Completing a Water System Assessment

Section 9 of The Drinking Water Safety Act requires periodic assessments of public and semi-public water systems in Manitoba. The assessment considers the condition of a water system's infrastructure (water supply, treatment, storage and distribution equipment), and its ability to meet regulatory requirements and industry best practice so water system owners and operators can plan for and implement changes to improve the safety and reliability of their water systems.

Public water systems

The Drinking Water Safety Regulation defines three types of public water system assessments depending on the size, the source and the water quality of the public water system:

  • Engineering assessment
  • Qualified person assessment
  • Self-assessment

Water suppliers are notified about the assessment requirements for their particular system including the type of assessment required and the deadline for submitting an assessment.

If an engineering assessment is required:

Terms of reference have been developed for engineering assessments of public water systems. These assessments must be completed by a professional engineer registered to practice in the province of Manitoba who is not an employee of the water supplier. Engineering assessments (or re-assessments) must be done in accordance with the Terms of Reference for an Engineering Assessment of a Public Water System (pdf).

If a qualified person assessment is required:

A qualified person, who is not an employee of the water supplier, but not necessarily an engineer, must complete the assessment. See guidance on selecting a qualified person for a water system assessment (pdf). Qualified person assessments must be completed in accordance with a detailed checklist. Assessment checklists have been developed for different types of water supplies. Water suppliers are notified of the specific checklist that must be used for their system.

If a self-assessment is required:

Smaller, low risk water systems may have the option of completing the assessment themselves. A self-assessment must be completed in accordance with a detailed checklist. Assessment checklists have been developed for different types of water supplies. Water suppliers are notified of the specific checklist that must be used for their system.

Submit the signed original paper copy (you must keep a copy for your records) AND an electronic copy of your Qualified Person and Self-Assessments to:

Mailing Address:

Office of Drinking Water
Approvals Unit
1007 Century St.
Winnipeg, MB
R3H 0W4

Email Addresses:

daniel.drimes@gov.mb.ca
kim.barlishen@gov.mb.ca

Links to the detailed checklists:

Semi-public water systems

The Drinking Water Safety Regulation defines two types of semi-public water system assessments depending on the source and the water quality of the semi-public water system:

  • Qualified person assessment
  • Self-assessment

Water suppliers are notified about the assessment requirements for their particular system including the type of assessment required and the deadline for submitting an assessment.

If a qualified person assessment is required:

A qualified person, who is not an employee of the water supplier, must complete the assessment. See guidance on selecting a qualified person for a water system assessment (pdf). Qualified person assessments must be completed in accordance with a detailed checklist. Assessment checklists have been developed for different types of water supplies. Water suppliers are notified of the specific checklist that must be used for their system.

If a self-assessment is required:

For low risk water systems, water suppliers have the option of completing the assessment themselves. A self-assessment must be completed in accordance with a detailed checklist. Assessment checklists have been developed for different types of water supplies. Water suppliers are notified of the specific checklist that must be used for their system.

Submit the signed original paper copy (you must keep a copy for your records) AND an electronic copy of your Qualified Person and Self-Assessments to:

Mailing Address:

Office of Drinking Water
Approvals Unit
1007 Century St.
Winnipeg, MB
R3H 0W4

Email Addresses:

daniel.drimes@gov.mb.ca
kim.barlishen@gov.mb.ca

Links to the detailed checklists:

Resources for water suppliers and assessors

A guide to hiring a consulting engineer available from the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies Manitoba and a guide to selecting a professional consultant available from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities may assist a water supplier in selecting an engineer to undertake an assessment or other water system work. The Office of Drinking Water has prepared advice for water suppliers to apply when selecting a qualified person for a water system assessment (pdf).

The Office of Drinking Water has also developed information bulletins with advice for water suppliers on preparing for a water system assessment (pdf) and advice for a qualified person on conducting a qualified person water system assessment (pdf).

The Office of Drinking Water relies on the Recommended Standards for Water Works (commonly known as the Ten State Standards), American Water Works Association AWWA standards, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance manuals and other industry best practices in the review and approval of drinking water systems. All components, treatment units and chemicals in contact with drinking water must be NSF certified. The Office of Drinking Water adopts Health Canada's Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality health-based standards and aesthetic water quality goals. Service connection and backflow prevention for water systems fall under the Manitoba Plumbing Code administered by the Office of the Fire Commissioner and local municipalities.

The Office of Drinking Water has prepared Filtration and Disinfection Log Reduction Credits (pdf) guidelines for determining microbial (Cryptosporidium, Giardia, virus) log removal or inactivation credits for filtration and disinfection systems. These guidelines apply to the design, upgrading and assessment of water treatment systems.