Commissioner's Directive

Drinking Water Quality Management (DWQM)

PRIMARY GOAL

To provide safe drinking water to staff, inmates and visitors.

To provide operational guidelines to Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) staff whose responsibilities involve, either directly or indirectly, water management and ensuring the safety of drinking water at federal institutions.

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVES

Highlight the responsibilities of institutional staff involved in the delivery of potable water and establish a link between the federal requirements on drinking water and CSC practices.

Formalize practices regarding the management of drinking water, such that procedures and responsibilities are clearly established, consistently implemented and compliant with federal and/or provincial requirements.

Standardize a plan for the provision and monitoring of potable water in institutions, applying the multi-barrier approach as outlined in the most current version of Health Canada’s Guidance for Providing Safe Drinking Water in Areas of Federal Jurisdiction, guidance document. The plan will make it possible to ensure that:

  • institutional water supplies are maintained in a safe manner;
  • staff are trained and aware of current water quality standards; and
  • staff are familiar with and are qualified/trained to implement required actions in the case of emergencies.

AUTHORITIES

Commissioner's Directive 318 - Environmental Programs, Correctional Service of Canada.

Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality, March 2006, Health Canada.

Guidelines for Water Efficiency in Publicly Funded Buildings and Properties, Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) Water Use Efficiency Task Group, July 1995.

Guidance for Providing Safe Drinking Water in Areas of Federal Jurisdiction, Health Canada, Interdepartmental Working Group on Drinking Water (most recent version).

Canada Labour Code Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, SOR/94-263, s. 2, Part IX - Sanitation. S. 9.24 - 9.29.


SECTION 1 - RESPONSIBILITIES AND SCOPE

RESPONSIBILITIES

Note: The successful management of the drinking water supply from source to tap requires proper commitment and cooperation, training, management oversight and supervision of staff involved in water production (treatment) and delivery (distribution) at CSC's institutions.

The Institutional Head at all operational units, although accountable for the overall management framework for water production and/or distribution will assign implementation responsibility to the Assistant Warden, Management Services.

Specific responsibilities will be assigned as follows:

Assistant Warden, Management Services (AWMS)

The AWMS must ensure the implementation of the management framework for drinking water quality. This includes but is not necessarily limited to:

  • establishing and ensuring compliance with the Drinking Water Management Plan for the institution (which includes emergency planning, training and preventative management for the protection of drinking water)
  • reviewing the water sampling lab results (reports on a quarterly basis);
  • in the event of water test results that are out of tolerance or any other situation which may compromise drinking water safety, taking immediate action to invoke the institutions emergency/contingency procedures including communications requirements, and immediately notifying Regional and National Headquarters (these procedures which are further described in Annex C, will be included in the institution's Drinking Water Management Plan); and
  • ensuring that staff who are assigned responsibilities related to water production and/or delivery have received appropriate instruction/training to allow them to carry out their duties effectively.
Chief of Works or Chief of Plant Maintenance (CPM)

The CPM is responsible for the day-to-day management of the water treatment plant and the delivery systems. This includes, but is not necessarily limited to:

  • implementing the Drinking Water Quality Monitoring program for the institution (this program is an integral part of the institution's Drinking Water Management Plan, and a sample format is outlined in Annex B);
  • tasking appropriately trained staff to collect and test water samples in accordance with the prescribed requirements in Annex A;
  • establishing the sampling locations for the various types of tests;
  • reviewing and verifying the results of water tests on a weekly basis;
  • ensuring that samples requiring off-site testing are sent to a lab that has been accredited by the Canadian Association for Environmental and Analytical Laboratories;
  • ensuring that testing records and water related documentation are properly filed and maintained;
  • establishing and taking care of the maintenance management system for the water treatment plant if applicable; and
  • coordinate water quality management activities such as sample collection, data analysis and training with the on-site Environmental Officer or Environmental Safety Officer.
Water Treatment Plant Operator (WTPO) (institutions producing their own water)

The WTPO is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the water treatment plant. Detailed site-specific tasks for the WTPO(s) will be identified in the institutional Drinking Water Management Plan and include but are not necessarily limited to:

  • collecting and testing water samples in accordance with the prescribed requirements in the institutional Drinking Water Management Plan;
  • carrying out the activities necessary for the proper operation of the water treatment plant; and
  • reviewing and verifying the results of water tests on a weekly basis and reporting any issues to the CPM.
Staff responsible for drinking water quality (institutions receiving municipal water)

These staff are responsible for the daily maintenance of the water distribution system which includes but is not limited to:

  • collecting water samples in accordance with prescribed requirements in the institutional Drinking Water Management Plan; and/or
  • reviewing and verifying the results of water tests on a weekly basis and reporting any issues to the CPM; and/or
  • performing all activities necessary for the proper functioning of the drinking water distribution network.

SCOPE

All CSC institutions are subject to these Environmental Guidelines, whether they are supplied by municipal water or produce their own water.

SECTION 2 - GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

  1. Institutional staff responsible for water treatment and/or distribution must meet all regulatory requirements and must be able to demonstrate due diligence in carrying out their duties. Demonstrating due diligence means taking every precaution reasonable to avoid harm; having mechanisms in place to deal with non compliance and holding employees accountable for decisions and actions. The following programs are examples of what may constitute a proper exercise of due diligence:
    • Employer leadership / employee input
    • Hazard identification
    • Training
    • Monitoring
    • Enforcement
    • Documentation and communication.
  2. All institutions, whether municipally supplied or producing their own water, must apply the elements of a multi-barrier approach to help ensure the safety of their drinking water program. Elements of the approach should include but are not limited to:
    • conducting a sanitary survey of the source area and distribution system to identify and prioritize risks to health;
    • performing routine maintenance and inspection of the distribution system;
    • developing a watershed or well-head protection plan;
    • providing, for treated water, continuous optimal treatment; and
    • ensuring operator training and certification is up to date and corresponds to the complexity of the water distribution and/or treatment system on site.
  3. The latest edition of the GCDWQ 1, as published by Health Canada, will be used as the definitive reference for ensuring drinking water quality. If the provincial requirements at any given location exceed those identified in the latest edition of the GCDWQ, institutions should meet provincial requirements.
  4. Some of the key requirements that are identified in the latest edition of the GCDWQ, which CSC must adhere to, are listed in the following tables. The GCDWQ should be consulted for the complete list of requirements.
Sampling Requirements for Institutions with Water Treatment Facilities
Parameter Minimum Sampling Frequency Maximum Acceptable Concentration
(MAC)
Notes
Disinfection Residual (Chlorine or Chloramines) Continuous or daily at treatment plant, and weekly in distribution system Minimum of 1.0 mg/L
total chlorine for chloraminated systems
OR
min of 0.2 mg/L free chlorine for chlorinated systems
MAC levels refer to levels measured at the distribution extremities.If routine checks at a given point show measurable residuals, any sudden absence of a residual at that point should alert the water supplier to the possibility that a potential problem has arisen which needs prompt investigation.A microbiological sample (TC, E. coli) should be taken concurrent with any tests indicating insufficient residual chlorine to verify whether or not the safety of the water supply was compromised.
Total Coliforms (TC) Weekly,
and concurrent with chlorine/ chloramine tests
Zero total
Coliform per 100 mL
Total coliform samples will be collected from the source water supply, after treatment and at several locations throughout the distribution system. If the water supply is obtained from more than one source, the location of the sampling points in the system must ensure that the water from each source is periodically sampled.
Escherichia coli (E. coli) Weekly,
and concurrent with chlorine/ chloramine tests
Zero E. coli per 100 mL E. coli samples must be collected from the source water supply, after treatment and at several locations throughout the distribution system. If the water supply is obtained from more than one source, the location of the sampling points in the system must ensure that the water from each source is periodically sampled.
Heterotrophic Plate Count (HPC) Weekly There is no MAC specified for HPC bacteria Steady increases in HPC over time indicate a gradual decline in raw water quality or in the condition of the system.
Sudden significant increases in HPC values above normal levels suggest changes in raw water quality, treatment, or disinfection, as well as regrowth or poor design and/or maintenance in the distribution system.
Trihalomethanes (THM) Quarterly 0.100 mg/L This requirement applies to institutions that use chlorine or chloramines at any point in the water treatment process.
Lead Semi-annually 0.010 mg/L One sample should be collected between December 15 and April 15 and another between June 15 and October 15.
Chemical and Physical (as listed in Annex A) Annually Per GCDWQ Guidelines Any value above the GCDWQ will be investigated and additional samples taken as required. Results should be compared with previous year’s test results to monitor for unexpected changes which may be indicative of conditions affecting water quality and/or safety.
Turbidity Continuous monitoring or daily visual checks Treated water target = 0.1 NTU (Nephelometric Turbidity Unit) Actual levels of turbidity achieved will vary with the technology used.
  • For chemically assisted filtration, turbidity shall be less than or equal to 0.3 NTU in at least 95% of the measurements, and shall not exceed 1.0 NTU at any time.
  • For slow sand earth filtration, turbidity shall be less than or equal to 1.0 NTU in at least 95% of the measurements, and shall not exceed 3.0 NTU at any time.
  • For membrane filtration, turbidity shall be less than or equal to 0.1 NTU in at least 99% of the measurements and shall not exceed 0.3 NTU at any time
Sampling to occur at each filter (post filtration) of the treatment plant.Daily visual analysis required to verify turbidity, as unexpected changes in turbidity levels may indicate compromised water safety.


