Health Canada consultations on Drinking Water Guides

Health Canada released three consultation documents on three Drinking Water Guides:


Guidance on Natural Organic Matter in Drinking Water

Health Canada completed its review of NOM in drinking water and the impact that it can have on drinking water treatment processes. This guidance document reviews and assesses risks associated with the impact of NOM on drinking water treatment processes and the safety of drinking water.

The document is being made available for a 60-day public consultation period. The purpose of this consultation is to solicit comments on this guidance document. Comments are appreciated, with accompanying rationale, where required. Comments can be sent to Health Canada via email at HC.water-eau.SC@canada.ca. If this is not feasible, comments may be sent by mail to the Water and Air Quality Bureau, Health Canada, 269 Laurier Avenue West, A.L. 4903D, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K9. All comments must be received before May 21, 2019.

Click here to view the consultation document.


Review of Total Coliforms in Drinking Water

The current Canadian Guideline for Drinking Water Quality - Total Coliforms was published in 2012. It establishes a maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) of total coliforms in water leaving a treatment plant and in non-disinfected groundwater leaving the well of none detectable per 100 mL. The Guideline also states that total coliforms should be monitored in the distribution system because they are used to indicate changes in water quality. Detection of total coliforms from consecutive samples from the same site or from more than 10% of the samples collected in a given sampling period should be investigated (Health Canada, 2012).

Health Canada reviewed the scientific literature related to total coliforms in 2017. Based on this review, a full update of this guideline technical document is not required at this time, as science continues to support the MAC established in 2012.

This review was undertaken in collaboration with the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Drinking Water.

Click here to view the consultation document.


Cadmium in Drinking Water

The available information on cadmium has been assessed with the intent of updating the current drinking water guideline and guideline technical document. The existing guideline on cadmium, last updated in 1986, based its maximum acceptable concentration (MAC) of 0.005 mg/L (5 µg/L) on kidney effects in humans. This new document takes into consideration newer scientific studies and assessments, and finds that the weight of evidence continues to identify kidney toxicity in humans as the key end-point for cadmium. It provides updated data and information related to exposure to cadmium in Canada, to analytical methods and to treatment considerations at the municipal and residential scales. Based on these considerations, the document proposes to reaffirm a MAC of 0.005 mg/L (5 µg/L) for cadmium in drinking water.

The document is being made available for a 60-day public consultation period. The purpose of this consultation is to solicit comments on the proposed guideline, on the approach used for its development and on the potential economic costs of implementing it, as well as to determine the availability of additional exposure data. Comments are appreciated, with accompanying rationale, where required. Comments can be sent to Health Canada via email at HC.water-eau.SC@canada.ca. If this is not feasible, comments may be sent by mail to the Water and Air Quality Bureau, Health Canada, 269 Laurier Avenue West, A.L. 4903D, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0K9. All comments must be received before May 21, 2019.

Click here to view the consultation document.


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