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Environment Parks

Systems to Promote Drinking Water Safety and Regulate Water Well Drilling Activities

 

Summary

History of the audit

In 2006, we audited the Department of Environment and Water systems to regulate and promote safe drinking water under the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act, as well as systems to regulate water well drilling under the Water Act. It is the Department’s responsibility to report on the safety of drinking water and effectiveness of Alberta’s drinking water regime. The audit dealt only with drinking water quality, not with raw water supply and source protection.

We did the original audit in 2006 (our October 2006 Report, vol. 1—pages 25–61 and vol. 2—pages 84–86) because the quality of drinking water is important to the health of Albertans. Systems to properly operate and monitor drinking water treatment and distribution in the province are vital to the well-being of people. In our October 2006 Report we concluded that necessary systems exist, and are generally well designed. However, we also identified a number of opportunities for improvement, resulting in seven recommendations (see table below). In 2009, we followed up on three of the recommendations that were aimed at areas directly involved in managing risks associated with waterworks operations. We expected the Department to take immediate action in those three areas. The remaining recommendations required a longer implementation timeframe.

See the table below for our audit conclusions.

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