Drinking Water Licensing

Justice O'Connor recommended in the Part II Report of the Walkerton Inquiry that a new approvals framework for municipal drinking water systems, which would require owners to obtain a licence to operate their systems, as well as incorporate the concept of quality management into their operations, be adopted.  To meet this recommendation, the Ministry of Environment (MOE) developed the Municipal Drinking Water Licensing Program, under the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002

All municipalities in Ontario that supply drinking water must have a Municipal Drinking Water Licence for their system.  In order to maintain their Licence, all municipalities must have the following in place:

1.    Drinking Water Works Permit 

        The City of Port Colborne received its Drinking Water Works Permit on October 23, 2009 

2.    Permit to Take Water 

As the Port Colborne Water Distribution System is a stand-alone distribution system, receiving all treated water from the Region, the City is not required to have a Permit to Take Water.  

3.    Operational Plan 

Port Colborne City Council approved the Quality Management System Operational Plan on April 27, 2009. 
View the Distribution System Operational Plan

4.    Accredited Operating Authority 

The City of Port Colborne received a full-scope Certificate of Accreditation for the Port Colborne Distribution System from QMI-SAI Canada Limited on June 7, 2013.

View the Certificate of Accreditation

5.    Financial Plan  

Port Colborne City Council approved the Financial Plan on June 28, 2010.  View the Distribution System Financial Plan

The City received its Municipal Drinking Water Licence on October 27, 2009.  The Licence expires on October 26, 2014.  In order to renew the Licence, the City must maintain and/or submit for the above items in advance of the expiry date.


Drinking Water Quality Management Standard (DWQMS)

In order to address Justice O'Connor's recommendation regarding incorporating the concept of quality management into the operation of drinking water systems, the Made-in-Ontario Drinking Water Quality Management Standard (DWQMS) was developed by the drinking water sector.  The requirements of the Standard are similar to ISO-based quality management standards, but more specifically directed towards drinking water.  All municipalities or their Operating Authorities are required to document how they intend to meet the 21 Elements of the DWQMS in an Operational Plan.

Follow the link to the Overview Guide: Municipal Drinking Water Licensing Program http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/environment/en/resources/STD01_086827.html for more information on the Licensing Program and for a summary of the 21 Elements of the DWQMS.