Drinking Water Quality Management System

The Drinking Water Quality Management System, also known as DWQMS, is a set of policies and procedures we use to ensure the consistent delivery of clean, safe drinking water to our community. This was brought in after the events in Walkerton and the Walkerton Inquiry in 2000 based on Justice O’Connor’s recommendation.

Operating Authority’s

The Safe Drinking Water Act, or SDWA, was enacted in 2002 by the Province of Ontario as a result of events in Walkerton. The SDWA requires owners and operating authorities of municipal residential drinking water systems to have an accredited Operating Authority.

An Operating Authority:

  • Establishes and maintains a quality management system that meets the requirements of Ontario’s Drinking Water Quality Management Standard (DWQMS)
  • Is granted accreditation by a Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change approved accreditation body after a third party verifies that the quality management system meets the requirements of the DWQMS

The City of Hamilton has received Full Accreditation for its five Drinking Water Systems (DWS)

Under the SDWA, operators of a municipal drinking water system must have a licence to manage and operate the system. To get the licence, the Operating Authority must have:

  • A Permit to Take Water
  • Drinking Water Works Permit
  • Accredited Operating Authority

You can view the Operational Plan Summary Report (PDF, 781 KB) at:

Included in the Operational Plan Summary Report is Hamilton's Drinking Water Quality Management System Policy (PDF, 410 KB).  

You can pick up a copy of the Water Infrastructure Financial Plan at the City of Hamilton Water Customer Service Area, 330 Wentworth Street North, Hamilton.

If you require these plans in an alternative format such as Braille or large print, call 905-546-2424 ext. 2321.