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 maintains the Drinking Water Works Permit by renewing it every five years as required.

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 

 The Operational Plan is revised as needed, and is presented to each new City Council within one year of an election for approval.
View the Distribution System Operational Plan

4.    Accredited Operating Authority 

The City of Port Colborne's Operating Authority is fully accredited and is audited annually by SAI Global.

View the Certificate of Accreditation

5.    Financial Plan  

Port Colborne City Council approved the Financial Plan on April 15, 2019. View the Distribution System Financial Plan

The City first received its Municipal Drinking Water Licence in 2009.  The Licence must be renewed every five years, and the City must maintain and/or submit the above items as part of the renewal process.


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 Province in consultation with 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 for more information about Ontario’s Drinking Water Quality Management Standard:  https://www.ontario.ca/page/ontarios-drinking-water-quality-management-standard-pocket-guide