Management Systems | Project

Drinking Water Quality Management System (DWQMS)

As a requirement of the Safe Drinking Water Act (2002), all Operating Authorities who operate municipal and residential drinking water systems must be accredited. The Drinking Water Quality Management Standard (DWQMS)  is a mandatory framework for the Operating Authorities and Owners of drinking water systems to develop a Quality Management System (QMS) that is relevant to their organization.

Tavares Group Consulting Inc. conducts DWQMS audits, in accordance with ISO 19011:2011, for municipalities across Ontario. Tavares Group Consulting’s services can assist Operating Authorities and municipalities through each stage of the accreditation process from Operational Plan initial development and optimization to conducting annual audits. Contact us to learn more!

The Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville

Operational Plan Review

In the summer of 2015, Tavares Group Consulting was engaged by the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville to conduct a review of its recently revised Operational Plan with the goal of identifying potential deficiencies between the revised plan and the DWQMS prior to its submission to Council for endorsement. The project plan, which included both off and on-site components, was designed to provide the Town with a time and cost efficient solution. The team at Tavares Group Consulting performed an off-site desktop audit of the Operational Plan in addition to an on-site confirmation audit of the new processes/procedures that had been implemented.  The Town’s Operational Plan was successfully endorsed by Council in November 2015.

Internal Audit

Tavares Group Consulting has performed the Town’s  internal audits from 2015-2017, to meet the annual internal audit requirement (Element 19 of the DWQMS). The project includes an on-site internal audit and the development of formal audit reports outlining the status of the QMS, including findings resulting from the audit.

DWQMS Subject-system Specific Awareness Training

In January 2017, Tavares Group Consulting completed the site-specific DWQMS awareness training for applicable personnel to meet the Town’s annual internal training requirements and the requirements of DWQMS Element 10 – Competencies.  The session included a review of the history of the DWQMS and Operating Authority-specific training on the DWQMS using examples of the Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville’s Operational Plan.

Ongoing DWQMS Assistance Services

Tavares Group Consulting currently provides the Town with DWQMS assistance services, which includes the off-site optimization of portions of the Town’s Operational Plan to ensure conformance with the DWQMS Version 2.0.




The Town of Pelham

Internal Audit

Tavares Group Consulting was engaged by the Town of Pelham in the fall of 2016 to perform the Town’s internal audit, to meet the annual requirements of the DWQMS  Element 19.  The project included the development of an audit plan, one day on-site internal audit, and the submission of a detailed  audit report.  The report outlined the status of the QMS, findings resulting from the audit and, the status of findings from previous audits.

Ongoing DWQMS Assistance Services

Since the 2016 Internal Audit, Tavares Group Consulting has been contracted to provide the Town with
DWQMS assistance services. Services include:

  • development, implementation, and the maintenance of a corrective action tracker to manage
    the implementation of QMS actions (resulting from internal/external audits, action items from
    Management Review, employee suggestions, MOECC recommendations, etc.);
  • review and revision of the Town’s Operational Plan, associated procedures and forms to ensure
    conformance with the DWQMS 2006 and Version 2.0;
  • monthly site-visits to confirm implementation (e.g. including maintenance and sampling
    activities, etc.), including facilitating tailgate talks to review potential and recently revised
  • DWQMS Subject-system Specific Awareness Training;
  • facilitation of emergency response training and testing;
  • facilitation of Management Review; and
  • on-site support during external audits.






Since the inception of the DWQMS program, Tavares Group Consulting Inc. has conducted off-site (systems and surveillance) and on-site (initial and re-accreditation) audits for over 50 municipalities located throughout the province of Ontario, dealing with a number of multi-system Operating Authorities (e.g. Owner-operated systems, Ontario Clean Water Agency (OCWA), Veolia, American Water Canada Corp. etc.). Additionally, Tavares Group Consulting Inc. has also performed integrated ISO 14001:2004 Environmental Management System and DWQMS audits for Ontario municipalities. Contact our team of certified auditors for more information.