Water Testing for the Public
Water Quality and Testing
The Saskatchewan Health Authority is responsible for regulating public water supplies (such as rural municipal wells, tourist accommodations, small campgrounds) that are not regulated by the Ministry of Environment through the Health Hazard Regulations.
What to do During a Water Advisory
Government regulations require that all public and semi-public drinking water supplies be tested on a frequent basis. Private water supplies (wells and dugouts) are not regulated but should be tested by the owners to ensure that the water is safe.
When a problem or condition with a public or semi-public water supply has been identified, agencies responsible for regulating the supply will issue a water advisory or a boil water order. An advisory is issued when water quality problems exist due to a risk of microbiological or chemical contamination. A boil water order is issued when a public health risk is confirmed due to the presence of harmful bacteria or parasites in the water supply.
A water advisory or boil water order requires users to boil the water for at least one minute at a rolling boil to destroy harmful microorganisms. If a water supply has been contaminated with chemicals, boiling the water will not make it safe to drink. Instead, an advisory will be issued that will inform the users not to drink the water.