BH.01.FEB0619.C03 - Safe Water Program - 2018 Fourth Quarter

To: Board of Health
Meeting Date: February 6, 2019
Report No.: BH.01.FEB0619.C03
Prepared By: Shawn Zentner, Manager, Environmental Health
Approved By: Christopher Beveridge, Director, Health Protection
Submitted By and Signature: Dr. Nicola J. Mercer, MD, MBA, MPH, FRCPC Medical Officer of Health & CEO

Key Points

The Safe Water program completed all required inspections and responded to all complaints regarding drinking water and recreational water.

  • The mapped drinking water data base of private wells in Wellington, Dufferin and Guelph enables follow-up with residents with no recent record of well water testing to better target messaging on how to safely manage private wells.

Strategic Dirctions & Goals

Service Centred Approach - We are committed to providing excellent service to anyone interacting with public health.

  • We will improve access to public health programs and services while enhancing the client experience.
  • We will increase community awareness of public health programs and services.
  • We will engage communities with more opportunities for collaboration.

Building Healthy Communities - We will work with communities to support the health and well-being of everyone.

  • We will improve internal communications, reduce silos and enhance collaboration across the organization.
  • We will enhance our understanding of the local needs and priorities of the communities we serve and develop programs and services in response to those needs.
  • We will have an understanding of health equity and apply it in our work.

Operational Plan Objectives

  • Complete 100% of required inspections
  • Publicly disclose results of inspections
  • Respond to 100% of adverse water quality incidents

Summary of OPHS Program Requirements

OPHS Program: Safe Water


  • To prevent or reduce the burden of water-borne illness related to drinking water. To prevent or reduce the burden of water-borne illness and injury related to recreational water use.
  • To prevent or reduce the burden of illness from health hazards in the physical environment.
  • To enable and ensure a consistent and effective response to public health emergencies and emergencies with public health impacts.


  • Health Protection
  • Disease Prevention
  • Assessment and Surveillance


  • Conduct surveillance of drinking water systems and associated illnesses, risk factors, and emerging trends; public beaches and water-borne illnesses associated with recreational water, risk factors, and emerging trends; and recreational water facilities.
  • Conduct epidemiological analysis of surveillance data, including monitoring of trends over time, emerging trends, and priority populations; and use the information obtained to inform safe water programs and services.
  • Provide information to citizens who operate their own private drinking water supplies to promote awareness of how to safely manage their own drinking water systems.
  • Ensure the availability of education and training for owners/operators of small drinking water systems and recreational water facilities.
  • Increase public awareness of water-borne illnesses and safe drinking water by working with community partners.
  • Inform the public about unsafe drinking water conditions and provide the necessary information to respond appropriately.
  • Review drinking water quality reports for municipal drinking water supplies where fluoride is added.
  • Ensure 24/7 on-call availability to receive reports of and respond to adverse safe water events such as: impacts to drinking water systems, water-borne illnesses or outbreaks, issues arising from floods, fires, power outages, or other situations that may affect water safety, and safe water issues related to recreational water use including public beaches.

2018 Safe Water Indicators

2018 Q4 Actual


# of days that fluoride levels were below recommended levels at municipal drinking water systems that add fluoride

0% (0/0)

No municipal fluoridated water systems in WDG area

# of drinking water advisories and boil water advisories issued by days advisories were in effect

0 N/A

% of the public who use private drinking water supplies who are aware of how to safely manage their own drinking water systems


This data not tracked as Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care defines ‘safely manage’ as awareness.

# of small drinking water systems where risk categories change from high risk to moderate

0% (0/0)

All Small Drinking Water Systems have been assessed as low-risk

Performance variance or discrepancy identified:

  • No


A data base and map of all private wells in Wellington, Dufferin and Guelph is being created based on the well water survey conducted earlier in 2018. This will enable staff to follow-up with residents who have no recent record of testing their well and to better target messaging on how to safely manage their well.

All regulated inspections of small drinking water systems and recreational water systems were conducted in accordance with the Ontario Public Health Standards and Health Protection Act.

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