Drinking Water

Drinking Water

Drinking Water System
The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake owns and operates two separate drinking water distribution systems which are the Niagara-on-the-Lake drinking water system (Niagara-on-the-Lake DWS) and the Bevan Heights drinking water system (Bevan Heights DWS). The Town maintains responsibility for water distribution only; the facilities for water treatment and storage are owned and managed by the Niagara Region. The two drinking water systems distribute treated drinking water within a service area of approximately 12,600 Ha. The service area is bounded by Lake Ontario, the Niagara River, the City of Niagara Falls and the City of St. Catharines.

Niagara-on-the-Lake Drinking Water System
The Niagara-on-the-Lake system receives treated water from the Niagara Region’s Decew Falls Water Treatment Plant in St. Catharines and the Niagara Falls Water Treatment Plant, both of which are regionally owned and operated. The Niagara-on-the-Lake system conveys water to approximately 15,000 residents through an estimated 190 km of Town owned watermains.

Water Facts
The Niagara-on-the-Lake Drinking Water System includes:
• 190 km of watermains
• 1150 fire hydrants
• 1000 valves
• 2 water filling stations

Bevan Heights Drinking Water System
The Bevan Heights Drinking Water System is much smaller than the Niagara-on-the-Lake Drinking Water System. It receives its treated water from the Niagara Region’s Niagara Falls Water Treatment Plant via the City of Niagara Falls drinking water distribution system.
The Bevan Heights system distributes drinking water to approximately 157 residents, and includes around 2 Km of mainly PVC watermains.

Water Facts
The Bevan Heights Drinking Water System includes:
• 2 Km of watermains
• 10 fire hydrants
• 5 valves

Water Sampling, Testing and Monitoring
The treated drinking water within the Town’s two distribution systems is tested for E.coli, total coliforms, Heterotrophic plate count (HPC), free chlorine residual, trihalomethanes, pH and lead.
The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s drinking water continually meets the Drinking Water Quality Standards set out by the Province of Ontario, proving that the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake provides safe drinking water of high quality.
Sampling, testing and monitoring results are summarized in reports, which are required to be prepared and published annually. To view the reports, click here.

Drinking Water Licensing
In the findings of the Walkerton Inquiry, Justice O’Connor recommended that municipal drinking water systems owners obtain a licence to operate their systems and incorporate quality management into their operations. To meet this recommendation, the Ministry of Environment (MOE) developed the Municipal Drinking Water Licensing Program, under the Safe Drinking Water Act, 2002. All municipalities in Ontario that supply drinking water must have a Licence for their system. The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake submitted their application for a Licence April 29, 2009.

In order to obtain a Licence, municipalities are required to have:
• A Drinking Water Works Permit
• An Operational Plan
• Accreditation of the Operating Authority (third party audit of the Drinking Water Quality Management System)
• A Financial Plan
• A Permit to Take Water

The application for a Water Works Permit and the Operational Plan were submitted April 29, 2009. The Town received its Permit and interim Licence in April of 2010. The Operating Authority (the Public Works division) has received accreditation from a third party in February 2010 and is now an accredited operating authority. The Town must submit its Financial Plan in October 2010. Once all requirements have been met, the Town will receive a full licence. The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake is not required to have a Permit to Take Water since the two Water Distribution Systems are stand-alone systems, receiving all treated water from the Region of Niagara.

Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Drinking Water Quality Management System (DWQMS)
Implementation of the Drinking Water Quality Management System (DWQMS) is part of the new Municipal Drinking Water Licensing Program. A Quality Management System (QMS) consists of a set of policies, procedures and objectives that direct and control an organization with respect to quality. These policies, procedures and objectives are documented in the Town’s Operational Plan. A QMS helps to identify and prioritize risks, improves communication and team work, and provides procedures to enhance consistency and reduce errors.

Operational Plan
The purpose of the Operational Plan is to document the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Drinking Water Quality Management System (policies, procedures and objectives) to help ensure that safe drinking water is supplied to all of its customers. The operational plan applies to all drinking water related operations at the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake and Bevan Heights drinking water systems.
Copies of the Operational Plan are accessible to the public. Hard copies are available at the Town Administration Building (1593 Four Mile Creek Road) or at the Public Works Building (3 Lorraine Street) in Virgil.

Financial Plan
Water System Financial Plan 2010
Appendices to Water System Financial Plan

Town’s Drinking Water Quality Management Policy
To view the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Drinking Water Policy, click here.

For more information on the Drinking Water Quality Management Standard, visit: 
http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/envision/env_reg/er/documents/2006/Drinking%20Water%20Quality%20Management%20Standard%20-%20October%202006.pdf

For a Municipal Drinking Water Licensing Program overview, visit: 
http://www.ontario.ca/drinkingwater/160419.pdf

Frequently Asked Questions

For more information, please contact:
Darrin Wills, C.Tech, rcji
Water & Wastewater Supervisor
dwills@notl.org
905-468-3061, ext. 272