Protecting a Safe Ground Water Supply
Whereas every community requies their water supply be safe for drinkinga nd use in living activites requiring safe water; and
Whereas water supplies are becoming contaminated by residual chemicals entering the ground water sources accessed by communities for their safe water source. The village of Sheho, and community of Margo are now on a continuous boil water advisory. The Village of Invermay is concerned that it might be just a short matter of time before they are faced with the same concern.
Therefore be it resolved that SUMA advocate with the Ministry of Environment to investigate the impact of the effects of residual chemicals (fertilizers mainly) used in the Farm industry on safe ground water supplies used by municipalities. And further, that appropriate action be initiated to reduce/prevent increased contamination of ground water sources.
ACTS AFFECTED: The Environmental Management and Protection Act
REGION/SECTOR AFFECTED: All
June 8, 2022
Randy Goulden, President
Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association
Dear Randy Goulden:
The Minister of Environment forwarded your letter containing details of the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association's 2022 resolution related to activities managed by the Water Security Agency (WSA). I am pleased to provide the following response:
2022-017 Protecting a Safe Groundwater Supply
The Water Security Agency (WSA) establishes requirements and monitors the province's drinking water safety.
WSA representatives work with other jurisdictions and experts across Canada, such as the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Drinking Water and the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, to make sure that the drinking water quality standards established for Saskatchewan, which include pesticides and herbicides, are scientifically sound.
Drinking water system owners in the province, like municipalities, are required to monitor their drinking water quality regularly. For example, communities that use groundwater and surface water are required to monitor 14 commonly used or known pesticides and herbicides in their drinking water supplies at certain frequencies. Our review of the last 10 years of data showed that none of the drinking water supplies in the province have a pesticide/herbicide level above the maximum acceptable concentration established to protect human health.
WSA has other tools such as advisories to inform consumers about appropriate actions in cases where the safety of the drinking water cannot be guaranteed, which includes do not drink or boil the water advisories before consumption.
The Community of Margo is a hygienic system. As a hygienic system cannot produce water that is fit for human consumption, there is an on-going Precautionary Drinking Water Advisory (PDWA} for this community. The PDWA for the Community of lnvermay was issued on May 13, 2022 due to a power outage resulting in a system pressure loss or reduced storage of treated water. However, the advisory was rescinded on May 19, 2022 based on two consecutive satisfactory bacteriological results. Similarly, the PDWA for the Community of Sheho was issued on November 10, 2021 due to inadequate disinfection residuals in the distribution system. Sheho is exploring funding options to upgrade the system to have the PDWA removed.
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to this resolution. I look forward to working together to improve water management in Saskatchewan.
Minister Responsible for Water Security Agency
cc: Honourable Dana Skoropad, Minister of Environment
Shawn Jaques, Interim President and CEO, Water Security Agency