An assessment by the Residential and Civil Construction Alliance of Ontario says millions of cubic metres of water, meant for drinking, are being dumped into the ground every year due to leaky and broken pipes and the problem is especially bad in Smiths Falls.
The assessment says, typically, municipalities are losing around 10 per cent of their drinking water, but the rate can go as high as 40 per cent.
The put it into perspective, the group says the leakage rate for Toronto is estimated at 103-million litres per day. That amount would fill more than 15,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools every year.
The analysis for Smiths Falls gets even worse, as it estimates that between 2003 and 2019, 41 to 67 per cent of the town's water was being lost.
The study calls on governments to provide funding to fix and replace these critical infrastructure assets, since Ontarians are the ones footing the bill.