Auditor general says B.C. not sufficiently protecting drinking water

British Columbia's auditor general says she has “grave concern” about the province's accountability measures to ensure safe drinking water.

Carol Bellringer said in an audit report that the Ministry of Health and the provincial health officer are not sufficiently protecting drinking water for the people in B.C.

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There hasn't been a known outbreak of water borne illness since 2004, but the report said just one water contamination event can cause serious health impacts for many people.

Bellringer directed five or the report's eight recommendations at the Ministry of Health, including providing better leadership on the water protection issue and developing a strategic plan to ensure safe drinking water.

She said contamination risks are intensified in B.C.'s estimated 4,800 small water systems, where government oversight has been limited.

The Ministry of Health said in response to Bellringer's audit that it accepts that a government-wide commitment to a drinking water strategy will increase protection.

— Canadian Press

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