Sampling Requirements for Municipally Supplied Institutions
Parameter Sampling Frequency Maximum Acceptable Concentration (MAC) Notes
Disinfection Residual (Chlorine or Chloramines) Weekly,
at the same time E. coli and TC samples
are collected
Minimum of 1.0 mg/L
total chlorine for chloraminated systems
OR
min of 0.2 mg/L free chlorine for chlorinated systems
MAC levels refer to levels measured at the distribution extremities.
Any sudden absence of a residual at a point in the distribution system should alert the water staff to the possibility that a potential problem has arisen which needs prompt investigation.
Test location should be in the distribution system, after disinfection.
A microbiological sample (TC, E. coli) should be taken concurrent with any tests indicating insufficient residual chlorine to verify whether or not the safety of the water supply was compromised.
Total Coliforms
(TC)
Weekly,
and concurrent with chlorine tests
Zero total Coliform per 100 mL The presence of total coliform bacteria in water in the distribution system (but not in water leaving the treatment plant) indicates that the distribution system may be vulnerable to contamination or may simply be experiencing bacterial regrowth. The source of the problem should be determined and corrective actions taken.The majority of samples should be taken in potential problem areas: low-pressure zones, reservoirs, dead ends, areas at the periphery of the system farthest from the treatment plant, and areas with a poor previous record.
Escherichia coli
(E. coli)
Weekly,
and concurrent with chlorine tests
Zero E. coli per 100 mL The majority of samples should be taken in potential problem areas: low-pressure zones, reservoirs, dead ends, areas at the periphery of the system farthest from the treatment plant, and areas with a poor previous record.
Heterotrophic Plate Count (HPC) Monthly There is no MAC specified for HPC bacteria Steady increases in HPC over time indicate a gradual decline in raw water quality or in the condition of the system.
Sudden significant increases in HPC values above normal levels suggest changes in raw water quality, treatment, or disinfection, as well as regrowth or poor design and/or maintenance in the distribution system.
*Trihalomethane (THM) *Quarterly 0.100 mg/L *This sampling requirement only applies to institutions adding chlorine-containing disinfectant (such as chlorine or chloramines) on site for additional disinfection.
Lead Semi-annually 0.010 mg/L One sample should be collected between December 15 and April 15 and another between June 15 and October 15.
Chemical and Physical
(as listed in
Annex A)
Annually Per GCDWQ Guidelines Any value above the GCDWQ should be investigated and additional samples taken as required. Results should be compared with previous year’s test results to monitor for unexpected changes, which may be indicative of conditions affecting water quality and/or safety.

