November 22, 2004

New Atlantic guide promotes consistency in design, operation of water systems

A comprehensive new water guidelines document will contribute to region-wide consistency in the upgrading of existing water systems as well as the design and development of new water supply projects in Atlantic Canada. The Atlantic Canada Guidelines for the Supply, Treatment, Storage, Distribution and Operation of Drinking Water Supply Systems was released in Charlottetown, PEI at the recent annual conference of the Atlantic Canada Water Works Association, which co-ordinated the development of the guidelines in co-operation with the four Atlantic provinces.

The document will complement the provinces' individual drinking water strategies, all of which are based on a multi-barrier, source-to-tap approach to protection. Provincial Environment, Energy and Forestry Minister Jamie Ballem commended the association for its efforts as he formally released the guidelines document on behalf of his counterparts, New Brunswick Environment and Local Government Minister Brenda Fowlie, Nova Scotia Minister of Environment and Labour Kerry Morash, and Tom Osborne, Minister of Environment and Conservation for Newfoundland and Labrador.

"This document will help maintain the high quality of drinking water for these Atlantic Canadians by providing guidance to municipalities, industry, consultants, developers and regulators when it comes to the design and operation of drinking water systems," said Ballem. He pointed out that the design and operation aspect is critical for drinking water protection in Atlantic Canada, a region in which anywhere from 45 to 83% of residents in various areas rely on a central water system for their drinking water.

The new Atlantic Canada Guidelines is a companion document to the existing Atlantic Canada Standards and Guidelines Manual for the Collection, Treatment, and Disposal of Sanitary Sewage. Together, the two documents are intended to provide consistency in the design and operation of water and wastewater systems throughout the region. As the document sets out guidelines only, designers, municipalities and other users are advised to contact the regulatory authority in each province for specific requirements for water systems.

More information is available from Sandra Lambe of the PEI Department of Environment, Energy and Forestry, 902/368-5286.

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