The Drinking Water Safety Initiative (DWSI) for Newfoundland and Labrador was jointly announced by the Department of Environment and Conservation and the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment in May 2008. This initiative began after the Department of Environment and Conservation reviewed the current water supplies of communities across the province. Of all the communities that were tested, 114 of them were rated as top priority. From here, the decision was made to focus on communities with populations of less than 500 people for the first phase of the project.
To be eligible for the DWSI, communities should have a population of 500 people or less at the time of application. The current water system must have demonstrated multiple high risk drinking water quality issues based on the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality. This includes long term boil water advisories, high levels of disinfection by-products or exceedances of other health related parameters.
A significant component of this DWSI includes the installation of Advanced Drinking Water Systems or “water kiosks.” These units are a viable and sustainable option to deal with multiple drinking water quality issues in small and remote communities in Newfoundland and Labrador. They consist of a small scale water treatment system that treats only a fraction of total water demand on a distribution system meant for drinking and food preparation. Many of the same treatment processes found in large scale water treatment plants are used but on a more economical scale so that rural communities can benefit from lower capital and operation and maintenance costs. They provide safe, high quality potable drinking water for local residents eliminating the need for boiling water or purchasing bottled water. The stations store treated water on-site at a centralized location for manual collection by users. The public water supply will still be used for all non-consumptive uses – washing, toilets, etc.
This initiative is led by the Department of Municipal Affairs and Environment under their Multi-Barrier Strategic Action Plan for drinking water safety. Financially supporting requests from communities for infrastructure that provides clean, safe drinking water, including Drinking Water Dispensing Stations, continues to be a priority for Municipal Affairs.
For additional information regarding the Drinking Water Safety Initiative and how it applies to your community please contact: