Drinking Water Protection Act Information

Last updated on December 2, 2020

The Drinking Water Protection Act and Drinking Water Protection Regulation replace the former Safe Drinking Water Regulation. The Drinking Water Protection Act covers all water systems other than single-family dwellings (and systems excluded through the regulation). The Act sets out certain requirements for drinking water operators and suppliers to ensure the provision of safe drinking water to their customers. The requirements ensure:

  • Water system construction proposals must be approved by Public Health Engineers;
  • Water system operators must operate their systems in compliance with the requirements of the Act through operating permits, which may contain specific conditions and are set and approved by the Health Authority Drinking Water Officer;
  • Minimum water treatment and water quality standards are met, and monitoring and testing carried out, as required;
  • Water suppliers must have microbiological samples analyzed by a laboratory which has been approved by the Provincial Health Officer;
  • Operators of water systems serving more than 500 individuals must be certified as operators through the Environmental Operators Certification Program; and
  • Public notification must be made in case of water quality problems

The Act also helps to ensure safe and potable drinking water for British Columbians by assigning the following duties to the Provincial Health Officer:

  • Monitor compliance of drinking water officers by way of guidelines and directives;
  • Prepare and deliver an annual report to the Minister regarding activities under this Act;
  • Report about all issues that threaten public health by negatively impacting safe drinking water;
  • Make recommendations to the Minister with regard to drinking water protection planning; and
  • Oversee, review, and make amendments to drinking water protection plan.
  • Review decisions - under section 39.1 of the Drinking Water Protection Act, the Provincial Health Officer can review certain decisions made by a Drinking Water Officer.

Learn More

For more information on how drinking water is regulated in BC: