Drinking Water | Hastings Prince Edward Public Health

Drinking Water


Rental Units Serviced by a Private Drinking Water Supply

All rental units serviced by a private drinking water supply, whether it is a Bed & Breakfast (B&B), short term rental, or cottage must by law provide safe drinking water for the renters.

While registered B&Bs are inspected by Hastings Prince Edward Public Health, short term rentals serviced by a private drinking water supply are NOT monitored.  The owners of these rental units should be able to demonstrate, with a copy of a recent laboratory test result, that the drinking water is safe.

Please note, the public health laboratory only tests for indicators of harmful bacteria and does not perform chemical analyses.

Ask to see the well water test results for your vacation rental!


Do you have a water related question? Find your answers here:

 Water Questions Answered Tool

 (* Open this link in Firefox or Google Chrome, not Internet Explorer)


Municipal Water

Municipal water treatment systems are regulated by the Ministry of the Environment under Ontario Regulation 170/03 (Drinking Water Systems) and follow strict procedures for testing and monitoring of drinking water to ensure it meets the Ontario Drinking Water Quality Standards.


Well Water

Many residents rely on drilled, dug, or bored wells to supply water for drinking and other household uses.  Groundwater is a shared resource that crosses roperty lines, and contamination from one well lcan put other wells at risk.

Test your well water for bacteria seasonally.  Also test whenever you experience quality or quantity issues (e.g. drought conditions.)  Free testing of private water supplies for bacteria is available through your nearest Hastings Prince Edward Public Health office: Water Sample Drop-Off Schedule for Hastings and Prince Edward Counties. If a problem is suspected, chemical tests can be done through a licensed lab for a fee.


            *Unlike the guidance provided in this video, water samples must be dropped off the same day for Hastings Prince Edward Public Health testing.


Small Drinking Water Systems

If your business supplies drinking water to the public from a private well, or surface water source (river, lake), you may be an owner or operator of a small drinking water system (SDWS).  As such, it is your responsibility to take steps to ensure that this water is safe to drink.

Small drinking water systems are regulated by Ontario Regulation 319/08 (Small Drinking Water Systems) under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. 

To register your SDWS, fill out the Small Drinking Water System Identification form and either fax or mail the completed form to Hastings Prince Edward Public Health.

Prior to re-opening a seasonal SDWS, a Notice to Re-Open a Small Drinking Water System form must be completed and submitted to Hastings Prince Edward Public Health by the owner/operator.

How do I test my SDWS?

The first step is to complete the Small Drinking Water System Laboratory Services Notification (LSN) form. This form must be faxed or mailed to Hastings Prince Edward Public Health prior to submitting your drinking water samples to the laboratory of your choice. Click here for a list of private labs.

The frequency, number, and type of tests that may be required for your SDWS will be outlined in the customized directive issued for your SDWS by a public health inspector.

What do I do if I get an adverse test result?

SDWS owners/operators are required to immediately report every adverse observation or test result to Hastings Prince Edward Public Health in person, by phone, or through the after-hours on-call system. A follow-up written notice must be sent within 24 hours to the Environmental Health/Inspection Department using the Notice of Adverse Test Results and Issue Resolution form

For more information, call (613) 966-5500 or 1-800-267-2803, ext. 677.


Water Haulers

Drinking water haulage vehicles are used to supply water to homes and businesses that are serviced by cisterns, as well as to the general public in emergency situations. These operations are inspected for compliance with the Drinking Water Haulage Guidance Document


Related Links:

A Low Water Resource for Homeowners with Private Wells

A Resource for Homeowners with Private Wells

Blue-green algae

Disinfection Instruction Sheet

Drinking Water Haulage Guidance Document

How to Use Water Safely During a Boil Water Advisory

Lead in Drinking Water

Managing your well water in times of water shortage

Protecting Local Water Sources

Small Drinking Water Systems

Sodium in Drinking Water

Uranium in Drinking Water

Water Conservation Tips

Well Aware

Your Baby and Well Water