Water System Data

Drinking water systems in Manitoba are classified into three (3) categories for regulatory and monitoring purposes:

Public water systems have 15 or more service connections, or have been designated a public water system.

  • Semi-public water systems are not public water systems or private water systems, including small systems with less than 15 service connections or a public facility such as a school or hospital with its own water supply.
  • Private systems supply water to only one private residence, or those which have been designated as such.

There are approximately 430 public water systems in Manitoba, 45% of which rely on surface water as their source of supply, and 55% on groundwater. Approximately 80% of the population of Manitoba receives their drinking water from a public water system. Surface water is the source of drinking water for 85% of public water system customers. The major population centers of the province, including Winnipeg and Brandon, rely on surface water sources. There are a growing number of regional water supply systems serving rural areas. Semi-public water systems are currently being inventoried. An initial estimate is that there are approximately 1,500 semi-public and 35,000 private water systems in Manitoba.

Public and semi-public water systems are regulated under The Drinking Water Safety Act. Regulations supporting the act took effect in 2007. These systems must meet certain design, operation and monitoring requirements. The construction, operation and monitoring of private water systems such as private wells remain the responsibility of the system owner. Drinking water systems at federal facilities or on federal lands such as military bases and national parks, and drinking water systems serving First Nations communities fall under federal legislation and the federal drinking water program. Additional information on drinking water systems in First Nations communities is available at the following website: http://www.sdw-eps.gc.ca/.

The Manitoba government's new drinking water regulations adopt a subset of Health Canada's Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality which will become standard for public water systems on March 1, 2012. The Office of Drinking Water completed a review of water quality data and prepared summary information that looks at how Manitoba's existing public water systems meet the new water quality standards which take effect next spring. This information is available at the Public Water System Data Portal.