I feel the solutions recommended for Small Water Suppliers should be standard for everyone across Canada not just for small water suppliers explained below. Maintenance could be handled like local fire fighters when they check commercial establishments to ensure they have an operational fire extinguisher to meet fire safety codes. This would have many benefits such as: reduce water consumption because homeowners would need to buy replacement water filters at the rate they are consumed, chlorine wouldn’t need to be injected in the distribution system (the pipes between the water treatment plant and the taps in your home) to indicate contaminants were present, the actual cost of water would be realized, and water suppliers could focus on contaminants caused by climate change. As well it would protect homeowners when contaminants enter in the distribution system through cross-connection, back flow, or contamination of reservoirs. Click here to read the guidebook from the British Columbia Health Protection Branch, Ministry of Health or read some excerpts below.
Small Water Suppliers serving up to 500 individuals during any 24 hours period are exempt from the Drinking Water Protection Act if each recipient has a point of use (POU) or point of entry (POE) treatment system that makes the water potable.
6.5 POINT‐OF‐ENTRY AND POINT‐OF‐USE TREATMENT SYSTEMS
The water in the distribution system of a small water system may not have to meet the potability requirement if each recipient of water from the system has a point‐of‐entry (POE) or point‐of‐use (POU) treatment system that treats the water at the tap or when it enters the building. POE/POU systems are required to meet the same potability standards as treatment systems used in centralized water supply systems. Also, the water supplier must ensure that the location of non‐potable discharge and non‐potable water piping are identified by markings that are permanent, distinct and easily recognized.
The operation and maintenance of individual POE/POU treatment systems are the responsibility of the water supply system. POE/ POU systems are regulated and must have a construction permit before installation. They must also have an operating permit that includes monitoring criteria.
You may consider using POE or POU units in the following situations:
• Where most of the total water supplied is used for irrigation or other non‐potable use, and only a small quantity needs treatment.
• If a small water system supplier finds it is more cost effective than centralized treatment ‐ generally for water supply systems with less than 40‐50 connections).
• If there is a chronic chemical contaminant such as arsenic in the source water. In this case, they may also be used in combination with centralized treatment.
• If there is customer resistance to certain forms of conventional treatment.
Installation may include a number of pieces of equipment (i.e., filters and disinfection units), which are assembled together to treat water to a desired standard. These devices are installed at the home or facility of the end water user. As part of the approval process, the health authorities ensure that a service agreement is in place. Contact your health authority for further information on these units.
In 2007, the Ministry of Health commissioned a report entitled Application of “Point of Entry” and “Point of Use” Water Treatment Technology in British Columbia. The report outlines research and application of POE/ POU water treatment systems for providing potable water by small water systems. Intended as an initial resource for developing more information on the topic, it is posted online, at http://www.health.gov.bc.ca/protect/poureport_main.pdf
The not‐for‐profit Sustainable Infrastructure Society, located on the University of Victoria campus, has a POE/POU program to help assess the suitability of POE/POU water treatment systems. Its Guide Book: Planning and Implementation of Point‐of‐Entry and Point‐of‐Use Water Treatment Systems in British Columbia is posted at http://www.waterbc.ca/Community/members/documents/poe/POE%20Complete%20Guidebook%205Nov07% 20VJR.pdf