Skip to main content Skip to footer

Environmental Information

We actively work to support sustainable and responsible environmental practices in the city. Part of our work involves ongoing monitoring and management of environmental issues. 

Spills & environmental incidents

Spills and environmental incidents are accidents that release harmful substances into nature. These accidents sometimes involve materials like oil or chemicals and can impact local rivers and streams, storm drains or directly to the air or ground. 

Proper management and reporting are crucial for cleanup and damage control. 

Spills can happen when we are moving, storing, or handling materials like oil, fuel, grease, paint, or chemicals. It could also be materials like construction debris, dust, smoke, gases, sewage or soil. 

A “housekeeping” spill is a small spill on private property that is cleaned up without affecting city streets or neighbouring properties. Usually, housekeeping spills do not need to be reported. Larger spills into the natural environment, or with the potential for off-site impacts, should be reported to the Ontario Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060 and to the City. 

Illegal dumping within the city has the potential to harm the environment and create unnecessary expenses. 

Unusual events that are not considered spills but still grab attention can happen in nature. These events might involve things like algae blooms, tree pollen, or fish die-offs. Usually, they have a natural cause, but occasionally, they may be a sign of a larger environmental problem.  

If you notice an unusual event, you can help environmental agencies by reporting it to our City staff for further evaluation or to other government agencies.

Air quality

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment maintains a network of air quality monitoring stations across the province, offering daily monitoring, smog alerts, and historical data. 

View the current air quality index for Kingston

Water quality

We primarily draw our drinking water from Lake Ontario. To ensure the safety and abundance of our water, we must actively understand pollution and take steps to protect it. 

Utilities Kingston manages our drinking water system and processes. Check out the Utilities Kingston Drinking Water Financial Plan 2024 – 2029 for more information.

Learn more about the Cataraqui Source Plan and the Water Act to see what you can do to keep our local groundwater supplies safe.

Ever thought about where your toilet water and rainwater go? Preventing floods and pollution in Kingston's homes and streets requires advanced engineering to manage and clean millions of litres of wastewater daily. 

Learn more about what wastewater is and where it goes.

Learn about what we are doing to reduce overflow risks and why overflows happen. Monitor the risks in your area with an interactive map.

Learn more about the KFL&A (Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington) Public Health water quality monitoring results for municipally-owned and operated public beaches.

Runoff is water from rain or snowmelt that can't be absorbed. Usually, runoff enters the City's storm water system and eventually flows into local waterways. Storm water can pick up debris like cigarette butts, oils, animal waste and other contaminants that can harm local water quality.  You can do your part to protect our storm water quality. Don't litter, always pick up after your pet and never dump paint, fuel or any other substance down a storm drain or onto the street. You can encourage storm water infiltration by replacing paved or concrete surfaces with lawn, garden or other permeable materials.

State of the environment reports

We recently began publishing annual State of the Environment Reports. These reports contain lots of great information about the condition of our local environment. These reports can be found on our Kingston Environmental Advisory Forum page.

The City of Kingston acknowledges that we are on the traditional homeland of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee and the Huron-Wendat, and thanks these nations for their care and stewardship over this shared land.

Today, the City is committed to working with Indigenous peoples and all residents to pursue a united path of reconciliation.

Learn more about the City's reconciliation initiatives.

This website uses cookies to enhance usability and provide you with a more personal experience. By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies. Privacy statement.