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Maintaining Proper Oversight of Drinking Water Systems During the Covid-19 Situation

March 27, 2020 -- The Water Security Agency’s (WSA’s) central mandate to ensure safe drinking water for Saskatchewan people remains at the forefront of our priority work during the COVID-19 outbreak. Safe water is essential to ensure good sanitation and hygienic conditions to best protect people against COVID-19. The highest level of protection is offered through the rigorous operation, maintenance and monitoring regime prescribed by WSA to municipal drinking and wastewater systems as a condition of their permit.

Waterworks operators must maintain adequate filtration, treatment and disinfection at the water treatment plant, as well as adequate disinfectant residual through the distribution system. We are communicating to ensure municipalities are aware of maintaining their regular oversight of their drinking water systems and are designating waterworks operators as essential staff during this situation.

During this time of physical distancing, waterworks operators must continue their normal schedules. If the operators are unavailable or not performing the necessary tasks to guarantee a safe drinking water supply, or for any reason proper operation is interrupted, the municipality, the permittee, employees and contractors must notify WSA via 24-hours upset Reporting Line at 1-844-536-9494 of any disruption, so that alternate certified operators can ensure that water is safe.

The permittee, employees and contractors also must ensure the proper operation and monitoring of wastewater systems and proper treatment in accordance with the permit and must notify WSA if operations are interrupted or upset for any reason.

WSA is also advising that its Environmental Project Officers (EPOs) must be allowed on site as needed to conduct inspections and monitor the proper functioning of both water and wastewater systems. EPOs are present to assist in ensuring a safe water supply for the public.

WSA’s vigilance surrounding the safety of our public water system will continue throughout the duration of the COVID-19 situation and into the future.