MONITORING

  1. The AWMS will ensure that the drinking water is monitored on a number of levels:
    • Institutions receiving municipal water must collect and test a sample as close to the point of entry of the incoming municipal water as possible, at locations throughout the distribution system and in particular from the distribution system extremities. A comparison of these results with drinking water results from the municipality will be conducted on a yearly basis and any discrepancies investigated. Any problems with the external supply must be addressed with the municipal water provider.
    • Institutions producing their own water must collect water samples from the raw water source (such as surface water and/or wells); at a point immediately downstream of the treatment plant, and at several locations throughout the distribution system.
    • Institutions producing their own water will ensure electronic monitoring devices are installed to monitor pressure, the disinfection system and critical reservoir water levels and transmit alarms to a 24-hour manned post.
  2. Water quality results (for each parameter) must be reviewed to monitor for changes over time. Any changes in water quality must be investigated and appropriate actions initiated, depending on the relevance and importance of these changes.
  3. On a yearly basis, the location and distribution of sample sites should be evaluated to ensure the frequency of sampling, the number and location of sampling sites provide thorough coverage of the plant and/or distribution system. Specific attention should be given to buildings at the end of the distribution system or with low water usage.
  4. Up-to-date drawings of the water treatment plant and/or distribution system must be kept on site and readily available to all staff responsible for drinking water.

SECTION 3 - SPECIFIC REQUIREMENTS

SANITARY SURVEY

  1. Every five years, a sanitary survey will be completed for the institution. It will be conducted by competent expert(s) in the appropriate field or a third party qualified consultants commissioned by CSC staff. For institutions treating water on site, the review will include an on-site review, from intake to tap, of the raw water quality, facilities, equipment, operations, and maintenance records for the purpose of evaluating the institution’s ability to adequately treat source water in order to produce and deliver safe drinking water. For institutions receiving municipally supplied water, the sanitary surveys will focus more specifically on the internal distribution system and an overall appraisal of the many factors associated with the water-supply system, including the waterworks and the distribution system.

EMERGENCY/CONTINGENCY PROCEDURES

  1. Institutions operated by CSC must have a set of emergency/contingency procedures outlined in the institutional Drinking Water Management Plan (see Annex C for a sample) to follow in the event of incidents and emergencies. These procedures must be in place well in advance of any event. Emergency/contingency procedures should cover any number of incidents, such as loss of source water, major main breaks, vandalism, power failure and deliberate chemical or biological contamination of the distribution system or reservoirs.
  2. Annual communication or training will be conducted to ensure staff are familiar with and can effectively implement the emergency procedures.
  3. Emergency/contingency procedures must include clear procedures for the remediation of the situation and communication with appropriate authorities.

DISINFECTION AFTER CONSTRUCTION OR REPAIRS

  1. All parts of potable water systems in contact with drinking water, which are taken out of service for inspection, repair or other activities that may lead to contamination before they are put back in service, must be disinfected in accordance with an approved standard/procedure (i.e. provincial standard or equivalent such as the AWWA Standard for Disinfecting Water Mains (C651).

BACKFLOW PREVENTION

  1. Required backflow protection must be installed or used on all connections, including those equipment connected to a potable water supply. Monitoring and maintenance of such equipment must be performed continuously in order to avoid cross-contamination. All installations or replacement of equipment requiring the use of drinking water must be made in accordance with the plumbing code in effect.
  2. Yearly backflow prevention inspection must be conducted by certified staff or contractor to ensure proper backflow protection devices are being used and that they are in good working order. The record of inspection must be kept on file at the institution and a copy sent to RHQ for filing.

