Regulation - Minister

Establishment of a new regulation under the authority provided in section 168(2) of the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002

Regulation Number(s):
Instrument Type:
Regulation - Minister
Bill or Act:
Safe Drinking Water Act
Summary of Decision:
On December 22, 2017, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change posted a proposed regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act for a 60-day public comment period. The ministry made changes to the proposed regulation to address input we received during the comment period.

This regulation will require drinking water system owners to take certain steps in order to protect drinking water sources before applying for a work permit. The regulation will come into effect on July 1, 2018.

Key requirements include:

• Owners of municipal residential drinking water systems within source protection areas under the Clean Water Act must ensure vulnerable areas around new and expanding drinking water systems are identified and mapped.
• Owners can only apply for a drinking water works permit once they have confirmation from the source protection authority that vulnerable areas are identified and mapped.
• This requirement does not apply if the new or expanded system is necessary to address emergency situations.
• Owners cannot provide water to the public from new or expanding drinking water systems until the local source protection plan has been updated to include these systems and it has been approved.

Source protection authorities are also now required to identify what updates are needed to a source protection plan when they are provided with the maps identifying vulnerable areas around new and expanding drinking water systems.

These changes will better protect drinking water before it's provided to the public.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
December 22, 2017
Summary of Proposal:
The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (the ministry) is proposing to develop a regulation under subsection 168(2) of the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) which authorizes the inclusion of requirements for applications or conditions relating to drinking water works permits for municipal residential drinking water systems.

Under Part V of the SDWA, all municipal residential drinking water systems require a drinking water works permit. Schedule A of the drinking water works permit describes the drinking water system, including the drinking water source(s). The owner of an existing drinking water system must apply to the ministry prior to altering existing water sources (e.g., relocating an intake) or adding sources (e.g., adding a groundwater well). Similarly, where a new municipal residential drinking water system is proposed, the municipality must apply for a permit to establish the system.

When new municipal drinking water systems are established or new wells or intakes are added to existing systems, technical work is required to delineate areas where water quality is vulnerable, identify threats to drinking water and establish policies to protect the sources of drinking water in order to meet the intent of the Clean Water Act. However, the Clean Water Act does not set out timing for the completion of this work and inclusion in amended source protection plans.

Where a municipality is proposing a new drinking water system or changes to an existing system, the proposed regulation would make municipalities responsible for working with local source protection authorities to ensure that work needed to identify the vulnerable areas, threats and policies be completed and endorsed by council resolution prior to submitting an application for a new or amended drinking water works permit. This work will build on the foundational information already included in local source protection plans and funded by the province.

This proposed requirement will ensure that source water protection provisions are in place before drinking water is provided to the public, improve accountability and ensure continued public health protection. The proposed regulation would also include an emergency exception, allowing alterations to be made to drinking water sources where such alterations are necessary to address the emergency or prevent a drinking water health hazard.
Contact Address:
Jennifer Moulton
Senior Drinking Water Program Advisor
Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change
Policy and Program Division
Source Protection Programs Branch
40 St Clair Avenue West
Floor 14
Toronto ON
M4V 1M2
Phone: (519) 860-7851
Effective Date:
July 1, 2018