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If your business or premises makes or provides drinking water that’s available to the public and it’s not from a municipal drinking water system, you may be an owner or operator of a small drinking water system (SDWS) and be regulated under Ontario Regulation 319/08.

Public Health Inspectors will conduct an on-site risk assessment of the small drinking water system and determine what owners and operators must do in order to provide safe drinking water. The requirements will be issued through a directive for each system.

Ontario Regulation 319/08 (Small Drinking Water Systems) sets out specific requirements that owners and operators of SDWSs must comply with. They include:

Notification of intention to supply water:

If you are a SDWS owner you’re required to notify our Health Units Medical Officer of Health in writing if you are supplying water to users of the system following construction, installation, alteration, or extension of a SDWS.

Designating an operator:

Owners of SDWSs are required to designate an operator who will have the primary responsibility for their system. The operator may be the owner. You may be required to take training for the operation of your system. This training should include an understanding of relevant safety and emergency procedures.

Treatment:

If a SDWS treats water, the owner and operator of the SDWS must ensure the water treatment equipment meets specific requirements that are detailed in Ontario Regulation 319/08. For systems that obtain water from a surface water source, the owner and operator must ensure appropriate treatment equipment is provided.

Sampling and Testing:

Owners and operators of SDWSs are required to have water from their systems tested at a laboratory licensed by the Ministry of the Environment. Written notice identifying the laboratory must be submitted to our Health Unit’s Medical Officer of Health. The minimum sampling requirement is for e. coli and total coliforms bacteria. The directive issued by a Health Unit’s public health inspector may specify other tests that must be performed. These records must be kept for five years and must be made available, if requested, by a member of the public, for a period of two years.

Response to adverse results:

Whenever there’s an adverse test result or observation, which indicates the drinking water may not be safe, the operator must notify our Health Units Medical Officer of Health immediately.

Response to adverse results:

Whenever there is an adverse test result or observation, which indicates that the drinking water may not be safe, the operator must notify our Health Unit’s Medical Officer of Health immediately.

Reporting Adverse Water Test Result (Small Drinking Water Systems)

As soon as you're aware of an adverse test result or if you see that the drinking water directed to users is not being properly disinfected, you must:

Make an immediate report to the Medical Officer of Health by speaking with someone in person or on the phone. If our Health Unit is closed, you can still report it to the on-call system at 519-739-4510.

You must deliver a written notice:

  • You must send a written notice to our Health Unit's Medical Officer of Health within 24 hours after the initial verbal report is given. Fill out The Notice of Adverse Test

Results and Issue Resolution form. Fax, email, or deliver the completed form to the Health Unit within 24 hours.

Prepare a notice of issue resolution:

When the issue is corrected you must deliver follow-up written notice to our Health Unit’s Medical Officer of Health, summarizing the actions taken and the results achieved. Fill out the section "Summary of Actions Taken and Results Achieved" on the Notice of Adverse Test Results and Issue Resolution form. Fax, email, or deliver the completed form to our Health Unit within one week after you resolve the problem.

You can fax the completed form to 519-776-6102 (attention to Health Inspection) or email it to us.