Guidelines for Drinking Water Haulers

The following information and recommendations are provided for drinking water haulers operating in the Niagara region:

Water Supply Source

Source water supplies should be those that are regulated under the Safe Drinking Water Act or under the Health Protection and Promotion Act.

Owners and operators of these drinking water systems should consult with the Ministry Of Environment or the local public health unit to determine any implications of supplying drinking water to hauling businesses.

Measures and Recommendations

Owners / operators of water haulers must ensure that:

  • Drinking water must be obtained from a supply that complies with the requirements of Ontario Drinking - Water Quality Standards
  • Take appropriate measures to protect the tank, equipment and connections from becoming contaminated during storage, filling, transportation and delivery of the drinking water
  • Inlets or openings of containers used for drinking water haulage are constructed and maintained in a manner that will prevent the entry of insects, rodents or any foreign material that may contaminate the water. With the exception of instances where cleaning, emptying or filling of the tank is occurring, inlets or openings should be covered and sealed at all times
  • Lubricants are used that may come in contact with the drinking water, the lubricants are of such quality that the lubricants do not contaminate the water or cause a health hazard
  • Bulk containers have not been previously used to transport any substance other than water and are cleaned and sanitized prior to transporting drinking water
  • Bulk containers are clearly and appropriately labelled, such as "Drinking Water" or "Potable Water" and "Water Not Safe for Drinking" or "Non-Potable Water", in letters at least 15 cm high
  • Surfaces with which drinking water comes in direct contact are cleaned and sanitized as often as is necessary to maintain them in a clean and sanitary condition
  • Articles or pieces of equipment that is used for the distribution of drinking water is:
    • Of sound and tight construction
    • In good repair
    • Made of surfaces that can be readily cleaned and sanitized (where drinking water comes in direct contact)
    • Corrosion-resistant and non-toxic
    • Free of cracks, crevices and open seams

Sanitizing Bulk Water Containers

All surfaces should be:

  1. Washed or scrubbed with a detergent solution
  2. Rinsed with clean potable water
  3. Sprayed or rinsed with hot water or steam in a manner that creates a temperature no less than 82° Celsius on the treated surface

    - or -

    Sprayed or rinsed with a chemical solution immersion in a clean:
    • Chlorine solution of not less than 200 parts per million of available chlorine at a temperature not lower than 24° Celsius for at least forty-five seconds
    • Quaternary ammonium compound solution of not less than 400 parts per million at a temperature not lower than 24° Celsius for at least forty-five seconds
    • Solution containing not less than 25 parts per million of available iodine at a temperature not lower than 24° Celsius for at least forty-five seconds
    • Solution containing a sanitizing agent that is non-toxic and that provides a bacteriological result not less than the guidelines above and for which a convenient test reagent is available

Safety Precautions

  • Never enter a tank without first consulting with the Ministry of Labour to determine whether confined space precautions are required
  • The solution and rinse water should be disposed of in a manner that does not adversely affect the environment

Sampling and Record Keeping

The owner / operator of a water haulage vehicle should:

  • Take samples of hauled water (intended for human consumption) at the point of delivery. Water samples should be collected and tested with reference to the Ontario Drinking-Water Quality Standards for microbiological quality, at least once every three months of operation per year.
  • Consider sampling and testing for other chemical or radiological parameters, which will depend on the source supply, in consultation with the local public health unit or the Ministry of Environment.

Owners / operators should also maintain a logbook that records all information including dates, times and locations.

Delivering Water

When delivering water from a hauler, ensure:

  1. The end of the hose is not dragged along the ground during delivery
  2. Tank covers are closed during transport and delivery
  3. Protect delivery hoses and connections from contamination with clean covers (such as single use plastic sleeves)
  4. The hose end is properly sanitized prior to filling the cistern
  5. Any un-sanitized portion of the hose is not placed inside the cistern
  6. Provide the home owner with a copy of Niagara Region Public Health's "Cistern Maintenance for Residential Settings"

Water Sample Kit Pick-up and Drop-off Locations

Residents can pick-up free well and cistern drinking water testing kits and drop-off samples at any of our Public Health locations and most Town Halls.

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