Rural Pipelines

Res #: 11-10A
Number: 11
Year: 2010
Midterm: No
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment

WHEREAS Saskatchewan farmers need water for livestock and industrial use on their farms;


WHEREAS there has been a regulation in place since 2002 requiring all water associations with pipelines in rural Saskatchewan with more than 15 domestic users to upgrade their facilities and supply only potable water in these pipelines;


WHEREAS it was always intended that many of these pipelines would supply only non-potable water and that consumers themselves would upgrade this water to potable standards for domestic use;


WHEREAS 95% of the water supplied is used for yards, livestock and spraying; and 


WHEREAS if it is a necessity for water for domestic use to be up to potable standards and to be regulated by Saskatchewan Environment and Saskatchewan Health, the water can be readily and inexpensively treated on the user’s property rather than treating all the water;


BE IT RESOLVED that Saskatchewan Environment revise their regulations to allow rural pipelines (existing and new) to supply the class of water originally intended for the pipelines and which is now needed.

Response from Honourable Nancy Heppner, Minister of Environment:

The prevention and reduction of public health hazards from unsafe drinking water is a high priority for the Government of Saskatchewan. The waterborne disease outbreaks which occurred in Walkerton, Ontario and North Battleford are examples of the potential consequences of failing to properly treat drinking water supplies.

Provision of untreated water directly to residences employing in-home treatment systems represents a significant risk to individual health in the event ineffective treatment devices are being used or if maintenance or operational problems occur.

We recognize the challenges that providing safe drinking water represents for some rural water pipelines and are willing to work with the system owners and operators to meet these challenges. Ministry officials will be meeting with rural water pipeline owners and rural water users in the Wood River area to discuss the regulatory options currently in place and to explore other potential options.