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Public health engineering


Engineering is part of the Environmental Health Program within the Public Health Protection department. The Regional Public Health Engineer (PHE) administers sections of the health legislation relating to public water supplies and public swimming pools and provides engineering expertise and advice to the Medical Health Officers, other agencies and the public relating to technical aspects of drinking water, swimming pools and other environmental issues.


  • To review and approve construction plans pursuant to health legislation.
  • To provide engineering expertise, advice and guidance to Health Officers, other government agencies and the public on technical matters pertaining to environmental health issues.
  • To provide professional public health engineering support in identifying, resolving and preventing community environmental health problems.
  • To analyze and provide technical input on public health problems and related controversial issues.

Statutory role

The Regional Public Health Engineer (PHE) works closely with Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) and Medical Health Officers (MHOs) in reviewing and approving proposed changes to water supply systems regulated under the Drinking Water Protection Act and public swimming pools regulated under the Public Health Act. By law, the PHE must issue a construction permit prior to any: “construction, installation, alteration or extension of works, facilities or equipment that are … part of a water supply system.” Similarly, a Construction Permit is required for “design, installation, repair, renovation and alteration of a pool.”

Advisory role

The PHE carries out system reviews for water systems and public pools to audit and suggest solutions for ongoing operational difficulties the owner/operator may be facing. The PHE also provides input to Northern Health and the provincial Ministry on related matters of public health policy.

PHE guidelines

Important notice

The role of the Public Health Engineer is to review submitted proposals and provide an assessment of the potential health risks in the design and a public health assessment of whether the design will meet health protection objectives. The following guidelines are intended to provide generic information to facilitate design, construction and operation of water supply systems under the Drinking Water Protection Act. They do not constitute professional engineering advice. The owner or operator should retain the services of a qualified professional to provide design and construction advice. The role of the design professional is to provide the design for the proposed water supply system or infrastructure upgrades to industry standards and water quality objectives. Water system design is wholly the responsibility of the designer.


Water source approval


Operational issues

Contact us

Regional Public Health Engineer
Northern Health Authority, Public Health Protection
4th floor 1600 3rd Ave
Prince George BC  V2L 3G6
Phone: 250-565-7322
Fax: 250-565-2144
E-mail: phe@northernhealth.ca