Drinking Water Quality
Drinking Water Program
Ensuring safe, reliable and accessible drinking water for all British Columbians.
The purpose of the Drinking Water Program is to:
- Develop provincial legislation, guidelines and policies on drinking water.
- Ensure that drinking water interests are considered in broader government policy and administration.
- Act as a resource for health authorities to help provide a consistent approach to the administration of the Drinking Water Protection Act and the Drinking Water Protection Regulation.
- Facilitate the coordination of provincial drinking water training initiatives.
- Liaise and coordinate provincial initiatives that may impact drinking water, and consult with drinking water suppliers, educational providers, water associations and other stakeholders on current drinking water issues.
How Drinking Water is Managed in B.C.
The Drinking Water Program is administered locally by drinking water officers, public health engineers and medical health officers, who are responsible for direct service delivery in B.C.'s health authorities.
Drinking water officers provide surveillance and monitoring of drinking water systems that may affect the public's health. They also administer and enforce the Drinking Water Protection Act, the Drinking Water Protection Regulation and the Public Health Act, and provide interventions to minimize health and safety hazards.
Drinking water officers and public health engineers are also the people who should be contacted prior to the creation or alteration of drinking water systems. Drinking water systems require construction permits and operating permits. This is to ensure that they are created and maintained to safeguard the drinking water supplied to customers.
New water systems must obtain the proper certificates and approvals from other government ministries. Water suppliers are also required to have the water from their systems analyzed for the presence of microbiological pathogens and other indicator organisms by a laboratory approved by the Provincial Health Officer.
If you have any concerns or questions about requirements for managing a water system, or questions or concerns about how your water system is being managed, contact your water supplier or your drinking water health authority contact.
Roles and Responsibilities of the Drinking Water Participants