next main line of defense - "Making it Safe"- involves various steps to remove natural or man-made impurities. This is achieved by using adequate treatment methods to remove the impurities, including disinfection to inactivate micro-organisms, and effective operation of the treatment facility and distribution system. Chlorine is an effective disinfectant and is used to ensure confidence at the tap.

The final step in an effective multiple-barrier drinking water protection strategy is "Proving it's Safe." The Town continually monitors the water quality and takes swift, corrective action when deficiencies are identified.

What should residents know about a boil water advisory?

This is just a reminder of the procedures taken and how the customers will be notified of the boil water order. Every week the Water Department tests for the presence of bacteria from three different locations (Reservoir, Cornish's Variety and Youth Center). The samples are taken to the hospital and put in an incubator for twenty-four hours. They are then checked for the presence of bacteria. If bacteria is present the Department of Environment and Labour is notified by the hospital and they tell us to issue boil water advisory. The Town would then broadcast this advisory over the radio and also in the newspaper. We may also put notices in the mail.

The Water Utility would proceed to increase the amount of chlorine used for disinfection and flush some water mains to produce a higher chlorine residual in the distribution system. Samples would be taken each day to the hospital to be tested for bacteria. We need three days of bacteria free samples before the boil water advisory can be removed. The customers would be advised on the radio that the boil water advisory has ended.

During the boil water advisory, all water should be boiled for at least two minutes before using. This would include drinking, cooking, washing and for personal hygiene. In closing, the Water Department follows all regulations issued by the Department of Environment and Labour to ensure a safe drinking water supply for its customers.

Vacant Houses During Winter

The Public Works department would like to urge homeowners who have vacant homes during the winter months to request their water be turned off. Whether the house is on the real estate market or the homeowner is away for an extended period of time, certain precautions should be taken. Please ensure your water lines are drained, this will prevent the water lines from freezing and splitting causing water damage to your property. If you are planning to heat the home in your absence, your water lines should be safe from potential damage. Draining the water lines is the responsibility of the home owner; however, if you have any questions, please contact:

Robert MacLean
Water Utility Manager
Tel: 902-752-1450

Water Turn On / Shut Off Requests

Residents must fill out an "Application for Water" form to have water shut off / turned on. Forms can be picked up at Town Hall or found here: pdf APPLICATION FOR WATER FORM (91 KB) .

Submit forms to:

Trenton Town Hall
120 Main Street
Trenton, NS

Water Reconnection Fee - There is a $50.00 reconnection fee for water services that have been disconnected.

Annual Residential Lead & Copper Sampling

Trenton Water Utility is seeking your participation in our annual drinking water sampling program for lead and copper. Participation is free and will provide you with information on lead and copper levels in your tap water. In addition, it will allow us to assess our facility’s compliance with Health Canada’s new drinking water guidelines for lead and copper.

In 2019, Health Canada lowered their maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) for lead in drinking water from 0.010mg/L to 0.005mg/L and introduced a new MAC for copper of 2mg/L. They also changed the sample location for compliance. Samples for lead & copper must now be collected within homes & buildings where customers obtain water for drinking and cooking (e.g. kitchen or bathroom faucet).

Although lead & copper can occur naturally in the environment, their main source in drinking water is through leaching of plumbing materials such as pipes, solder, faucets, & fittings. While copper is an acceptable material for use in plumbing, lead is not. The National Plumbing Code (NPC) allowed lead material in pipes until 1975, lead in solder until 1986 & lead in fittings/faucets until 2013.

Sampling will involve collecting a 1L sample of water after a period of 6 hours where no water has been used. Once testing is complete, you will receive a letter with your test results & an explanation of what they mean. In addition, if your lead or copper levels exceed Health Canada’s guidelines, we will provide information on how to reduce your exposure. Please do not apply if you have already participated in the past few years.

If you would like to participate, please contact Town Hall or the Water Utility Manager (contacts below) before May 31, 2024.

Reporting Water Utility Issues

To report Water Utility issues during regular business hours, please contact:

Water Utility Manager
Robert MacLean
Monday to Friday (excluding holidays) - 8:00am to 4:00pm
Tel: 902-752-5311

Town Administration Office
Monday to Friday (excluding holidays) - 8:30am to 4:30pm
Tel: 902-752-5311

After Hours Emergencies

To report After Hours Public Works or Water Utility emergencies (including but not limited to emergencies related to wastewater and storm water systems, water line breaks, leaking water meters, etc.), please contact: 

Public Works Superintendent
Darryl Marcott
If you don’t reach the Superintendent immediately, please leave a message with your name, location, phone number & detailed issue.
Tel: 902-752-6907

After Hours Service Fee -  Please note, there is a $200.00 service fee for after hours water utility services. After hours includes: Monday to Friday - 4:00pm to 8:00am, all Weekends & Holidays.