Bottled water is regulated as a food product under the federal Food and Drugs Act. Bottled water companies must adhere to quality standards, good manufacturing practices and labelling requirements. The federal government inspectors of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency regularly audit the operations of all bottled water companies to ensure compliance.
In addition to the extensive federal regulatory requirements, the provinces also regulate bottled waters. The most significant responsibility of the provinces is approving sources of water, including drilling practices, borehole construction practices, and allowable rates of production and watershed protection.
- As a condition of membership, bottler must pass an annual, unannounced plant inspection administered by an independent, internationally recognized organization. This inspection audits quality and testing records, reviews all areas of plant operation from source through finished product, and checks adherence to the CBWA model code and its code of ethics. The CBWA code of ethics adheres to a philosophy of sustainable development, environmental protection, and collaboration with local communities in the management of the water resource.
- A second condition of membership is that bottlers pass an annual water analysis administered by an independent government certified laboratory and regularly conduct microbial testing by qualified personnel.