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BCs Drinking Water Action Plan Dr Shaun Peck Deputy Provincial Health Officer Ministry of Health Services.

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Presentation on theme: "BCs Drinking Water Action Plan Dr Shaun Peck Deputy Provincial Health Officer Ministry of Health Services."— Presentation transcript:

1 BCs Drinking Water Action Plan Dr Shaun Peck Deputy Provincial Health Officer Ministry of Health Services

2 Some Drinking Water Facts Approximately 3000 operational water systems in B.C. B.C. has one of the highest reported incidences of intestinal illness in Canada 28 Waterborne Disease Outbreaks (80-04) Currently more than 330 Boil Water Advisories

3 Waterborne Disease Outbreaks

4 Waterborne Disease Outbreaks * Suspected Outbreaks

5 Organisms Responsible for Water Borne Disease Outbreaks in B.C.

6 Chemicals Responsible for Source Contamination in B.C.

7 Suspected Contaminant Sources; Disease Outbreaks in B.C.

8 Drinking Water Legislation §Health Act l Safe Drinking Water Regulation (repealed) l Sanitary Regulation §Drinking Water Protection Act ( Passed 2001 ) l Drinking Water Protection Regulation (May 2003) l Potential for Future Regulations

9 Drinking Water Action Plan §Builds on Provincial Health Officers 2000 Annual Report and Auditor Generals 1999 Report on source water protection §Independent panel appointed to review unproclaimed Drinking Water Protection Act, all 2001 §Recent amendments intended to: l highlight public health focus l streamline administration

10 Drinking Water Action Plan Minister of Health Services Provincial Health Officer ADMs Committee on Drinking Water Source to Tap Assessments Assessment Response and Drinking Water Protection Plans Data Management And Information Systems Research Tap Water Standards and Treatment Monitoring and Reporting Training & Certification Partnerships and Community Stewardship Water Conservation (Last presented May 2003) Storage and Distribution Infrastructure

11 Drinking Water Protection Act l Act under the Ministry of Health Services l Governs drinking water from the source to the tap, rather than focusing on treatment and distribution more clearly articulates source protection l Water supply operations and reporting l Provisions for system and source assessments

12 Drinking Water Protection Act §Passed in 2001 §Amended in 2002 §Brought into force May 2003 §More refinement expected l harmonizing with groundwater regulations l fees l ticketing

13 Legislation – 2003 §Drinking Water Protection Act; Drinking Water Protection Regulation l Requires construction approval l Requires operating permits l May place conditions on an operating permit l Required minimum treatment levels l Specifies water quality standards l Requires public notification of water quality problems l Requires an emergency response plan l May require a system assessment l May require an assessment response plan (cross connection control) l Requires certified operators

14 Drinking Water Protection Act Challenging drinking water officer decisions l No right of appeal to court or the EAB l Reconsideration of decision by drinking water officer l Review of record by Provincial Health Officer or medical health officer l Ombudsman l Judicial review

15 Microbiological Standards Microbiological contamination is the key risk driver in B.C. Tap water must comply with the microbiological schedule of the Drinking Water Protection Regulation Sampling frequency is established by Schedule B of the Drinking Water Protection Regulation

16 Chemical Variables Chemical contamination can interfere with treatment, cause health concerns or results in loss of source Chemicals to monitor for vary with the individual waterworks Sampling procedures and frequency can be established by the drinking water officer

17 Role of water supplier §Provide safe drinking water in accordance with the Act and Regulations §Meet conditions that are part of the operating permit. §Prepare an assessment of the drinking water system §May be required to prepare an assessment response plan

18 Drinking Water Officer (DWO) §Delegated by the Medical Health Officer (MHO) §Comparable to Public Health Inspector/Environmental Health Officer, Public Health Engineer, and/or MHO §Minimum of 1 drinking water officer per region (hopefully 20 in B.C.) §Defaults to an existing MHO

19 Role of the DWO employed by Health Authorities §Provide regulatory oversight of water suppliers, educate and identify priority areas for improving safety of water systems l system assessments l priority setting l site-specific assessment response plans §(everything the public health engineer and public health inspector do today…plus more)

20 Role of the DWO employed by Health Authorities §Undertake other means necessary to safeguard water quality and public health such as: l approvals and permitting l monitoring and/or testing l inspecting l legal action (orders, ticketing, charging)

21 Progressive Enforcement §Terms and conditions on permit §Education §Assistance §Orders §Tickets §Charges/court

22 Role of Other Ministries l multiple land use planning functions l data collection & management l research l road construction l water allocation l subdivision approval l Protection of Ground Water

23 Future Directions of the new regulatory framework §Water Act amendments §Regulations under the Water Act §Amendments to the Drinking Water Protection Regulation §Ministerial orders

24 Current Activities §Some funding to partners for information systems and assessment tool implementation §Identify small systems issues §Improve Information Management Capacity §Educate partners/stakeholders §Coordinate Ministry of Health Services, DWO and Ministry of Water Land and Air Protection activities §Define needs from Operator Certification Program §Policy and Procedure Manual for DWOs §Provincial drinking water officer

25 Provincial Health Officers Annual Report on Drinking Water Required by the Drinking Water Protection Act to report on Activities. Dr Shaun Peck, Deputy Provincial Health Officer


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