Health and Safety

Diocese of Ottawa - Well Water Requirements
The local Public Health authorities in Ontario now have responsibility for the safety of "small drinking water systems", taking over from the Ministry of the Environment. Each church with a well will be contacted to review the individual situations and to make sure that appropriate testing is being done. As a minimum there should be monthly sampling for TC and EC. If this is not the case, it is suggested that this be done right away and continued. There are two accredited labs:

Accutest Labs 613-727-5692 (contact: Jennifer Mitchell)
Caduceon Environmental Labs 613-228-1145 (contact: Greg Clarkin)

If you have any questions on the program and regulations, you should contact the Ottawa Public Health Program Manager at 613-580-6744 Ext.23653. You can also visit for the latest information on the regulations.


The following protocol that the Diocese of Ottawa established 2 years ago is still valid. Please note the importance of following this protocol (checking signs and keeping records that the signs are posted).
  • All drinking water fountains must be disconnected.
  • Approved notice signs must be posted above each tap indicating that the water has not been tested for drinking purposes. These signs are available free of
  • charge by calling 1-800-565-4923.
  • Notice signs must be checked weekly to ensure that they are in place and are legible.
  • For at least 5 years, records must be kept of the date, time and name of person who performs each check.

Conditions for exemption:
  • You do not serve a "designated facility" such as a children's camp, school or day care. A Sunday school, youth group or nursery offered in your place of worship would not normally meet the definition in the regulation of a designated facility.
  • You only prepare and serve food to members of your church and their personally invited guests, i.e. socials and fundraising dinners. Any other type of on-site food preparation for non-church members or rental of food preparation facilities is not permitted.

Other required actions
  • Flush water distribution system weekly before use (10 minutes).
  • Use commercially bottled water for drinking purposes.
  • Have the tap water tested for E.Coli and Total Coliforms by a licensed laboratory on a quarterly basis.
  • Consult a well expert for corrective action procedures following adverse test results or other well related problems. Make sure they are familiar with all relevant regulations, including the Wells Regulation O. Reg. 903.
  • Keep records of all water quality tests, inspections and system maintenance.
  • Boil water for 1 minute when used in food preparation for Church socials or
  • fundraising dinners.
  • For hand-washed dishes, soak in a diluted bleach solution (20 ml of bleach per 10 litres water) for 1 minute and air dry.
  • In rental agreements for the use of Church facilities for non-church functions, clearly state that children's camps, schools, day care, health care, social care or activities requiring on-site food preparation are not permitted.

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