The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks is proposing regulatory changes that would allow it and system owners and operating authorities to act quickly to help ensure the province’s drinking water systems and sewage works have the staff needed to continue operations during an emergency. These proposed changes align with temporary measures we enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic and would only be available for use during an emergency that could affect continuity of water related services.
The proposed changes to Ontario’s drinking water and wastewater operator regulations under the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002 and the Ontario Water Resources Act include:
- Emergency related amendments that aim to help address drinking water and wastewater operator certification issues that may arise during an emergency or its aftermath and provide system owners and operating authorities of drinking water systems and wastewater facilities with temporary staffing options, while continuing to uphold strong environmental protection and ensuring the health and safety of Ontarians and the natural environment.
- Strike and lock-out related amendments that would formalize and clarify the process for owners and operating authorities of drinking water systems and wastewater facilities to request ministry Director’s direction and/or exemption from operator certification requirements during a strike or lock-out.
- Amendments to harmonize the circumstances under which the ministry Director may revoke or suspend a drinking water operator’s certificate or wastewater operator’s licence.
We invite you to view the full proposals on the Environmental Registry and provide your feedback by July 2, 2021:
- Proposed amendments to drinking water operator and water quality analyst certification regulation to address impacts of emergencies (019-3513)
- Proposed amendments to wastewater operator licensing regulation to address impacts of emergencies (019-3515)
MECP staff will continue to support you during this difficult time. Please contact your local ministry district office if you are experiencing operator staffing shortages that may lead to a break in continuity of operations, so that we can discuss potential options to help ensure continued safe operations.
Ontario’s drinking water remains among the best protected in the world. Working with our partners and municipalities, we will continue to ensure our drinking water is held to Ontario’s high safety standards, and that the environment continues to be protected.
If you have any questions, please email: email@example.com
Disponible en français.Read More
‘This document outlines procedures for disinfecting water mains as part of an addition, modification, replacement, extension, planned maintenance, or emergency repair in a municipal residential drinking water system. The procedures are required to be followed in order to satisfy conditions imposed by the Director in a drinking water works permit. (MECP, 2020)’
WCWC supports water systems owners, operators and operating authorities as they manage their water systems to safeguard water resources. Paula VanVeen, Curriculum Development Coordinator, tells us about WCWC’s Training and Development initiatives and what’s new for 2021.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic impacted initiatives in Training and Development?
Historically our focus has been on the development of classroom training with the incorporation of hands-on activities to enhance the learning experience. Ontario’s public health initiatives in response to COVID-19 have encouraged us to move to more online and virtual courses. While providing quality training in the classroom will always be a priority, we will continue to enhance our online and virtual development initiatives post-pandemic. These initiatives support our mandate of delivering drinking water operator training throughout the province; small systems, First Nations, remote communities and municipalities benefit from the flexibility offered by these alternative learning platforms.
How have Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) priorities driven curriculum development?
Ontario’s operators are required to take a mandatory course every 36 months as part of their certificate renewal requirements. MECP tasks WCWC with the development and delivery of the renewal course. In January 2021 a new course was rolled out, aptly named Mandatory Certificate Renewal Course 2021-2023 (MCR2123). This new renewal course has been largely developed by WCWC in consultation with the MECP and an advisory group of drinking water stakeholders provincewide. MCR2123 will be available in classrooms throughout Ontario, virtually, and by correspondence in the Spring of 2021.
The MECP has also directed WCWC to develop an Ethics course in support of its new Code of Ethics. While the vast majority of Ontario’s operators conduct themselves with honesty and integrity, the MECP has noticed an increase in noncompliance related to unethical behaviour. Ethics for Drinking Water Operators is a three-hour online course available early in 2021. The MECP’s Code of Ethics will become part of the operator certification and renewal application process.
What’s new for 2021?
Response has been very positive for our virtual course deliveries, and there continues to be interest in eLearning from our client base. We will be adding to our list of virtual offerings using theory content from existing courses supplemented by videos and interactive online group activity.
The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) operates a public Wells Help Desk to help ensure that information is available to the public. The Wells Helps Desk also receives and forwards well complaints to the appropriate ministry office, answers general questions on wells, assists well owners to locate their well record and assists the well industry sector in obtaining licenses, well record forms and well tags (MECP, 2021).
MECP Wells Help Desk
Wells Help Desk
Environmental Monitoring and Reporting Branch
Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
125 Resources Road
Toronto ON M9P 3V6
Well Records & Requests
Information and rules for residential well owners, including the proper location, construction, maintenance and abandonment of a well can be found at Wells on your property.Read More
The following links are sorted by their relevance to categories of drinking water systems.
If you are unsure of what regulation your system falls under, the documents below provide information on O. Reg. 170/03 and O. Reg. 319/08 systems.
Large O. Reg. 170/03 Systems
Small O. Reg. 170/03 Systems
O. Reg. 319/08 Systems
The following documents are drafts provided by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) and are being provided for discussion purposes only.
Feedback is collected and reviewed during the set consultation period.
The Wells Regulation helps to ensure that groundwater quality, well water quality, and the environment are protected. The following series of technical bulletins were created for water supply well owners.
They summarize information found in the Water Supply Wells: Requirements and Best Management Practices manual published by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP).
- Completing the New Well’s Structure
- Flowing Wells
- Installing Equipment in a Well
- New Construction of the Hole, Casing, Well Screen and Annular Space
- Siting a New Well
- Well Abandonment: When to Plug and Seal a Well
- Well Abandonment: How to Plug and Seal a Well
- Well Construction Licensing
- Well Disinfection
- Well Maintenance
- Well Repairs and Other Alterations