Regulatory Information - Operation & Monitoring

Section 20 of The Drinking Water Safety Act refers to the requirements for disinfection and record-keeping for public and semi-public drinking water systems. Section 21 of The Drinking Water Safety Act refers to the requirement for routine water quality sampling and analysis. Section 25 of The Drinking Water Safety Act mandates that written operational records be made and retained. Specific requirements for sampling, monitoring, record-keeping and reporting are addressed in the Drinking Water Safety Regulation and the Drinking Water Quality Standards Regulation.

Operational Guidelines

The Office of Drinking Water has developed guidelines to assist operators in meeting regulatory obligations for monitoring and reporting under The Drinking Water Safety Act:

Monitoring and Reporting forms are available on the Forms page.

Public Water System Annual Report

Section 32(1) MR 40/2007 stipulates that public water systems serving 1,000 or more persons must prepare an Annual Report on the operation of their water system. The regulation states that the report must be submitted to the Office of Drinking Water by March 31 of each year about the operation of the water system for the preceding calendar year. A copy of the report must be made available to the public. The Office of Drinking Water has prepared a guideline and examples to aid in the completion of the report.

Advisory Notification Plan

All water systems should have a plan in place on how they would notify their water users of potential health risks related to drinking water. Advisory Notification Plans address the question of how to distribute the Public Notice to water users in an appropriate way and time depending on the nature of the advisory.  The plan should represent the complexity of the water system. Large water systems serving facilities such as hospitals, schools, personal care homes and daycares will have a more complex plan. The plan for smaller rural residential water supplies may be relatively simple in comparison.

Public water suppliers servicing 1000 or more people are required to submit an Advisory Notification Plan to the Director of the Office of Drinking Water and to update and resubmit the plan every year by May 1 as a requirement of their operating license. 

Best Practices Manual for Small Drinking Water Systems

The Office of Drinking Water has developed a guidance manual for owners and operators of small drinking water systems that summarizes best practices for operation and monitoring including sample activity log sheets and resource links.

Best Practices Manual for Small Drinking Water Systems (PDF / 51 pages / 1.5 MB)

Operating licence:

Section 8 of The Drinking Water Safety Act sets out a requirement for owners of public and semi-public water systems to have a valid operating licence for their water system. An operating licence contains terms and conditions for water system operation such as monitoring and reporting. Specific requirements for such submissions are addressed in the Drinking Water Safety Regulation. Water system owners will be notified by the Office of Drinking Water of the deadline for applying for their first operating licence issued under The Drinking Water Safety Act. The Operating licence application form is available on the Forms page.

Compliance Plans:

The Drinking Water Quality Standards Regulation (MR 41/2007) establishes a set of water quality standards that must be met by public water systems by March 1, 2012. For any particular water system, the applicable standards and their associated monitoring and reporting requirements are specified in the system's operating licence.

In instances where a standard is currently not being met, water system owners must complete a plan that clearly identifies how and when compliance with the standard will be achieved. The plan, known as the Compliance Plan, must be submitted to the Regional Drinking Water Officer for review by the date specified in the system's operating licence.

In instances where a water system is currently meeting all of the standards identified in their operating licences and the licence does not contain a condition to submit a Compliance Plan, the owner of the water system may be eligible to submit a signed "Statement of Compliance" form in lieu of a detailed Compliance Plan. The Statement of Compliance form must be submitted to the Regional Drinking Water Officer by March 1, 2011.

To aid owner in the completion of a Compliance Plan or a Statement of Compliance the Office of Drinking Water has developed the Guideline for Preparing Compliance Plans.

Inspections:

Office of Drinking Water staff carry out periodic inspections of water systems to evaluate design, operational and monitoring issues, and provide advice on corrective measures. Sections 27 and 28 of The Drinking Water Safety Act refer to entry and inspection powers for provincial personnel.

The Drinking Water Quality Standards Regulation and the Drinking Water Safety Regulation include bacteriological, microbial, physical (turbidity) and chemical standards for public and semi-public water systems along with their associated monitoring requirements. Additional system-specific standards and monitoring requirements may also be stipulated in an operating licence.

Emergency Planning for Water Utilities in Manitoba:

Regulation 77/2003 “Water and Wastewater Facility Operators Regulation”, administered by Manitoba Conservation, requires that all water utilities have a documented emergency response plan in place. This plan should be reviewed at least once every two years and all operators and maintenance personnel should have access to it at all times. The Office of Drinking Water has prepared the following template to assist water utilities in developing their own emergency response plans:

Emergency Planning for Water Utilities in Manitoba (PDF / 20 pages / 450 KB)

Operator Certification:

The Environmental Approvals Branch of Manitoba Conservation is responsible for the provincial water and wastewater facility operator certification program. The program involves education, examination and experience requirements.

Please visit their web site for further information: