Water Storage Requirements

Year: 2017


Whereas the current water storage requirements for municipalities specify two days of average consumption for municipal systems requiring fire protection; and

Whereas municipalities have the option of issuing Water Conservation Advisories which can reduce consumption by 50 per cent thereby extending storage in holding by two times; and

Whereas some municipalities have off-site water sources built with significant backup systems to ensure supply continuity; and 

Whereas water stored for more than one day may become stale and lose its level of chlorination; and

Whereas the capital cost for growing communities already at their maximum storage capacity may be financially difficult;

Therefore be it resolved that the SUMA advocate with the Water Security Agency and the provincial Ministry of the Environment to amend EFB 501 Waterworks Design Standard to specify one day’s average consumption worth of water storage for municipalities with a secure water source.


The Waterworks and Sewage Works Regulations require all permitted water systems to adhere to the EFB 501 Waterworks Design Standard, developed by the Water Security Agency. EFB specifies both that “storage facilities shall have sufficient capacity, as determined by engineering studies, to meet domestic demands, plant operating requirements and where fire protection is provided, fire flow demands,” and that “for systems requiring fire protection, minimum storage capacity shall be equal to or greater than twice the average daily consumption. For systems not providing fire protection, minimum storage shall be equal to or greater than the average daily consumption.”

Municipalities use a variety of water sources, including ground water, overland water sources, and direct feeds from larger municipalities. Typically, all of these types of water sources have storage capacity onsite in the municipality, to ensure supply continuity. The sources themselves may also be equipped with a variety of backup systems to further improve continuity, including power generators, and greater at-source storage.

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