SECTION 4 - DATA MANAGEMENT AND REPORTING

RECORDS

  1. The AWMS, with the assistance of the CPM and Chiefs of Administration, will establish a records keeping system for water related documentation as appropriate. The yearly sampling results for baseline chemical analysis must be stored electronically in a spreadsheet, to facilitate analysis and comparisons.
  2. The institutional records system must include, as a minimum:
    • test records and reports including, but not limited to bacterial, chemical, chlorine residual and turbidity;
    • in-house operational procedures tests;
    • relevant correspondence;
    • maintenance reports (main flushing/cleaning, backflow prevention testing, etc.);
    • assessment reports (including engineering reports, pressure surveys, sanitary survey, etc.);
    • operational and maintenance manuals and design drawings (to be available within the facility);
    • remediation documents (including emergency measures, boil advisories, shock chlorination, etc.);
    • operator training/certification records.
  3. Records of all water sampling, testing and related activities are to be retained for a minimum of ten years or as specified in the following table:
Record Minimum Years
of Retention
Chlorine residual and turbidity tests 10
Microbiological tests (Total Coliforms, E. coli, and HPC) 10
Physical and Inorganic tests (Turbidity, Chlorine, BTEX hydrocarbons, etc.) 10
Written reports such as sanitary surveys and engineering reports 10a
Variances or exemptions 10b
Any action taken to correct violation 10c
Operator training and certification records 10

______________________________________________________________________
a Following completion of surveys and reports.
b Following expiration of variance or exemption.
c After last action with respect to violation of applicable water quality guidelines.

REPORTING

  1. The AWMS will submit for review and acceptance, the institutional Drinking Water Management Plan to the Regional Engineering and Maintenance Officer (REMO) (cc to Regional Administrator, Technical Services). A copy of the approved plans will be forwarded to the designated person in the office of Director General, Technical Services, at National Headquarters.
  2. The AWMS will ensure the reporting system for notifying affected parties when test results show drinking water presents a potentially serious health risk, or to explain the significance of changes in aesthetic quality, is understood and communicated to all parties (Regional and National Headquarters, Health Care and/or Medical Officer of Health, etc).
  3. The CPM will immediately report any test results which fall outside of the requirements of the GCDWQ, and potentially indicate the safety of the water supply was compromised to Regional and National Headquarters and the local Public Health Officer. The CPM must record the test results in the OMS as an “Other Incident” and ensure the description includes the phrase “Water Safety”.
  4. The AWMS must forward water testing results to the REMO every six months. The REMO will forward a consolidated regional summary of water testing results to the Engineering Services Department representative, Senior Environmental Officer at National headquarters together with a report of any corrective actions initiated by the REMO as a result of the review. Reports for January to June inclusive will be provided by the end of July and reports for July to December inclusive will be provided by the end of January.
  5. Once per year the Engineering Services Branch will cause a report to be generated by the OMS of all recorded incidents in the country involving the term “Water Safety” and will distribute such report to all Regional Administrators, Technical Services, and AWMS.

SECTION 5 - TRAINING / REFERENCES

TRAINING

  1. All staff responsible for water treatment, distribution and/or sampling must have appropriate and up-to-date training to ensure a significant degree of control over the quality of drinking water, and thus over public health. Training must include basic education about water treatment, water quality, proper sampling protocols, backflow prevention, sanitary surveys and the need for disinfection.
  2. CSC staff responsible for a water treatment plant must be trained and certified in accordance with the requirements of the province where they work. Staff responsible for drinking water quality at municipally supplied institutions will receive Level I Water Distribution training (or equivalent). Water treatment plants that have received official provincial classification will have correspondingly classified operators operating the plant.
  3. All drinking water plant operators, at institutions with drinking water treatment plants, must occupy a position in whichthe priority job duties pertain directly to ensuring the safe treatment and delivery of potable water. Any other work assignments will be contingent on the WTPO operator first completing all responsibilities related to safe operation of the WTPO and water distribution system.
  4. Water treatment plant operators and other staff responsible for water treatment and/or distribution must have ongoing access to opportunities for maintaining and upgrading their skills and knowledge on a regular basis.

