The Development of a Sustainable Operation Model for Small Non-Community Drinking Water Systems in Ontario, Canada

  •  Mehmet Fatih Sekercioglu    
  •  Jerry White    
  •  Dan Shrubsole    


The provision of safe drinking water in Ontario’s small non-community drinking water systems (SDWSs) poses a challenge for many system owners. Our study aims at developing a sustainable operation model for SDWSs by recognizing the importance of source water protection. Although the current literature on Ontario’s SDWSs is limited, the review of the existing water management strategies in Canada and across the world provided fruitful results to create a unique model for Ontario’s SDWSs using the Multiple-Barrier Approach framework. Our sustainable operation model consists of five main components: 1. Commitment to providing safe drinking water; 2. Assessment of the system and source water; 3. System operation and operator training; 4. Management of incidents and emergencies; 5. Communication and raising awareness. Our model addresses the areas that need more attention for today, and in the future, such as protecting source water, financial stability enhanced communication and increased awareness. A sustainable operation model for SDSWs based on the Multiple-Barrier Approach framework addresses the shortcomings of the current water management framework for SDWSs and offers a viable strategy to establish a sustainable operation model with an integrated approach.

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