Canada: Keep it Clean And Prove it: Canada Proposes New Drinking Water Regulations For Trains, Planes, Ships And Buses

On May 10, 2014, the Public Health Agency of Canada published new draft regulations, the Potable Water on Board Trains, Vessels, Aircraft and Buses Regulations (the "Regulations"), to modernize the regime governing the safety and quality of drinking water on federally regulated airplanes, trains, ships and buses. The Executive Summary of the Regulations indicates that the changes were made due to potential public health risks associated with water and to protect the traveling public. Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this development is that the regulations they are intended to replace, the Potable Water Regulations for Common Carriers ("PWRCCs"), are now 60 years old and have never been significantly amended.

Updating 60-year old Potable Water Regulations

The PWRCCs are exceptionally sparse by modern standards; the entire regulation is only 13 sections long. Although the PWRCCs do require that potable water systems aboard conveyances be protected from contamination and tampering, separated from non-potable water distribution systems, and maintained in a sanitary condition, the vast majority of these key terms are undefined.1

The proposed new Regulations will be much more specific with respect to applicability, quality control, sampling, testing and recordkeeping. The Regulations will apply to "operators" (meaning persons or entities that carry on a business of transporting passengers) of "conveyances" (meaning all aircraft, vessels, buses and trains used for interprovincial or international transportation of passengers and authorized under a Canadian or foreign law to transport at least 25 persons). "Passenger" is defined as a person who is carried on board a conveyance under a contract, but excludes the master, pilot or driver, or a crew member working on board.

Under the Regulations, requirements in relation to potable water will be extended beyond drinking water to apply also to water used for the preparation of food and for hand washing or oral hygiene. Potable water provided by way of onboard equipment will be required to meet the microbiological guidelines for E. coli set out in the Federal-Provincial-Territorial Committee on Drinking Water's Guidelines for Canadian Drinking Water Quality and will be required to be taken from a source considered by a federal, provincial, state or regional government (or by an entity owned or controlled by such a government) to be a source of water suitable for human consumption. However, vessels will be able to obtain water from alternative sources if the water is loaded on board when the vessel is not: on a river voyage; within 11 nautical miles of a harbour; moored or at anchor; or, if the water is desalinated by on-board equipment such as a reverse osmosis unit or distillation plant in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions.

One of the most significant proposed changes is that the Regulations will impose new sampling, testing and record-keeping requirements for on-board potable water systems. Samples will have to be analyzed for E. coli in accordance with the American Public Health Association's Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater. Readily accessible records of the sample date, time, site and results will be required to be maintained for three years. In the case of aircraft, samples will be required to be taken from a tap in the galley and a tap in one lavatory once in every three-month period during which the aircraft is operational, with a minimum of 45 days between samples from the same site. In the case of trains, samples will have to be taken in each rail car from a tap in the galley or bar and a tap in one lavatory once a year, with a minimum of 180 days between samples from the same site. In the case of vessels with sleeping accommodations for passengers, the required frequency of sampling will be once per month during which the vessel is operational, or once every three months for vessels without sleeping accommodations for passengers.

Whenever the E. coli standard is not met, or there are reasonable grounds to believe that the water has become contaminated, disinfection, flushing and sampling of an on-board potable water system will be required. A record of the date and time of disinfection and flushing must be kept for three years.

In the case of water loaded into on-board potable water systems, operators of conveyances will be required to keep a three-year record of the date, the source, the name of the terminal where water is loaded, the name of any person or entity that transports the water from the terminal to the conveyance, and the GPS coordinates or latitude and longitude of the vessel's location during the loading.

Conveyances will be able to satisfy the Regulations for potable water by supplying prepackaged bottled water meeting the requirements of the Canadian Food and Drugs Act and the Food and Drug Regulations (collectively, the "FDR requirements").

Under the Regulations, ice used on conveyances for either contact refrigeration of food or use in beverages will be required to be made from potable water from the on-board system, or to be prepackaged ice meeting all FDR requirements.

Keeping Drinking Water Clean

Over the past several years, some operators, particularly airlines, have been working with the Public Health Agency of Canada's Travelling Public Program to implement potable water management plans ("PWMPs"). According to the government, operators that have PWMPs in place should be well-positioned for compliance with the Regulations. However, even operators with PWMPs should review those plans to determine what, if any, changes will be required in order to ensure compliance with the Regulations' new and detailed sampling and recordkeeping requirements.

The Regulations do not set out penalties for non-compliance, so the general Criminal Code maximum penalty of a $5,000 fine or six months in prison (or both) for summary offences would apply. This exceeds the prior penalties capable of being issued under the existing PWRCCs.2

It is worth noting that neither the PWRCCs nor the proposed Regulations will require conveyances to provide water to passengers, unless food for passengers is prepared onboard.

A 75-day public comment period began when the Regulations were published in the Canada Gazette. This comment period will end on July 24, 2014. The Public Health Agency of Canada's Travelling Public Program will consider the comments it receives before finalizing the Regulations. It is proposed that the new Regulations will come into force six months after they are published in final form.

Footnotes

1 "Potable water" is defined in the PWRCCs; it means water free of pathogenic bacteria and having few than 2.2 coliform bacteria per 100 mL when tested in accordance with the American Public Health Association's Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Sewage.

2 The maximum penalty for intentional non-compliance under the PWRCCs is $200 or three months in prison.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
 
Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions