Nova Scotians can have more confidence than ever in the quality of their drinking water, Environment and Labour Minister Kerry Morash said today, Oct. 18. Mr. Morash said the completion of the province’s three-year drinking water strategy this fall has taken water safety to a new level. “Over the years, our control over the quality of public drinking water has been improving as we learn more and more about potential contaminants and how to address them,” he told the awards breakfast of the Atlantic Canada Water Works Association. “In the past three years in particular, we’ve made tremendous strides.” Mr. Morash highlighted three key accomplishments of the strategy: — All municipal water utilities in the province now have consistent approvals that require them to meet clear provincewide standards for water treatment and operator certification; — About 1,800 small public drinking water supplies are now registered with the Department of Environment and Labour, and are required to monitor their water quality and report problems to the department; — Education documents have been prepared to help private well owners understand their role in protecting and testing their water. Forty per cent of Nova Scotians rely on private wells. The operators of drinking water facilities, whether big or small, have a tremendous responsibility, Mr. Morash said. “Providing a constant supply of clean drinking water is as much a public health priority as preventing the spread of a communicable disease,” he said. The final report on the Nova Scotia Drinking Water Strategy, and the original strategy document, are available at www.gov.ns.ca/enla/water/drinkingwater.asp .