After establishing risk levels for each hazard you’ve identified, you can now develop a Source Protection Plan to mitigate those hazards. Your risk management plan does not have to be complex but it is important to document the steps taken to address the hazard.
strengthen barriers to each hazard
recognize who is responsible in addressing each hazard
include approximate timelines for implementing the barriers to each hazard
Obviously, you do not have control over all the activities in the watershed or aquifer. However, for the most part, water suppliers are accountable for protecting their water source. Some activities in the watershed will be under the control of multi-jurisdictional government agencies and businesses. Understanding who to contact to help address your hazards is an important part of any source protection plan. Creating a timeline allows you to budget both your time and financial needs for implementing recommendations.
You can also contact your local Environmental Health Officer or Drinking Water Officer (DWO) of your Regional Health Authority if you need guidance with your source protection plan.
Ultimately, the water supplier, in consultation with the DWO, is responsible for the implementation of the source protection plan. Having this plan will help ensure the risk management strategies are fulfilled. Your implementation strategy should contain information including:
- the assignment of roles and responsibilities
- a timeline or schedule for implementation
- a monitoring program to measure progress
- how you will allocate resources to fulfill the commitments of the implementation strategy
When you are preparing your source protection plan, it is also a good idea to keep your water users informed of what you are doing. If the water users are included as a stakeholder, they are likely to be more receptive to your plan.
Reviewing and Updating Your Source Assessment and Source Protection Plan
A source assessment is not a one-time activity. The source assessment report and source protection plan should be reviewed and updated as changes to the water system and environment occur. Your hazard inventory needs to be updated when hazards change or new ones are identified. We recommend conducting a full plan review and updating the assessment report at least every five years (preferably, annually).
Small water supply systems serving small populations and only a few connections can use the basic BC Drinking Water Source-to-Tap Screening Tool. This screening tool provides a preliminary review of the water system and its source. This screening tool should also be revisited every few years.
British Columbia Small Water Source Protection Plan Toolkit by Interior Health Authority, prepared by Urban Matters CCC - A comprehensive guide to help small water suppliers develop a scaled-down version of a source assessment and protection plan. In particular, the Source Assessment Report section works well in conjunction with Module 1 of the Comprehensive Drinking Water Source-to-Tap Assessment (CS2TA) Guideline.
Comprehensive Drinking Water Source-to-Tap Assessment Guideline by Province of BC, Ministry of Healthy and Living Sport - The guideline provides a structured and consistent approach to evaluating risks to drinking water and satisfying the assessment requirement under Part 3 of the Drinking Water Protection Act.
Design Guidelines for Rural Residential Community Water Systems by Province of BC, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations & Rural Development. Chapter 2 covers water supply sources.
BC Drinking Water Source-to-Tap Screening Tool by Province of BC, Ministry of Health Services and the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection
Small Water System Guidebook by Province of BC, Ministry of Health - This guidebook is intended to be the first step in helping owners and operators find solutions to the challenges of operating a small water system, so you can provide the best possible drinking water to your customers.
Watersheds 101 by Conservation Ontario - Interactive presentation of a watershed.
Complaints about Activities or Pollution in your Watershed or Aquifer contains links to government agencies that govern practices in our watersheds or provide assistance and complaint follow up.
Guidance for Providing Safe Drinking Water in Areas of Federal Jurisdiction by the Government of Canada
Comprehensive Drinking Water Source-to-Tap Assessment (CS2TA) Guideline by the Government of BC
Risk Analysis Matrix is available in Table 7-3 of Module 7 of the CS2TA Guideline
Types of Drinking Water Contaminants by The Environmental Protection Agency