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Small Drinking Water Systems

If you provide access to drinking water for the public and your water is not provided by a municipal source, you may be operating a Small Drinking Water System (SDWS). These systems must follow the requirements under the law, Small Drinking Water Systems (O. Reg. 319/08).

Public Health Units across Ontario inspect and regulate Small Drinking Water Systems. Please contact the HNHU if you are, or believe you may be, a Small Drinking Water System and you have not received a site specific risk assessment by a Public Health Inspector.

Types of Small Drinking Water Systems

Examples of Small Drinking Water Systems include: a food service establishment, a place that operates primarily for the purpose of providing overnight accommodation to the travelling public, a trailer park or campground, a marina, a church, a mosque, a synagogue, a temple or other place of worship, a recreational camp, a recreational or athletic facility, a place, other than a private residence, where a service club or fraternal organization meets on a regular basis, or any place where the general public has access to a washroom, drinking water fountain or shower. 

There are 5 Classes of Small Drinking Water Systems.

  • Small Non-Municipal Non-Residential (e.g., church, motel, B&B, restaurant)
  • Large Non-Municipal Non-Residential (e.g., large resort)
  • Small Municipal Non-Residential (e.g., community hall, sports field/arena)
  • Large Municipal Non-Residential (e.g., airport, large sports complex)
  • Non-Municipal Seasonal Residential (e.g., trailer park, campground)


Small Drinking Water Systems Operators Guide



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