You are here

Water Quality

   Status: Stable

Water is essential for our health and for our community to prosper. As water passes through our community, the impact can be determined by comparing upstream and downstream water quality.

The Strategic Plan has the long-term strategy to reduce the impact of storm-water run-off that is going into the river. 

Where are we now?

The South Saskatchewan River upstream and downstream of Saskatoon has consistently averaged Good water quality.

Data Table
Water Quality
  2005-07 2006-08 2007-09 2008-10 2009-11 2010-12 2011-13 2012-14 2013-15 2014-16 2015-17 2016-18
Water Quality Index Upstream of Saskatoon (near Outlook) 94.5 94.8 83.3 83.2 83.2 95.2 91.1 90.6 91.1 100 100 100
Water Quality Index Downstream of Saskatoon (west Clarkboro) 90.9 91 91.7 91.7 91.7 84.8 81.8 100 100 95.5 95.5 89.4

Water Quality Index Range Water Quality Description 
Excellent 95-100 Water quality is protected with a virtual absence of threat or impairment; conditions very close to desirable levels. These index values can only be obtained if all measurements are within objectives virtually all of the time.
Good 80-94 Water quality is protected with only a minor degree of threat or impairment; conditions rarely depart from desirable levels.
Fair 60-79 Water quality is usually protected, but occasionally threatened or impaired; conditions sometimes
depart from desirable levels.
Marginal  45-59 Water quality is frequently threatened or impaired; conditions often depart from desirable levels.
Poor 0-44 Water quality is almost always threatened or impaired; conditions usually depart from desirable levels.

Source: Government of Saskatchewan, Water Security Agency, Annual Report for 2015-16: State of Drinking Water Quality in Saskatchewan

What are we doing?

South Saskatchewan River Watershed Stewards Inc.

The City is an active member of the South Saskatchewan River Watershed Stewards Inc., a grassroots, community driven non-profit organization working within the watershed to implement programs and initiatives that will protect the water resource. 

Wetland Policy

The City has adopted development guidelines to integrate many benefits and functions of wetlands, and meet the strategic goal of reducing the quantity and improving the quality of storm water entering the river.  

Nutrient Recovery Facility   

The City of Saskatoon Wastewater Treatment Plant treats liquids coming from our household plumbing and from businesses across the community.  Many pollutants are removed through the sophisticated processes at the plant, including recovering Phosphorus and Magnesium to make a valuable fertilizer.

Soil Handling Strategy 

The City manages contaminated and clean soils from City construction projects, which helps prevent pollutants from reaching the river.

Stormwater Management Plan

The City is in the early stages of developing a plan to protect and monitor water quality and will include the integration of stormwater management with land use planning.

What can you do?

Don’t pour harmful household chemicals down the drain. Bring household hazardous waste to a City drop off event.  


Use a car wash rather than washing your vehicle at home. Car washes use less water and are designed to keep soapy runoff out of the storm water system that drains directly to our river, harming plant and animal life.


Did You Know?

Saskatoon’s tap water is safe and healthy with over 55,000 tests per year monitoring quality.