Drinking Water Quality and Management Standard

Municipal Drinking Water Licensing Program (MDWLP)

The Ontario Ministry of Environment implemented the Municipal Drinking Water Licensing Program (MDWLP) as recommended by Justice Dennis O’Connor in the Part II Report of the Walkerton Inquiry.

The Municipal Drinking Water Licensing Program (MDWLP) under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA), 2002 and Ontario Regulation 188/07, requires PUC Services Inc. on behalf of the Public Utilities Commission of the City of Sault Ste. Marie, to be licensed to operate and to incorporate the Ministry's model of quality management within the City’s drinking water system.

To become licensed, PUC Services Inc. is required to meet the five key requirements as per section 44(1) of the SDWA:

  1. Drinking Water Works Permit  (DWWP)
  2. An Accepted Operational Plan
  3. Accreditation of the Operating Authority
  4. A Financial Plan
  5. A Permit to Take Water (PTTW)

Drinking Water Quality Management Standard (DWQMS)

In the Part II Report of the Walkerton Inquiry, Justice Dennis O’Connor recommended the adoption of a quality management system (QMS) for municipal drinking water systems.

The Drinking Water Quality Management Standard (DWQMS) was developed to outline 21 elements that all Quality Management Systems must conform to. The QMS must be documented in an Operational Plan.

The 21 Elements of the Drinking Water Quality Management Standard include:

  1. Quality Management System
  2. Quality Management System Policy
  3. Commitment and Endorsement
  4. Quality Management System Representative
  5. Document and Records Control
  6. Drinking Water System
  7. Risk Assessment
  8. Risk Assessment Outcomes
  9. Organizational Structure, Roles, Responsibilities and Authorities
  10. Competencies
  11. Personnel Coverage
  12. Communications
  13. Essential Supplies and Services
  14. Review and Provision of Infrastructure
  15. Infrastructure Maintenance, Rehabilitation and Renewal
  16. Sampling Testing and Monitoring
  17. Measurement and Recording Equipment Calibration & Maintenance
  18. Emergency Management
  19. Internal Audits
  20. Management Review
  21. Continual Improvement

PUC Services Inc., on behalf of The Public Utilities Commission of the City of Sault Ste. Marie, has established a Quality Management System (QMS) as per Ontario’s Drinking Water Quality Management Standard (DWQMS), which is documented in our Operational Plan. The purpose of the Operational Plan is to document how we ensure we provide safe drinking water to our customers; comply with applicable legislation and regulations; and maintain and continually improve the effectiveness of our QMS.

Sault Ste. Marie DWQMS Operational Plan

By meeting the regulatory requirements, PUC Services Inc. has achieved Full Scope Accreditation as the City’s Operating Authority on April 11, 2012.  PUC Services Inc. has also been issued a Municipal Drinking Water Licence and Drinking Water Works Permit.

What does Full Scope Accreditation mean?

Receiving Full Scope Accreditation means that all elements of the DWQMS have been documented and implemented. A successful completion of a 3rd party audit of both the operational plan documentation and the implementation of the QMS has been satisfied.

Annual audits of the QMS are required to take place by a third party auditor.

For more information, refer to the Accreditation Protocol for Operating Authorities - Municipal Drinking-Water Systems (July 2007)

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