REFERENCES

  1. The federal requirements are derived from Part IX of the Canada Labour Code Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, which calls for federal departments to provide water that meets the requirements of the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality (GCDWQ) latest edition.
  2. Environment Canada InfoNet site on water.
  3. From Source to Tap – The Multi-Barrier Approach to Safe Drinking Water, May 16, 2002.
  4. Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality, March 2006.
  5. Guidance for Issuing and Rescinding Boil Water Advisories, November 1998 (revised March 1999).
  6. Guidance For Providing Safe Drinking Water in Areas of Federal Jurisdiction – Version 2, Interdepartmental Working Group on Drinking Water (IWGDW), 2008.
  7. Guidance for Safe Drinking Water in Canada: From Intake to Tap, December 5, 2001.

Assistant Commissioner,
Corporate Services

Original signed by:
Louise Saint-Laurent

 

ANNEX A - List of Chemical and Physical Parameters for the Annual Drinking Water Scan


Parameter
MAC
(mg/L)
AO
[or OG]
(mg/L)
Aldicarb 0.009  
Aldrin + dieldrin 0.0007  
Aluminum a   [0.1/0.2]
*Antimony b 0.006  
Arsenic 0.010  
*Atrazine + metabolites 0.005  
Azinphos-methyl 0.02  
Barium 1  
Bendiocarb 0.04  
Benzene 0.005  
Benzo[a]pyrene 0.00001  
*Boron 5  
*Bromate 0.01  
Bromodichloromethane (BDCM) 0.016  
*Bromoxynil 0.005  
Cadmium 0.005  
Carbaryl 0.09  
Carbofuran 0.09  
Carbon tetrachloride 0.005  
Chloramines - total 3  
Chlorate 1.0  
Chloride   ≤250
Chlorite 1.0  
Chlorpyrifos 0.09  
Chromium 0.05  
Copper a   ≤1.0
*Cyanazine 0.01  
Cyanide 0.2  
Cyanobacterial toxins-Microcystin-LR c 0.0015  
Diazinon 0.02  
Dicamba 0.12  
1,2-Dichlorobenzene e 0.2 ≤0.003
1,4-Dichlorobenzene e 0.005 ≤0.001
*1,2-Dichloroethane 0.005  
1,1-Dichloroethylene 0.014  
Dichloromethane 0.05  
2,4-Dichlorophenol, 0.9 ≤0.0003
*2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4 -D) 0.1  
Diclofop-methyl 0.009  
*Dimethoate 0.02  
Dinoseb 0.01  
Diquat 0.07  
Diuron 0.15  
Ethylbenzene   ≤0.0024
Fluoride 1.5  
*Glyphosate 0.28  
Haloacetic Acids-Total (HAAs) 0.080  
Iron   ≤0.3
Malathion 0.19  
Manganese   ≤0.05
Mercury 0.001  
Methoxychlor 0.9  
Methyl tertiary-butyl ether (MTBE)   0.015
*Metolachlor 0.05  
Metribuzin 0.08  
Monochlorobenzene 0.08 ≤0.03
Nitratef 45  
Nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA) 0.4  
*Paraquat (as dichloride)g 0.01  
Parathion 0.05  
Pentachlorophenol 0.06 ≤0.030
pHh   6.5-8.5
Phorate 0.002  
*Picloram 0.19  
Selenium 0.01  
*Simazine 0.01  
Sodiumi   ≤200
Sulphatej   ≤500
Sulphide (as H2S)   ≤0.05
*Terbufos 0.001  
Tetrachloroethylene 0.03  
2,3,4,6-Tetrachlorophenol 0.1 ≤0.001
Toluene   ≤0.024
Total dissolved solids (TDS)   ≤500
Trichloroethylene (TCE) 0.005  
2,4,6-Trichlorophenol 0.005 ≤0.002
*Trifluralin 0.045  
*Uranium 0.02  
Vinyl chloride 0.002  
Xylenes - total   ≤0.3
Zincb   ≤5.0

