Small Drinking Water Systems

A small drinking water system:

  • Can be privately or publicly owned or operated
  • Provides drinking water to the public

If you own and/or operate a business or facility that has its own drinking water system that uses water from a well or cistern, then you likely own and operate a small drinking water system.  Small drinking water systems are usually located in the rural areas of Hamilton where municipal water is not available, and include the following types of business or facilities:

  • restaurants
  • seasonal trailer parks and campgrounds
  • hotels, motels, Bed and Breakfast’s and other places that provide overnight accommodation to travellers
  • churches and places of worship
  • recreational facilities
  • municipal parks
  • sports and leisure facilities
  • private clubs or fraternal organizations
  • places where the public has access to a drinking fountain, shower or a washroom

Regulations under the Health Protection and Promotion Act require owners of small drinking water systems to provide consistently safe drinking water to their users.

The following information will help you understand your responsibilities for small drinking water systems:

Operator requirements before providing water

There are two forms you need to complete and submit before you provide water from a new small drinking water system.

  1. Complete the Small Drinking Water System Notification form (PDF, 59 KB)
  • before you provide water from a new small drinking water system
  • before you provide water again if your small drinking water system has been shut down for more than 60 consecutive days
  • if you have altered your small drinking water system
  1. Complete the Small Drinking Water System Operator Designation form (PDF, 183 KB) to designate an operator of the small drinking water system to help meet your regulatory requirements.

You can submit both of these forms by mail, by fax or in-person to:

Public Health Services
Safe Water Program
Robert Thomson Building
110 King Street West, 2nd Floor
Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4S6
Fax: 905-546-2787

Owners and operators of small drinking water systems regulated under Ontario Regulations 318/319 are required to report incidents of adverse water quality to Hamilton Public Health Services. To report an adverse drinking water quality incident call Public Health:

  • Monday to Friday between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm at 905-546-2424 ext. 2189
  • After hours, weekends and holidays at 905-546-3500 and ask for an on-call public health inspector

Use the Notice of Adverse Test Results and Issue Resolution form to provide corrective action and issue resolution to Public Health Services within 24 hours of receiving an adverse test results. Submit the form by fax to 905-546-2787.

Maintaining and treating small drinking water systems

The following resources explain procedures used for maintaining and treating small drinking water systems:

Contact us

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