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alPHa Resolutions - Safe Drinking Water
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alPHa Position:

Safe, accessible and clean drinking water is a requirement for good health. From the source, through treatment and distribution, to the tap of the consumer, drinking water must be protected from contamination. Monitioring, verification and contingency plans must be in place to ensure that measures to protect drinking water are working, and that problems can be quickly identified and reversed. Strong legislation is essential to these protective measures.

Please click here to read the May 31, 2005 Chief Drinking Water Inspector's Progress Report on Ontario's Municipal Residential Drinking Water Systems.

Please cick here to read alPHa's final submission to the O'Connor Commission. It is the compendium of many of alPHa's recommendations and advocacy efforts on the safe water issues that were identified following the Walkerton e. coli outbreak of May, 2000.

Resolution:  # A09-7, Regulation of the Bottled Water Industry

THAT alPHa urges the Government of Canada to enact a comprehensive regulatory regime for the bottled water industry administered and enforced by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and Health Canada that includes:
-Bottled water conforming, at a minimum, to the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality,
-Comprehensive bottled water labelling, including the water source, quantity and contents of any added ingredients, packaging date, expiry, treatment processes, the instruction "refrigerate after opening", and manufacturers contact information,
-Public reporting of water quality tests performed by manufacturers from government-approved laboratories testing for bacteriological, chemical and radiological contaminants on a specified regular basis, and
-Regular reviewing and updating of bottled water labelling and testing requirements; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT alPHa urge the Government of Canada to continue to significantly reinvest in public drinking water infrastructure through federal transfers to the provinces, territories and municipalities, possibly including from revenues derived from a special surtax levied on the profits of the bottled water industry.


Developments on #A09-7:

November 9, 2009
Response received from the federal Minister of Health, outlining the existing standards and guidelines governing bottled water safety in Canada. Please click here to read.

August 20, 2009
Letter written to the federal Minister of Health urging immediate and comprehensive regulatory regime for bottled water products. Please click here to read.

Resolution: #A04-7, Minimum Separation Distances from Sewage Systems to Wells and Surface Waters
THAT alPHa petition the Minister of Municipal Affairs to immediately amend the regulations governing the repair and replacement of sewage systems to include a clear definition of the "repair" and "replacement" of sewage systems and to require that the minimum separation to wells and surface water not be less than that required for newly constructed sewage systems.

Developments on #A04-7:

August 25, 2005
Reply received from MMAH regarding alPHa's July 11 letter. Please click here to read.

July 11, 2005
New letter sent to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing to reintroduce the resolution and further explain our concerns. Please click here to read.

September 10, 2004

Reply received to the letter described below. It states that the health unit may order upgrades to the system if it feels that it is unsafe. Please click here to read.

July 21, 2004
Letter written to Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing John Gerretsen introducing alPHa resolution #A04-7. Please click here to read.

Resolution:   # A02-6, Arsenic in Drinking Water
alPHa urges the Government of Ontario to amend Regulation 459/00 under the Ontario Water Resources Act to set a Maximum Acceptable Concentration for Arsenic in drinking water of 0.003 mg/L (3 ppb).

Developments on # A02-6:

July 4, 2007
alPHa has received a reply from MOE to the May 10 letter indicating that the current guideline is under review. Please click here to read.

May 10, 2007
alPHa has written a letter to the Minister of the Environment inquiring about the province's intent to lower the MAC for Arsenic under the Ontario Drinking Water Standards, which remains at 0.025 mg/L. Please click here to read the letter.

May 2006
The current Maximum Acceptable Concentration (MAC) for arsenic in drinking water (0.01mg/L) has been reaffirmed in the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality. The rationale is based on balancing relative risk with the cost of treatment technologies required to lower the MAC to levels considered to be of "essentially negligible risk" (0.003 mg/L). Please click here to read the rationale.

October 11, 2002
Received a response from Minister Chris Stockwell indicating that the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Drinking Water has undertaken a review of this contaminant, which is scheduled to conclude in the autumn of 2003, at which time a consultation on revising the Federal guideline of 0.025 mg/L will take place. If a revision lowers the limit, the Province will undertake a similar consultation through the EBR.

Resolution:  #A01-10, Access to Safe Drinking Water
alPHa urges the Government of Ontario to amend the Ontario Building Code Act to require that all new residential buildings that will rely on a private surface water supply which includes a dug well, must have effective filtration and disinfection equipment; AND FURTHER that in order to encourage the outfitting of existing residential buildings alPHa requestthe Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario to allow the cost of retrofitting with water filtration and disinfection equipment as tax deductible.

Developments on #A01-10:

August 22, 2002
Received a reply from Minister Stockwell, indicating that solutions are being sought to address concerns expressed about requirements of O. Reg 459/00. The MOE will also be providing information to operators of systems not covered by 459 or 505/01 expressing that they need to ensure safe water. New standards for wells are also being proposed.

July 10, 2002
Received a letter from Ministry of Municipal Affairs & Housing Minister Chris Hodgson, who indicated his commitment to safe drinking water, and pointed out that potable water is a requirement of the building code. He also pointed out that the MOE is responsible for establishing drinking water standards, and forwarded a copy of our letter to Minister Stockwell.          

Local Board Resolutions - Safe Water

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Durham - Bottled Water PDF (181.7 KB)  more ] Administration 2012-11-23
SDHU - Small Drinking Water Systems PDF (39.67 KB)  more ] Administration 2012-11-23
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