How Drinking Water is Protected in B.C.

Provincial Drinking Water Policy

The Drinking Water Protection Act (the Act) outlines general requirements for water suppliers, and the Drinking Water Protection Regulation sets out more specific requirements. Drinking water legislation in British Columbia is outcome based. In other words, recognizing that different water suppliers and drinking water systems have different needs, it allows for some variation in determining what a water supplier needs to do in order to achieve these requirements.

The Ministry of Health administers the Act and develops policy related to drinking water. The regional health authorities implement the Act and provide monitoring of drinking water systems. Find contact information for your health authority's drinking water contact.

Drinking water officers (DWOs) in the regional health authorities have some discretion in making decisions on certain requirements (e.g., how water is treated) for individual systems. The Ministry of Health has developed, with the support of the health authorities, provincial policies to guide these decisions in order to promote effective, consistent and transparent decision-making across the province. These drinking water guidelines, which are found in the Drinking Water Officers' Guide (the Guide), must be considered during decision-making as per ministerial direction.

The Provincial Health Officer monitors DWO's application of the guidelines, and reports on this through its annual drinking water report and reviews of DWO decisions

For more information about the Ministry of Health’s drinking water program, please contact HP-PHW@gov.bc.ca.

Annual Service Plan for Safe Drinking Water

Download the Ministry of Health's 2021-2022 Annual Service Plan for Safe Drinking Water