If you provide access to drinking water for the public and your water is not provided by a municipal source, you may be operating a Small Drinking Water System (SDWS). These systems must follow the requirements under the law, Small Drinking Water Systems (O. Reg. 319/08).
Public Health Units across Ontario inspect and regulate Small Drinking Water Systems (SDWS). Please contact the health unit if you are, or believe you may be, a SDWS and you have not received a site specific risk assessment by a Public Health Inspector.
There are 5 Classes of SDWS:
- Small Non-Municipal Non-Residential (e.g., church, motel, B&B, restaurant)
- Large Non-Municipal Non-Residential (e.g., large resort)
- Small Municipal Non-Residential (e.g., community hall, sports field/arena)
- Large Municipal Non-Residential (e.g., airport, large sports complex)
- Non-Municipal Seasonal Residential (e.g., trailer park, campground)
Important Information and Documentation
Important information and supporting documentation regarding SDWS and the regulatory requirements for their operation and maintenance can be found through the following resources:
- Southwestern Public Health’s Small Drinking Water System Operator’s Guide
- Any SDWS Owner or Operator who wishes to supply water to the system users after there has been a shut down (has not been supplying water to users) of more than 60 days, must notify the Medical Officer of Health of the intent to begin to supply water. You can download and complete the Notification of Intent to Supply Water to Users Form for submission to the Health Unit or you can complete the Form Online.
- Monthly Signage Sheet for SDWS Operators
- Operational Checks Documentation Log
- The Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) - Small Drinking Water Systems provides guidance documents, SDWS fact sheets, Ontario Regulations, etc.
- The Government of Ontario Central Forms Site provides the following SDWS forms. You may find it useful and very helpful to print all of these documents to create an Operations Reference Manual:
- 4578 - 64E Labs Services Notification Form
- 4579 - 64E SDWS Identification Form
- 4580 - 64E Notice of Adverse Test Results/Issue Resolution Form
- 012 - 1806 Well Record Request Form
- Visit the Ontario Ministry Licensed Laboratories page for a list of laboratories licensed to perform drinking water tests.
- Please Note: If you own/operate a SDWS, you are legally required to report any Adverse Water Quality Incidents to your local health unit. Please call the Health Protection Department at 1-800-922-0096 to report an adverse water quality incident.