a This is an operational guidance value, designed to apply only to drinking water treatment plants using aluminum-based coagulants. The operational guidance values of 0.1 mg/L applies to conventional treatment plants, and 0.2 mg/L applies to other types of treatment systems. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/sum_guide-res_recom/chemical-chimiques-eng.php#tn4a#tn4a
b Faucets should be thoroughly flushed before water is taken for consumption or analysis. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/sum_guide-res_recom/chemical-chimiques-eng.php#tn4b#tn4b
c The guideline is considered protective of human health against exposure to all microcystins that may be present.
d TCU = true colour unit.
e In cases where total dichlorobenzenes are measured and concentrations exceed the most stringent value (0.005 mg/L), the concentrations of the individual isomers should be established.
f Equivalent to 10 mg/L as nitrate-nitrogen. Where nitrate and nitrite are determined separately, levels of nitrite should not exceed 3.2 mg/L.
g Equivalent to 0.007 mg/L for paraquat ion.
h No units.
i It is recommended that sodium be included in routine monitoring programs, as
j There may be a laxative effect in some individuals when sulphate levels exceed 500 mg/L.
k Expressed as a running annual average. The guideline is based on the risk associated with
l Refer to section on Guidelines for microbiological parameters for information related to various treatment processes.

ANNEX B - Institutional Drinking Water Management Plan – Sample Content

Each institution will produce a Drinking Water Management Plan which will include information on the following topics as a minimum:

1. Inventory and Description of Installations

  • Description of the Water Supply, On-Site Treatment (if applicable) and Distribution Systems

2. Assessing Water Resources

  • Assessing the Water Supply / Drinking Water Guidelines

3. Drinking Water Quality Monitoring Program

  • Water Testing Parameters and Frequencies

4. Identifying Potential Problems with Water Supply

  • Protecting the Water Source / Obtaining Water / Chlorination / Post-Treatment Storage / Treated Water Distribution / Monitoring / Staff Training

5. Maintaining the Water Distribution System

  • Inspections / Sanitary Survey / Maintenance and Repair / Cross-Connection Program / Flushing Program / Disinfection Procedures / Maintenance Log

6. Training and Certification

7. Emergency Planning

  • Contacts / Emergency Preparations / Methods of Emergency Disinfection / Boil Water Advisories and Drinking Water Advisories / Emergency Message

ANNEX C - Typical Emergency / Contingency Procedures

Contacts

Each field unit requires contact with the CPM at the institution and a Health Canada or local Medical Officer of Health. If the CPM at the institution is unavailable, contact the AWMS and REMO at Regional Headquarters. These contacts should be identified in the Institution’s DWMP and updated on a yearly basis.

  • A List of Contacts and Resources should be created, maintained and be readily available.

What constitutes an Emergency?

An emergency is any abnormal situation where the health and/or safety of one or more persons could be in danger. These dangerous characteristics can be identified through means that may include testing, advisories sent out from local public health units and/or municipal water utilities, and media reports on events that may impact the groundwater or surface supply (i.e. chemical or fuel spills).

Emergency Protocol

There are generally two types of advisories to consider for institutions that produce their own drinking water or institutions that obtain drinking water from a municipal utility: boil water advisories (BWAs) or drinking water advisories (DWAs). BWAs and DWAs (described below) will be used to warn users of possible health hazard on a temporary basis until the problem has been resolved.

