Maintenance & Monitoring Plan

A well-managed drinking water system is critical for the delivery of safe drinking water. To ensure this, there are both administrative and technical components that need to be managed. These include duties and responsibilities in the operation and maintenance of your small water system, as well as annual reporting requirements.

Expectations and Requirements of Operations and Maintenance

To operate and maintain a small water system effectively, the water supplier needs to:

  • ensure that the operators have adequate training 
  • charge water consumers a rate that supports a sustainable system
  • plan for maintenance on a frequent and ongoing basis
  • maintain adequate disinfectant residual throughout the distribution system
  • ensure the operators know the water system’s infrastructure (assets), their locations and condition
  • implement a cross control connection program (with particular attention to monitoring and maintenance of backflow prevention devices and the maintenance of positive water pressures throughout the system)
  • implement proper disinfection and flushing procedures for new construction and repairs to the distribution system (water mains, etc.)
  • monitor piping and equipment for corrosion and, if necessary, implement measures to reduce corrosion
  • maintain water mains by routine flushing and/or swabbing
  • measure or estimate water usage to determine water consumption and losses
  • implement a leak detection program to help detect leaks that occur or may occur
  • monitor and maintain the source water (well, lake, river, creek, spring) intake structure/equipment
  • monitor, maintain, repair and replace water system components such as intakes (for wells and surface water sources), treatment systems, reservoirs, water mains, pumps, pipes, hydrants, valves, other equipment, etc.
  • maintain an inventory of spare parts for water system equipment (treatment equipment, pumps, valves, etc.)


This may seem like an overwhelming number of tasks to complete. However, by creating and using a schedule, the operations and maintenance tasks can be planned in advance and carried out in a timely manner. The following is general guidance, your specific needs may be different.

  • Read and record the master water meter to record the daily consumption
  • Inspect the area around the source (wellhead/intake)
  • Inspect the hypochlorinator and other treatment equipment
  • Monitor the water level in the reservoir or storage tanks
  • Check leaks and damage and make repairs
  • Respond to complaints, information or observations concerning damage or leaks related to the reservoir, water mains or other components of the distribution system
  • Chlorine Residual Testing
  • Test and record the free chlorine residuals (immediately after the required chlorine contact time and at the ends of the distribution system)
  • Test and record the total chlorine residual to give you the combined chlorine residual after the required chlorine contact time and at the ends of the distribution system 

  • Check the operation of pressure tanks
  • Check the system pressure to ensure that target pressures (usually between 40psi/275 kPa and 60 psi/413 kPa) are maintained throughout the distribution system
  • Collect finished/treated bacteriological water samples from the distribution system (especially, at the ends). Schedule B of the Drinking Water Protection Regulation specifies that four samples be collected each month but not necessarily weekly.

  • Check pump operations
  • Clean the pumphouse and area
  • Clean chlorine lines and tanks and ensure the NSF/ANSI/CAN 60 certified chlorine solutions have not expired
  • Calibrate the hypochlorinator
  • Check the reservoir (including the reservoir’s air vents, overflow line and drain line) and  storage tanks for damage or leaks
  • Collect raw/untreated source water bacteriological samples (preferably, quarterly, as this is usually sufficient to track seasonal changes in the raw water quality)

  • Exercise valves
  • Check safety equipment

  • Flush the distribution system (especially, at the dead ends)
  • Check ∕ test fire hydrants (preferably, every 6 months, in the Spring and Fall)
  • Prepare for winter operation
  • Maintain the pump house, etc.
  • Update the Emergency Response Plan
  • Publish the Annual Report
  • Calibrate the chlorine test meter (in the portable test kit)

  • Clean reservoir and storage tanks (every 2-3 years or as recommended by the Public Health Engineer)
  • Physical/Chemical sampling (every 3-5 years)