Small drinking water systems

If your business or premises makes drinking water available to the public and you do not get your drinking water from a municipal drinking water system, you may be the owner or operator of a small drinking water system.

Examples of small drinking water systems:

Systems that serve designated facilities such as children’s camps, social care facilities, schools, universities, colleges or other degree-granting institutions are not considered small drinking water systems and remain under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks.

What is the role of the public health inspector with regards to a small drinking water system?

Public health inspectors conduct site-specific risk assessments on every small drinking water system in their area.  Based on the assessment, they determine what owners and operators must do to keep their drinking water safe and will issue a directive for the system. Directives may include requirements for water testing, treatment options, and training. This reflects a customized approach for each small drinking water system depending on the level of risk.

Public health inspectors conduct compliance and complaint-based inspections on every small drinking water system in their area. Inspection information and drinking water advisories of small drinking water systems are disclosed publicly on Public Health Sudbury & Districts disclosure website, Check Before You Go! Reports remain posted for four years.

Do you plan to open, or are you currently operating, a small drinking water system?

If you are, you should know that it is your responsibility to:

Once Public Health Sudbury & Districts has been notified you must:

To provide Public Health Sudbury & Districts with your contact information and designated operator, complete the Small Drinking Water Identification form and send it to the public health inspector for filing.

If you believe that you operate a small drinking water system and have not received an assessment to date, notify Public Health Sudbury & Districts. If you currently operate a small drinking water system and have undergone an assessment in the past, a public health inspector will contact you to make an appointment when your next risk assessment is due.

Small drinking water systems regulation

Small drinking water systems are regulated under Ontario Regulation 319/08- Small Drinking Water Systems. Under the Regulation, owners and operators of small drinking water systems are responsible for keeping their drinking water safe. The Regulation sets out specific requirements that owners and operators of small drinking water systems must comply with. They include:


This item was last modified on August 27, 2018