This guidance document focuses on a multi-barrier approach as the most effective way to ensure Canada's drinking water supplies are clean, safe and reliable. It addresses water quality issues from intake to tap, including treatment, verification of drinking water quality, operation and maintenance of storage and distribution systems, and public awareness. The approach recognizes that while individual barriers may be inadequate in effectively removing or preventing contamination, and therefore in protecting public health, together they provide greater assurance that the water will be safe to drink over the long term. The guidance is designed specifically for the water industry (public and private), including managers and practitioners responsible for ensuring safe drinking water.
This guidance document is produced by a working group of the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Subcommittee on Drinking Water (DWS), which reports to the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Environmental and Occupational Health (CEOH). A separate document is being developed by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) Water Quality Task Group (WQTG) and looks at issues related to the safety of drinking water from source to intake, such as source water protection. These two pieces will be merged and then expanded in 2002 into a technical document for drinking water purveyors. The technical document will be developed by a consultant under the direction of the DWS and the WQTG.