NORTH HURON – The Safe Drinking Water Act requires an accredited operating authority to operate all municipal water systems. In addition, these authorities must provide annual reports to the water system owner.
The North Huron water system is operated by Veolia Water Canada.
Council received a report from Jamie McCarthy, director of public works for North Huron, on Dec. 20, 2021 updating them on the findings from the annual review.
NSF International Auditors completed an external water system audit in August 2021. They reported that the management system was effectively implemented except for two minor non-conformities (NCs).
There were also four opportunities for improvement (OFI) identified. The opportunities do not require formal responses but are included in the management review report for consideration.
Veolia staff responded to the minor non-conformities and implemented the changes.
Additionally, the review noted:
- operational performance has been effective. Operations staff work hard to improve efficiencies while maintaining high-quality work to ensure customer satisfaction;
- no incidents of regulatory non-compliance to report during the reporting year; and
- no changes that would affect the current QMS were observed or mentioned.
As recommended by Justice O’Conner as a result of the Walkerton Inquiry, the Ontario Government implemented the Municipal Drinking Water Licensing Program in 2007.
In response to this recommendation, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks developed the DWQMS that applies to owners and operating authorities for municipal drinking water systems.
The DWQMS sets out the framework for the development of a quality management system. The implementation of the DWQMS is mandated by the provincial government through the Safe Drinking Water Act.
The DWQMS is based on a “plan, do, check, improve” principle. The operational plan provides an understanding of the drinking water system, the roles and responsibilities of the owner and operational staff, procedures to operate and maintain the drinking water system, and a commitment and endorsement by the owner to provide safe drinking water.
Cory Bilyea, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wingham Advance Times