January 17, 2005

Deadlines extended for small drinking water systems to install treatment equipment

TORONTO, ONT-An amendment to the Ontario Drinking Water Systems Regulation (O Reg. 170/03) will extend the deadlines for installing new water treatment equipment for small and rural drinking water systems by six to 18 months. The amendments, released for public comment in November (ELW November 22, 2004) were finalized in mid-December. The deadline extensions apply to systems used in places such as community centres, town halls, motels, resorts, campgrounds and mobile home parks. They affect both municipal and privately run drinking water systems. "Small and rural communities that would be affected by these deadlines have expressed concerns about the requirements of the regulation," said Environment Minister Leona Dombrowsky. "As a result, our government responded to these concerns and committed to consulting fully on making the regulation workable." Both the Ministry of Environment and its advisory council on drinking water quality and testing standards met with system owners and operators in recent months to discuss their concenrs. The extensions will allow the minister time to consider additional changes to the regulation based on its findings and those of the council. O Reg. 170/03 sets water treatment standards for a wide variety of drinking water systems. Large municipal systems, serving more than 80% of Ontario residents, are already required to comply with this regulation.

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