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Great Lakes Article:

ACTION ALERT: Citizen Comments Needed On Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines

07/09/2002
EBR: Proposal to revise the Canadian Drinking Water Guideline for Turbidity

EBR Registry Number: PA02E0006 Type of Posting: Policy Ministry: Environment Status of Posting: Proposal Date Proposal Loaded: 2002/06/21

Comment Period: 119 day(s) Written submissions may be made between June 21, 2002 and October 18, 2002.

Proposal to revise the Canadian Drinking Water Guideline for Turbidity

Short Description:

The primary purpose of Ontario Drinking Water Standards is to protect public health. Most Ontario Drinking Water Standards are adopted from the Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality.

The Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality are established via a formal Federal-Provincial-Territorial process with the participation of Health Canada, Environment Canada and each of the provinces and territories. These Guidelines are established/revised as necessary by the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Subcommittee on Drinking Water (DWS).

Turbidity has been reassessed by Health Canada and the DWS. New criteria based on ensuring optimal performance by various filtration technologies are being proposed. The proposed revised Canadian Drinking Water Guideline (CDWG) for turbidity is 0.1 to 1 NTU depending on filtration method.

A National Consultation on the proposed CDWG has recently been initiated. The consultation will run until October 18th, 2002.

Purpose of the Proposal:

Health Canada and the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Subcommittee on Drinking Water propose revising the existing Canadian Drinking Water Guideline for turbidity of 1 Nephelometric Turbidity Unit (NTU) as follows:

(1) For chemically assisted filtration,

(a) When the monthly average of daily source water turbidity is greater than or equal to 1.5 NTU, the filtered water turbidity is to be less than 0.3 NTU in at least 95% of the measurements made each calendar month; not exceed 0.3 NTU for more than 12 consecutive hours; and not exceed 1.0 NTU at any time.

(b) When the monthly average of daily source water turbidity is less than 1.5 NTU, the filtered water turbidity is to be less than 0.2 NTU in at least 95% of the measurements made each calendar month; not exceed 0.2 NTU for more than 12 consecutive hours; and not exceed 1.0 NTU at any time.

(2) For slow sand or diatomaceous earth filtration, the filtered water turbidity is to be less than or equal to 1.0 NTU in at least 95% of the measurements made each calendar month; and not exceed 3.0 NTU at any time.

(3) For membrane filtration, the filtered water turbidity is to be less than or equal to 0.1 NTU in at least 95% of the measurements made each calendar month; and not exceed 0.3 NTU at any time.

Excessive turbidity has often been associated with unacceptable tastes and odours. Turbidity in excess of 5 NTU becomes visually apparent and may be objected to by consumers. Also, turbidity higher than 5 NTU in distribution systems or at the tap generally serves to signal deteriorating water quality such as local corrosion, scaling and/or the growth of nuisance bacteria. Accordingly, an aesthetic objective of 5 NTU is currently in effect for water within distribution systems. This aesthetic objective will remain the same under the proposed revision.

Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines are adopted as guidelines or standards by the Provinces and Territories, including Ontario. Upon its finalization, the proposed revised CDWG for turbidity would be adopted as an Ontario Drinking Water Standard (ODWS).

Note that the proposed CDWG allows for measuring the turbidity of combined filter effluents. Ontario proposes that, if adopted, the corresponding ODWS would be applied to each individual filter, as per the current ODWS. This is advantageous from both operational and health protection standpoints.

Other Public Consultation:

The Federal/Provincial/Territorial Subcommittee on Drinking Water (DWS) is conducting a national public consultation on the proposed revised turbidity CDWG, ending October 18, 2002. Comments received through this Ontario EBR consultation will be forwarded to the DWS as input to the national consultation.

Comments may be submitted by e-mail to: sdb-ebr@ene.gov.on.ca

Comments should be directed to the following Contact Person:

Adam Socha Standards Development Branch 125 Resources Road Toronto, Ontario, M9P 3V6 PHONE: (416) 327-9854 FAX: (416) 327-9091

Some Government offices have additional information on this proposal for viewing. These are listed below:

Standards Development Branch 40 St. Clair Avenue West

7th floor, Toronto, Ontario, M4V 1M2

PHONE: (416) 327-5519 FAX: (416) 327-2936

Additional material in support of this notice is available by clicking the following hyperlink(s):

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ehp/ehd/bch/water_quality/consult/turbidity.pdf

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ehp/dhm/dpc/eau_qualite/consult/turbidite.pdf

All comments will be considered as part of the decision-making by the Ministry if they: (a) are submitted in writing; (b) reference the EBR Registry number; and (c) are received by the Contact person within the specified comment period.

** No acknowledgment or individual response will be provided to those who comment. All comments & submissions received will become part of the public record. **

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For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for
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