March 19, 2007

New drinking water regulations come into effect in Manitoba

WINNIPEG, MAN-New regulations in effect as of March 1, 2007 under Manitoba's Drinking Water Safety Act will help protect and improve drinking water quality throughout the province. The new regulations, announced by Water Stewardship Minister Christine Melnick, establish clear water quality standards, including bacterial and microbial levels, to be met by public and semi-public water systems. They set out the terms and conditions for operating a water supply system and define the responsibilities for water system owners and operators, to ensure a supply of safe drinking water. Mandatory testing and record-keeping are required for such water systems as well. Another provision will require water utilities serving 1,000 or more people to issue an annual report; this will help ensure accountability to their customers and help the public better understand their local water systems. Other areas covered by the new regulations include the construction and alteration of water supply facilities and protocols for reporting of laboratory results. Related requirements under the water and wastewater facility operators regulation will come into effect on May 1: water and wastewater facility owners will have to be properly classified and their operators certified. Combined with other initiatives, Manitoba has now addressed nearly all 29 recommendations made in the Drinking Water Advisory Committee report, Melnick noted. More information on the new Drinking Water Safety Act regulations is available from Manitoba's office of drinking water, 204/945-5762.

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