In-Home Water Treatment Equipment & Testing of Tap Water
What You Need to Know About Door to Door Water Testing
- No one coming door-to-door is authorized to make health-based tests on your water.
- Door-to-door water tests do not tell you about water safety.
- Chemical trickery may turn your water brown or any other color, just because of natural mineral content.
- If you have any concerns about water safety, contact your municipality or your local health unit.
- If you believe you may have been misled by a door-to-door salesperson, learn more about your rights under the Consumer Protection Act.
For more detailed information about door-to-door water testing and water purification sales, here’s an excerpt from Ontario’s Chief Drinking Water Inspector’s 2008-09 Annual Report:
If a test of your tap water produces a brown substance is it safe to drink? Truth is, according to the Ontario Ministry of Consumer Services, such tests are absolutely meaningless in terms of assessing water safety. Unfortunately, some door-to-door salespersons have been causing unnecessary concern as a way of luring Ontarians, especially seniors, into buying costly reverse osmosis treatment units.
How do the tests work? First, an electric current is used to activate naturally occurring minerals and make the water turn brown. Then, the treatment removes the minerals from the tap water, making the brown colour disappear. The test does not and cannot identify contamination that could cause illness.
“In Ontario, only fully accredited laboratories licensed to perform drinking water testing – not home-based testers – are authorized to perform health-based tests on drinking water,” said John Stager, Ontario’s Chief Drinking Water Inspector. “Our stringent standards for these labs make the province’s municipal tap water among the best protected in the world. Ontarians can have confidence that their tap water is safe to drink.”
Stager further recommends: “If you have been approached by someone offering to test your drinking water, I advise you to immediately contact your municipality, or your local health unit. They can answer any questions you may have. If a salesperson claims that your drinking water is unsafe or claims to be testing the safety of your drinking water, please contact the Ministry of the Environment immediately and we will follow up.”
If fraud is suspected, you may contact the Brantford Police at (519) 756-0113 right away and provide them with the following:
- Description of the sales person and the company they are representing
- Make/model of the vehicle they are driving and licence plate number
- Date/time the incident occurred; and
- Any other information that may assist with the investigation.
To contact the Ministry of the Environment, call the Public Information Centre toll free at 1-800-565-4923, or 416-325-4000 in Toronto. If fraud is suspected, you may also contact the Ministry of Consumer Services at 1-800-889-9768 toll-free. For more information on your drinking water quality please contact the City’s Customer Services Department at (519) 756-1360 or visit the Water Quality F.A.Q's webpage.
Furthermore, please be advised that water supplied by the City of Brantford continues to meet all Provincial safety standards and no further purification treatment is required. For anyone calling or visiting your home unsolicited and have identified themselves as City Staff, please ask to see official City of Brantford identification before allowing them entry. City staffs perform their regular work ONLY between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm and will be carrying official, City of Brantford, photo ID.
What Are My Rights?
The goal of the Ministry of Consumer Services is to promote a fair, safe and informed marketplace – one in which your rights as a consumer are fully protected. You should know that important legislation protects these rights by setting out ground rules covering most consumer transactions.
Here is a summary list of your basic rights under the Consumer Protection Act, 2002 in regards to solicitations for in-home water treatment equipment:
Remedies must be timely
When you take advantage of your 10-day cooling off period and notify the company (preferably in writing) that you have changed your mind, the company has 15 days to return your money. The business has the right to take back the goods provided under the agreement by either picking them up or paying for the cost of sending them back.
Sales incentives may not be false, misleading or deceptive
A salesperson can offer you an incentive to help find other buyers, but the description of the incentive cannot be false, misleading or deceptive.
Anyone who violates the Consumer Protection Act, 2002 may be subject to prosecution
Individuals violating certain sections of the act are liable to a fine of up to $50,000 or imprisonment of up to two years less one day. A corporation can be fined up to $250,000.
The documents below require the Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click to download the Acrobat Reader plugin to your browser.
Clicking on any of the documents below will open a new browser window.