In response to the public health controversy surrounding the drinking water in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta this study assessed the safety of the treated town water based on the national standards outlined in the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality (GCDWQ). Chemical, physical, and microbiological parameters reported from 2006 to 2011 were compared to the 2010 or 2012 GCDWQ and four experts in water quality, treatment and public health were interviewed. Of the eighty-one chemical and physical parameters included in the 2010 and 2012 GCDWQ, and assessed in this study, aluminum, iron and temperature exceeded the guidelines twice, once and fifteen times respectively. Monthly turbidity averages from 2006 to 2011 also exceeded the 2012 guideline in sixty-one of seventy averages. Interviews with experts indicate the treated water is potable, however together these results raise questions around the quality of water data and the complexities of communicating these data to the public.