Safe drinking water is essential for human health and survival. It is used for human consumption, food preparation, or other normal household purposes. Safe drinking water is water that is safe to drink and fit for household use without further treatment.
- Provincial Health Officer's report, Drinking Water Quality in British Columbia: The Public Health Perspective (2002) (PDF, 1.2MB)
British Columbia's drinking water at the tap is generally very safe. However, outbreaks of water-borne disease caused by micro-organisms do occur from time to time, not only in B.C. but throughout North America. Organisms usually get into drinking water supplies when lakes or streams or community water supply pipes or storage reservoirs are contaminated by animal wastes or human sewage.
The following BC HealthFiles outline the types of concerns that can affect drinking water and the steps individuals can take to help protect their health.
- Arsenic in Drinking Water - BC HealthFile #49c
- Water-borne Diseases in B.C. - BC HealthFile #49a
- Weakened Immune Systems and Water-borne Infections - BC HealthFile #56
- Should I Get My Well Water Tested? - HealthLink BC File #05b
- Nitrate Contamination in Well Water - BC HealthFile #05a
- How To Disinfect Drinking Water - BC HealthFile #49b
- Health Risks in the Wilderness - BC HealthFile #24
- Giardiasis ("Beaver Fever") - BC HealthFile #10
- Cryptosporidiosis - BC HealthFile #48
- Campylobacter Infection - BC HealthFile #58
- Blue-green Algae Blooms - BC HealthFile #47
- Traveller's Diarrhea - BC HealthFile #41e
- Toxoplasmosis - BC HealthFile #43
- Typhoid- BC HealthFile #41j
- Yersiniosis - BC HealthFile #77
- Water Fluoridation Facts - BC HealthFile #28
Information on B.C.'s Drinking Water Program.
Under section 39.1 of the Drinking Water Protection Act the Provincial health officer can review certain decisions made by a drinking water officer. Any persons affected by a decision of a drinking water officer, under specific sections of the Act, can Request for a Review (PDF, 36KB) of a Drinking Water Officer Decision.