NEWMARKET, ONT. -- Northern York Region got a financial boost from the federal government Monday to improve its drinking water.

"The government of Canada is investing $18.1 million in upgrading the water supply treatment and storage of drinking water," said Tony Van Bynen, Newmarket-Aurora MP.

The upgrades and changes will be made to facilities in Aurora, Newmarket, East Gwillimbury, Stouffville and King.

York Region chair and CEO Wayne Emerson said the investment would "help protect the environment, reduce service interruptions and safeguard the health of more than 237,000 residents in the communities."

The massive project will cost roughly $45 million, with Ottawa's $18.1 million investment, York Region is responsible for the rest.

Officials said the work would begin immediately and take the better part of a decade to complete.