Small Drinking Water Systems

Small Drinking Water Systems are regulated under the Health Protection and Promotion Act by Ontario Regulation 319/08 (Small Drinking Water Systems).

If your business makes drinking water available to the public and you do not get your drinking water from a municipal drinking water system, you may be an owner or operator of a small drinking water system.

The Ministry of Health uses a risk-based approach for regulating small drinking water systems. Public health inspectors conduct individual site-specific risk assessments then issue a directive, setting out individual requirements for each system. The customized directive depends on the level of risk instead of a “one-size-fits-all” approach and has reduced unnecessary burden on small drinking water system owner/operators without compromising provincial drinking water standards.

Small drinking water systems can include restaurants, seasonal trailer parks, summer camps, community centres, libraries, gas stations, motels, churches and many other public facilities. If you are not sure whether your system is affected, contact your local public health unit.

Fact sheets and guidance

Small drinking water system operator fact sheets

Short-term residential swimming pool rentals by private homeowners

This document provides basic information for owners of residential pools who are using or considering using online platforms to enable the short-term rental of their pool to the public.

Read the Short-term residential swimming pool rentals by private homeowners guidance document.

Guidance for exempt public spas

The following documents have been developed to support the implementation of recent changes to the Public Pools Regulation for newly and previously exempted public spas:


Notice to Operate or Reopen a Small Drinking Water System 014-4579-64

The Small Drinking Water System Identification form is to be used by owners of small drinking water systems to notify in writing the medical officer of health in the health unit where their system is located before supplying drinking water to users of the system following construction or alteration of the small drinking water system or following a shut-down of the system that lasts longer than 7 days.

Laboratory Services Notification (LSN) 014-4578-64

The Laboratory Services Notification (LSN) form is to be used by small drinking water system owners/operators to notify the local public health unit in writing as to which licensed laboratories will test drinking water samples for their small drinking water systems.

Notice of Adverse Test Results and Issue Resolution 014-4580-64

The Notice of Adverse Test Results and Issue Resolution form is to be used by licensed laboratories and owners/operators of small drinking water systems to support required written notifications pertaining to small drinking water system adverse water quality incidents (AWQI).