Environmental public Health & drinking water safety programs
Program Booklet: 2009_env_prog-eng.pdf (canada.ca)
Environmental Public Health Officers (EPHO’s) are available for Public Health/Environmental Health inspection, education and advisory services to West Region Tribal Council communities. As part of the mandatory health programing through West Region Treaty 2 & 4 Health Services (WRTHS), EPHO’s are available during regular office hours and are on-call for emergency services as directed by the WRTHS Board of Directors and the WRTHS Executive Director.
Drinking Water safety and security is a key focus for the Environmental Public Health - Drinking Water Safety Programs. Clean and safe drinking water is necessary to help ensure a health community.
Community Based Water Monitors (CBWMs) are contracted in each West Region Tribal Council (WRTC) community to provide drinking water sampling and testing services on a weekly basis. Each community has a water lab and results are determined after an 18 - 24 hour processing time. Water results are reported to the West Region Treaty 2 & 4 Health Services - Environmental Public Health Officer(s), who then review the report and provide a copy of the report with public health advise to leadership.
Additional water quality assurance/quality control tests as well as annual water audit testing is performed to ensure the drinking water in each WRTC First Nation community is safe to use for drinking water purposes.
Health Canada Water Hauler & Cistern Guidance Documents:
Food safety and the prevention of communicable diseases linked through food handling is focused on through food service and food handling establishment inspections as well as through Food Handler safety training by the Environmental Public Health Officer(s).
Food Handler Training: FOODSAFE - certificate course.
West Region Treaty 2 & 4 Health Services (WRTHS) - Environmental Public Health Officers are available to teach the FOODSAFE - Food Handler Training Course in affiliated WRTHS communities and to issue Food Handler Training certificates that are valid for a 5-year period. Please contact your local EPHO to book a course in your community.
Note: In person training may be limited during emergencies or during a pandemic. Virtual options may be available at the time of booking.
FOODSAFE website & reference documents: FOODSAFE
Onsite Wastewater Management Systems
Onsite Wastewater (septic) Management Systems (OWMS) are reviewed, approved and inspected by Environmental Public Health Officers to ensure protection of the environment (land and ground water) while ensuring sanitary disposal of septic waste.
WRTHS OWMS applications can be submitted to the EPHOs for review and approval. Final inspection and approval are required to complete the OWMS installation process. Installers must be certified and registered with the Province of Manitoba. All installations must meet the requirements as set out in the Manitoba Onsite Wastewater Management Systems (OWMS) Regulation (MR 83/2003) and associated amendments as well as Health Canada guidance documents. Applications can be faxed to WRTHS: 204-622-9449 or scanned and e-mailed to the EPHO’s.
MB Certified Installer List: certified_installers.pdf (gov.mb.ca)
MB OWMS regulation:
MB OWMS supplementary package:
MB OWMS reference for septic field sand:
Health and Housing
Healthy housing is key to ensuring good community health. West Region Environmental Public Health Officers are available for housing project review, housing inspections and public health & environmental advice in relation to housing.
Common housing issues include water infiltration, mold damage, lack of services (water, heat, etc), building exterior and interior damage, door & window damage, pest issues, etc.
Housing inspection results are reported to Chief and Council - Housing Departments for current condition details with public health recommendations. Prioritization of and funding of housing repairs are the sole responsibility of the community housing department with authorization of Chief and Council.
Solid Waste Disposal
Landfill sites are reviewed and public health recommendations for site conditions, operation and maintenance are given to leadership to ensure safe and sanitary disposal of solid waste.
Environmental Public Health Officers are part of the West Quadrant Solid Waste Working Group which focus on working towards sustainable and environmentally responsible disposal or diversion of solid waste.
Recycle Manitoba: www.recyclemanitoba.ca
Compost Council of Canada: www.compost.org
Waste Diversion - Manitoba: www.gov.mb.ca/sd/wastewise/wastereduction/index.html
Environmental Public Health Officers provide public health inspection services to West Region Tribal Council communities and submit reports to leadership/facility managers with public health recommendations. EPHO’s work to ensure community public facilities, child care facilities, food handling facilities, housing, drinking water, recreational water facilities, etc. are safe from a public health perspective as well as to reduce the risk of negative impact to public health and safety.
Communicable Disease Control
Environmental Public Health Officers are part of the First Nations Health Team that works to ensure communicable disease outbreaks or incidents are detected, investigated and prevented, ensuring healthy First Nation communities and populations.
Emergency Preparedness and Response
72 Hour Emergency Plan: Your Emergency Preparedness Guide (getprepared.gc.ca)
MB Hydro Emergency Preparedness Handbook attachment and link:
Environmental Public Health Links
Health Canada – First Nation & Inuit Health Branch: First Nations and Inuit Health Branch program plan (sac-isc.gc.ca)
Public Health Agency of Canada: Public Health Agency of Canada - Canada.ca
Province of Manitoba: Health Protection | Health, Seniors and Active Living | Province of Manitoba (gov.mb.ca)
National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health: Home | National Collaborating Centre for Environmental Health | NCCEH - CCSNE
National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health: NCCIH - National Collaborating Centre for Indigenous Health > Home
Canadian Food Inspection Agency: www.inspection.canada.ca
Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (CIPHI): www.ciphi.ca
CIPHI MB Branch: www.ciphi.mb.ca
EHFC: Environmental Health Foundation of Canada: www.ehfc.ca
IFEH: International Federation of Environmental Health: www.ifeh.org
NEHA (US): National Environmental Health Association: www.neha.org
Environmental Public Health Education:
Ryerson University– Toronto, ON
British Columbia Institute of Technology – Burnaby, BC
Concordia University of Edmonton – Edmonton, AB
Cape Breton University – Sydney, NS
Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning – Kitchener, ON