PDWAs are issued by the Water Security Agency in consultation with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health when there is a possibility that problems with the water supply system may exist, although an immediate public health threat has not been identified.
PDWAs for SaskWater systems are most frequently issued during service and maintenance repairs that require the system to be depressurized for more than two hours. PDWAs issued under these circumstances are a precautionary measure because the quality of water cannot be verified while the system is depressurized. While a PDWA is in effect, users should follow the guidelines for drinking water use and consumption outlined in this Sample PDWA Notice.
Once issued, PDWAs remain in effect until the system work is completed and two lab tested water samples, taken 24 hours apart, confirm that the water quality meets regulatory standards.
EBWOs are issued by local Health Regions in consultation with the Water Security Agency when a threat to public health from contaminated water exists. Water delivered from the supply and distribution system must be boiled at a rolling boil for at least one minute before using to ensure bacteriological safety.
An EBWO remains in effect until necessary actions and/or improvements have been made to ensure a safe supply of water is being delivered, which is determined by laboratory testing.
To ensure the integrity and performance of our water infrastructure, SaskWater performs regular maintenance and upgrades to its systems. These activities often require us to temporarily interrupt service delivery to customers.
Customers will receive direct notice of planned or unplanned service interruptions by email, telephone or fax.
Online service bulletins provide progress updates and alert customers to any unplanned delays in restoring service.
As SaskWater is responsible for notifying its affected customers, accordingly, municipalities and rural pipeline groups are responsible for notifying their respective customers (residents).
Where possible, SaskWater posts a schedule of service interruptions to provide early notice to customers of pending maintenance.
Planned Service Interruptions (PSI) are occasions when SaskWater has scheduled important work on a system.
With adequate water storage in place, the effects of any PSI are typically minimal, such as a decrease in water pressure for a short period of time. During larger, more extensive upgrades, the system may need to be completely de-pressurized. In these cases, the WSA and Saskatchewan Ministry of Health will issue a Precautionary Drinking Water Advisory (PDWA) for the system during the time that work is being performed.
Where possible, SaskWater will work with customers to minimize the impact of a service interruption or adjust its timing to coincide with their operations. However, planned interruptions can be subject to last minute changes due to weather, contractor availability or other unforeseen events.
Force majeure events are defined as natural and/or unavoidable events that occur with little or no warning and interrupt the expected course of business, preventing SaskWater from fulfilling contractual obligations. Examples include lightning strikes, flood, freezing, equipment failure, etc.
Depending on the severity and nature of the event, the resulting unplanned service interruption may or may not include the issuance of a Precautionary Drinking Water Advisory (PDWA) or an Emergency Boil Water Order (EBWO).
In the case of any unplanned service interruptions customers will be notified immediately.