Operating Your Water System

In order to provide safe, clean, and reliable drinking water, all parts of the water supply system (from source to tap) must be managed. This can be achieved by using a multi-barrier approach. 

The Multi-Barrier Approach

The multi-barrier approach is a system of processes and procedures that, together, prevent or reduce contamination in water in order to reduce risks to public health. This includes not only the treatment used on your water, but the infrastructure of your system, the procedures you implement, and how your system is maintained and operated.

As there is no singular approach or treatment that provides complete protection all of the time, it’s important to use multiple methods that, when used together, reduce and eliminate contaminants. This approach not only reduces pathogens and other contaminants, it also increases the effectiveness of all your treatment interventions and makes it easier to correct problems when they arise. Part of this approach is also to create safeguards and contingency plans so you can respond quickly to emergency situations, and for there to be redundancies in the system to help prevent negative impacts. 

multibarrier approach diagram
Adapted from: Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment. From source to tap: the multi-barrier approach to safe drinking water; 2002