New Canadian Regulations Published: Potable Water on Board Trains, Vessels, Aircraft and Buses Regulations

The Public Health Agency of Canada has announces that the Potable Water on Board Trains, Vessels, Aircraft and Buses Regulations have been approved and are now published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, available here: .  

This means that on September 23, 2016 the new regulations will come into force and replace the 1954 Potable Water Regulations for Common Carriers.  Your active and thoughtful engagement was instrumental in the development of these new regulations.

The new regulations modernise requirements for water served to passengers on board conveyances, including water intended for drinking, handwashing, oral hygiene and food preparation.  The new regulations will apply on board aircraft, as well as trains, vessels and buses with international or interprovincial itineraries operating in Canada.

Conveyance operators will need to meet specific requirements and take steps to ensure safety of water served to passengers through measures such as ensuring safe water supplies, maintaining potable water systems, taking action in cases of suspected or confirmed contamination, completing routine sampling and keeping related records.  

The modernised potable water regulations will be an integral component of the Agency’s comprehensive approach to border and travel health, enhancing health protection for passengers during travel on board conveyances. The Agency's Travelling Public Program (TPP) will administer the new regulations. TPP Environmental Health Officers also administer and enforce the Quarantine Act, as well as food safety provisions of the Food and Drugs Act, on behalf of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.  

We are committed to supporting all regulated parties in a smooth and successful transition to the new regulatory framework. Over the coming months, Environmental Health Officers will be working closely with conveyance industry operators to assess existing potable water practices and provide guidance and recommendations to facilitate compliance with the new requirements.  Please stay tuned for additional details about information sessions, implementation tools and supports for operators that will be released in the coming weeks and months.    

Once again thank you for the time and effort you have given to this process.  TPP looks forward to our ongoing collaboration to protect public health on board conveyances.

If you have any questions about the new regulations, or about public health on passenger conveyances in Canada, please contact:

Sara Strawczynski
Senior Policy Analyst, Travelling Public Program
Agence de la santé publique du Canada
100 Colonnade Road, Postal Locator 6201C
Ottawa, Ontario
Tel: 613-716-9059
Fax: 613-952-8189

Feel free to share this message with your colleagues and staff.

Many thanks,
Travelling Public Program - Office of Border and Travel Health
Agence de la santé publique du Canada