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Your Link to Muskoka's Water!


Owner & Operator
Drinking Water Systems 

glassOwner and operator drinking water systems are owned by a corporate body or municipality to serve a business or other public facility, such as a resort, condominium, rural community centre or rural church.

Owner and operator responsibilities

  • Sample and test your water in a frequency designed to reflect the type and users of the system.
  • Have a professional engineer evaluate your drinking water system and submit a report to you. The purpose is to ensure that you have sufficient treatment equipment and to outline a maintenance schedule for your equipment.
  • Make sure to have an independent evaluation of your water supply.
  • Public documents relating to the quality of your drinking water, and an annual report on the operation of your system need to be supplied to the public during normal business hours. Test results, orders and approvals must be incorporated into these documents.
  • You must notify the local Medical Officer of Health and the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change if adverse test results arise.
  • The bottom line is that you are responsible for supplying safe drinking water.

View the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change's documentation under Ontario Regulation 170/03 on the roles and responsibilities of owners and operators of various drinking water systems for more information.


Laws and regulations

The Ontario Water Resources Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act are the two primary pieces of legislation regulating drinking water.

Various pieces of drinking water legislation helps those accountable for drinking water quality to comprehend the policies, regulations and standards presently in place.


What contaminants should I test for?

Your Certificate of Approval will detail any testing you are required to do.


Laboratory testing

water-testingMake sure that the laboratory you decide to use is accredited and has a documented quality control system in place.

You should also check that the laboratory is accredited to test for the contaminants you require.


What happens if I get a bad result?

If you become aware of a bad test result or if you see that your drinking water system is not properly treating your water, you must immediately notify the Medical Officer of Health at the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit. Where a specific contaminant spill is involved you should also contact the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change's Spills Action Centre.

The Medical Officer of Health may require that you post a boil water advisory or take other precautionary measures.



The Ministry of the Environment is in the process of determining how to properly carry out routine inspections on your drinking water system. This may be developed through the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change or the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.