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S E C T I O N   H O M E
Frequently Asked Questions
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Small Drinking Water Systems

Safe Drinking Water is Everybody's Business

Owners and operators of small drinking water systems need to be aware of changes coming to how their drinking water is regulated by the Ontario government. If your business makes drinking water available to the public and you do not get your drinking water from a municipal drinking water system, you may be an owner or operator of a “small drinking water system.”

Small drinking water systems can include restaurants, seasonal trailer parks, summer camps, community centres, libraries, gas stations, motels, churches and many other public facilities. If you are not sure whether your system is affected, contact your local public health unit.

Responsibility for small drinking water systems was transferred on December 1, 2008 to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care from the Ministry of the Environment. At that time, new Small Drinking Water Systems regulations under the Health Protection and Promotion Act came into effect: O. Reg. 318/08 (Transitional – Small Drinking Water Systems) and O. Reg. 319/08 (Small Drinking Water Systems). Under this new system, small drinking water systems will be inspected by local boards of health.

Public health inspectors will conduct a site-specific risk assessment on every small drinking water system in the province. Based on the assessment, they will determine what owners and operators must do to keep their drinking water safe and will issue a directive for the system, which may include requirements such as water testing, treatment and training. This reflects a customized approach for each small drinking water system depending on the level of risk, rather than “one-size-fits-all” requirements.

Learn more about what you can do to keep your water safe

For more information
Call the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s Safe Drinking Water Coordinator at 416-326-3115   
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