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Ministry of Health, PHO need to do more to ensure safety of drinking water: BC Auditor General

VICTORIA, B.C. – The Office of the Auditor General of British Columbia has released a report that looks at the safety of the Province’s drinking water.

According to Auditor General Carol Bellringer, the report, titled ‘The Protection of Drinking Water: An Independent Audit’, concludes that the Ministry of Health and the Provincial Health Officer are not sufficiently protecting drinking water for all British Columbians.

“We undertook this audit because of the considerable importance of safe drinking water and because the risks to drinking water are increasing. We found that overall, the Ministry of Health and the PHO’s accountability to ensure drinking water was protected is concerning.”

Bellringer says while the Ministry has taken some action to mitigate risks to drinking water, more needs to be done as they have not developed a strategy to address which water systems are at risk.

Bellringer also says B.C. has not had a known outbreak of a waterborne illness since 2004, but if a single event that contaminates drinking water were to happen, it could cause serious health impacts for numerous people.

The full report is available on the Auditor General’s website.

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