Banner Image
Increase Text SizeDecrease Text Size

DWQMS History

"Ontario has established a strong regulatory framework for drinking water systems in the province.  This framework under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and related regulations focuses on compliance-based results which are verified through the Ministry of Environments' compliance and abatement programs.

The DWQMS complements this legislative and regulatory framework by endorsing a proactive and preventive approach to assuring drinking water quality.

Incorporating the concepts of quality management to drinking water systems was recommended by The Honourable Dennis R. O'Connor in Part Two of the Walkerton Inquiry.  In his words:

' The purpose of the quality management approach in the context of drinking water is to protect the public health by achieving consistent good practices in managing and operating a water system.  The hallmarks of this approach include:

  • the adoption of best practices and continual improvement;
  • "real time" process control (e.g. the continuous monitoring of turbidity, chlorine residual, and disinfection contact time) wherever feasible;
  • the effective operation of robust multiple barriers to protect public health;
  • preventive rather than strictly reactive strategies to identify and manage risks to public health; and
  • effective leadership'
This recommendation to adopt a QMS approach has been mandated by the provincial government through the SDWA.  To address this requirements in the Act, the Ministry of the Environment has developed, with water industry stakeholders, a quality management standard specific to the needs of the drinking-water systems in Ontario - the DWQMS.  The DWQMS is applicable to the owner and operating authorities for all municipal residential drinking-water systems, including treatment, transmission and/or distribution"

Ministry of Environment
A Guide for Ontario's Drinking Water System - July 2007