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Small Drinking Water Systems

Water coming out of a tap

If your business or premise provides drinking water to the public and you do not get your drinking water from a municipal drinking water system, you may be the owner or operator of a small drinking water system. The owners/operators of these systems need to follow the requirements of the Small Drinking Water System regulations — Ontario Regulation 319/08 — to ensure that this water is safe to drink.

A small drinking water system is a:

  • food service establishment
  • place that operates primarily for the purpose of providing overnight accommodation to the travelling public
  • trailer park or campground
  • marina
  • church, mosque, synagogue, temple or other place of worship
  • recreational camp
  • recreational or athletic facility
  • place, other than a private residence, where a service club or fraternal organization meets on a regular basis
  • place where the general public has access to a washroom, drinking water fountain or shower.

Short-term rentals will be assessed by the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit using the definition of a “Public Facility” under Ontario Regulation 319/08: Small Drinking Water Systems. Those that meet the definition of “a place that operates primarily for the purpose of providing overnight accommodation to the travelling public,” will be subject to a risk assessment by a Public Health Inspector.

Links to Short –Term Rental information by Municipality:

The Regulations sets out specific requirements that owners and operators must comply with, they include:

  • Notify the Medical Officer of Health (MOH) in writing of your intention to operate a small drinking water system.
  • Sampling and testing – microbiological sampling and testing must be taken at the frequency and location indicated in your Directive. All water samples must be submitted to a private laboratory licensed by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservations and Parks. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in charges being laid for issues of non-compliance.

Logbook Requirements:

  • Must be available upon request
  • Copy of the regulation
  • Copy of the most recent directive
  • Maintenance activities (change of filters, bulbs, chlorine pump maintenance)
  • Copies of water sample results
  • Ultraviolet Light checks
  • Chlorine readings (if applicable)
  • Adverse observations

Public Health Inspectors are mandated to conduct site-specific risk assessments on all small drinking water systems in the province. Based on the risk assessment, a risk rating is determined which defines what owners and operators must do to keep the drinking water safe for the public. Public Health Inspectors will then issue a directive for the drinking water system which includes requirements such as Bacterial and chemical testing frequency, sampling instructions, sampling locations, treatment required, record keeping, and operator training required.

Small Drinking Water System Inspection Disclosure

HKPR's CheckINspection portal takes you to a list of all inspected drinking water systems across the HKPR District Health Unit area. It shows details of the last inspection and pass or fail results.

Operator Training

The Walkerton Clean Water Centre (WCWC) is an agency of the Government of Ontario to ensure clean and safe drinking water for the province. They provide education and support to drinking water system owners, operators, operating authorities, First Nations communities and the public. Learn more about the Basics and Advanced Course and view upcoming local courses below.

Advanced for Small Drinking Water Systems (O.REG. 319/08) LINDSAY

June 12, 2024  |  REGISTER HERE

Health Protection Division

Chat with someone from our Environmental Health Department for more information.

Phone: 1-866-888-4577 x 5006

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