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J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2004 Oct 22-Nov 26;67(20-22):1555-66.

Drinking-water risk management principles for a total quality management framework.

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Department of Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.


The Walkerton Inquiry Part 2 Report addressed the second part of the mandate from the Government of Ontario under the Public Inquiries Act, following the Walkerton tragedy, namely, "to make such findings and recommendations as the commission considers advisable to ensure the safety of the water supply system in Ontario." In addressing this mandate Justice O'Connor noted: "Perhaps the most significant recommendations in this report address the need for quality management through mandatory accreditation and operational planning. I recommend requiring all operating agencies to become accredited in accordance with a quality management standard-a standard that will be developed by the industry and others knowledgeable in the area and mandated by the MOE." This recommendation reflects a recognition that any narrow set of detailed requirements related to specific water quality issues will not be able to provide sufficiently comprehensive and flexible guidance to cover the diversity of challenges that exist. Rather, by creating and mandating a process to capture and codify the best technical, operating, and managerial practices, a system can be created that will seek to have these best practices adopted across the drinking-water industry. Done well, this will provide the industry and regulators with the culture and capacity to recognize and resolve problems to prevent future drinking-water tragedies. This paper provides some guiding principles that should foster the development of a practical accreditation standard to achieve the foregoing objectives.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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