Boil Water Advisories and Drinking Water Advisories

Deficiencies that Require a BWA

  • Significant loss of pressure (i.e., burst pipe), lack of disinfection (equipment breakdown, etc.), or failure of key water treatment process
  • Circumstances which, in the opinion of the technical support person or the Medical Officer of Health constitutes a risk to public health
  • Suspected cross connection or negative pressure
  • Evidence of an outbreak of waterborne illness
  • A serious incidence of raw water contamination

Deficiencies that May Require a BWA

  • Water that temporarily does not meet the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality (GCDWQ) for bacterial quality
  • Ineffective disinfection (low residual chlorine levels <0.2 mg concentration)

Deficiencies that May Require a DWA

A DWA will be issued by the Health Canada and / or the Medical Officer of Health whenever there is reason to believe that a condition exists with a drinking water supply that may result in a risk to consumers that cannot be corrected by boiling the water or by disinfection. This condition may arise for the following reasons:

  • a Maximum Acceptable Concentration (MAC) of a chemical/physical standard, is exceeded;
  • a MAC of a radiological standard is exceeded; and
  • any other condition, judged to be hazardous that cannot be rectified by boiling water.

Where one or more of the above conditions exists, a BWA or DWA may be required and urgent communication is required with the REMO, or the Regional Administrator of Technical Services if the REMO is absent, and Health Canada officials. The Communication Branch at RHQ will also be advised in cases that may raise public concerns.

Procedures for implementing a DWA or BWA must be outlined in the institution’s Drinking Water Management Plan and communicated to all staff. Communication would be best done both verbally and in writing, which may include health and safety bulletins, staff meetings, site training, etc.

ANNEX D - Definitions

For the purpose of these Environmental Guidelines:

TERM DEFINITION
Baseline Chemical Analysis An analysis of all chemical parameters with Maximum Acceptable Concentrations (MACs) in the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.
Escherichia coli, (E. coli) A member of the total coliform group of bacteria and when present in drinking water indicates not only recent faecal contamination of the water but also the possible presence of intestinal disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and protozoa.
Chemically Assisted Filtration Continuous feed of a coagulant with mixing ahead of filtration.
Membrane Filtration A pressure- or vacuum-driven separation process in which particulate matter larger than 1 mm is rejected by an engineered barrier, primarily through a size exclusion mechanism. Membrane processes commonly used in drinking water treatment:
  • Microfiltration (MF)
  • Ultrafiltration (UF)
  • Nanofiltration (NF)
  • Reverse Osmosis (RO).
Slow Sand or Diatomaceous Earth Filtration A process involving passage of raw water through a bed of sand at low velocity (generally less than 0.4 m/h) resulting in substantial particulate removal by physical and biological mechanisms.
Heterotrophic Plate Count (HPC) A procedure for estimating the number of live heterotrophic bacteria in water. HPC results give an indication of overall water quality however HPC results are not an indicator of water safety and, as such, should not be used as an indicator of potential adverse human health effects. Boil water advisories should not be based solely on HPC measurements
Groundwater Under Direct Influence of Surface Water (GUDI) Any water beneath the surface of the ground with (i) significant occurrence of macro-organisms, algae, organic debris, or large-diameter pathogens such as Giardia lamblia, Cryptosporidium, or (ii) significant and relatively rapid shifts in water characteristics such as turbidity, temperature, conductivity, or pH which closely correlate to climatological or surface water conditions.
Sanitary Surveys An on-site review, from intake to tap, of the raw water quality, facilities equipment operation and maintenance records for the purpose of evaluating the ability to adequately treat source water in order to produce and deliver safe drinking water. The sanitary survey will vary depending on the type and complexity of the system. See Health Canada’s Guidance Document for more information.
Vulnerability Assessment A comprehensive assessment of the vulnerability of the source water in the environment. It includes three elements:
  • delineation of the watersheds, aquifers and their protection areas;
  • identification of hazards, including contaminants of concern and their sources; and
  • assessment of susceptibility to contamination, and ranking of the hazards.
Water Treatment (WT) Facility Facilities that extract groundwater or surface water, treat it, and then distribute the treated water.
Operators Staff member responsible for the maintenance, adjustment or safe operation of potable water treatment and /or the distribution system.

1 Available at http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/doc_sup-appui/sum_guide-res_recom/index_e.html


For more information

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