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Water Stewardship Division

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Public Information - Water System Data

Drinking water systems in Manitoba are classified into three (3) categories for regulatory and monitoring purposes:

  • Public water systems have 15 or more service connections, or have been designated as public.
  • Semi-public water systems are defined as systems that are not public or private. They include small systems with less than 15 service connections or public facilities such as a school or hospitals with their own water supply.
  • Private systems supply water to only one private residence, or have been designated as private.

There are approximately 430 public water systems in Manitoba, 45% of which rely on surface water as their source of supply, and 55% of which rely on groundwater. Approximately 80% of the population of Manitoba receives their drinking water from a public water system. Surface water is the source of drinking water for 85% of public water system customers. The major population centers of the province, including Winnipeg and Brandon, rely on surface water sources. There are a growing number of regional water supply systems serving rural areas. Semi-public water systems are currently being inventoried. There are an estimated 1,500 semi-public water systems and 35,000 to 80,000 private water systems in Manitoba.

Public and semi-public water systems are regulated under The Drinking Water Safety Act. Regulations supporting the act took effect in 2007. These systems must meet certain design, operation and monitoring requirements. The construction, operation and monitoring of private water systems such as private wells remain the responsibility of the system owner. Drinking water systems at federal facilities or on federal lands such as military bases and national parks, and drinking water systems serving First Nations communities fall under federal legislation and the federal drinking water program. Additional information on drinking water systems in First Nations communities is available at the following website:

The Manitoba government’s drinking water regulations adopt a subset of Health Canada’s Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality as standards for public water systems. Summary information on public water system compliance wtih the water quality standards is available at the Public Water System Data Portal.

Manitoba is also working to keep the public informed as new information becomes available. Health Canada is currently reviewing the national guideline for manganese in drinking water. A provincial standard may be considered once the national guideline review process is complete. See the fact sheet on Manganese in Manitoba Supplies for more information.