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Source Water Protection

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Drinking Water Source Protection Logo

 

 

 

What is Source Protection and Who does it involve?

Overview

The Clean Water Act, 2006 has been passed by the Ontario legislature to assist communities with protecting their municipal drinking water supplies at the source. Through source protection planning, communities have identified potential risks to local water quality and water supply, and have created a plan to reduce or eliminate these risks.

The task of developing a plan involved watershed residents working with municipalities, conservation authorities, property owners, farmers, industry, health officials, community groups, and others. The Source Protection Committee oversaw the process of developing the Drinking Water Source Protection Plan.

We all have a role to play in caring for our water. If we want clean water tomorrow, we need to protect our sources of water today. 

Source Protection Committee

The Clean Water Act requires that a Source Protection Committee be established for each Source Protection Region.  Ontario Regulation 288/07 (Source Protection Committees), made under the Clean Water Act, 2006, sets out the requirements for establishing a Source Protection Committee for each Source Protection Region in the Province.  The Source Protection Committee, for the Trent Conservation Coalition Source Protection Region is comprised of 21 members, plus the Chair.  The committee has overseen the process of gathering information about the watershed, assessing threats and assembling this information into a comprehensive source protection plan.

The committee is made up of local stakeholders such as municipalities, agriculture, landowners, industry, business, First Nations, community groups and the general public.

For the first time, communities wil be required to create and carry out a plan to protect the sources of their municipal drinking water supplies. The Clean Water Act will:

  • Require local communities to look at the existing and potential threats to their water and set out and implement the actions necessary to reduce or eliminate significant threats. 
  • Empower communities to take action to prevent threats from becoming significant. 
  • Require public participation on every local source protection plan. This means everyone in the community gets a chance to contribute to the planning process. 
  • Require that all plans and actions are based on sound science

Source Protection Plan

The Trent Source Protection Plan was approved by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change on October 23rd, 2014. The Plan took affect on January 1st, 2015.

The plan looks at the best way we, as a community, can protect our sources of municipal drinking water now and in the future. The Source Protection Plan was developed over several years and is based on technical studies, collaborative policy development, and extensive public consultation.

The Source Protection Plan contain a series of policies developed in consultation with the local community to protect drinking water sources from existing and future threats. These threats have been identified through the technical and scientific work outlined in the Trent Assessment Report. Activities that are significant threats to drinking water require action to minimize or eliminate the threat, as outlined by the policies in a source protection plan. The Source Protection Plan sets out mandatory policies for addressing significant threats to drinking water.

Policies in the Source Protection Plan include a variety of approaches including education and outreach, the development of risk management plans, prohibitions of future instances of certain high-risk activities, land use planning, and others. The policies in the plans will be implemented by municipalities, planning approval authorities, provincial ministries, and others.

The Source Protection Committee worked closely with municipalities, business, landowners, and other stakeholders to decide which combination of tools would work best in local circumstances.

What is a drinking water threat?

A drinking water threat is an activity that has the potential to harm the quality or quantity of water that is used as a source of drinking water. A drinking water threat can be an existing activity, or an activity that could exist in the future.

Under the Clean Water Act, 21 drinking water threats were identified and the Trent Source Protection Commitee identified one other. The Trent Assessment Report identifies the types and number of existing drinking water threats in the areas surrounding municipal drinking water sources in the Trent Source Protection Area.

Who is responsible for the implementation and the enforcement of the Source Protection Plan?

There are many stakeholders involved in developing, implementing and enforcing the Source Protection Plan:

  • The Province/Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change provides legislation, regulations and rules; reviews and approves key documents including the Source Protection Plan.
  • The Source Protection Committee directs the development of the Source Protection Plan.
  • Conservation authorities provide support and technical expertise, and report on the progress in implementing the Source Protection Plan.
  • Municipalities are involved in technical studies, consultation, and plan development; and implement and enforce the Source Protection Plan.

The City of Quinte West is responsibile for all Part IV enforcement of the source protection plan policies.  Some Municipalities have chosen to transfer some or all of their enforcement authority to Conservation Authorities.

What area is covered by the Trent Source Protection Plan?

The province has organized the Source Protection Program using watershed boundaries, rather than municipal boundaries. The watershed boundary is the most appropriate scale for water management, since both groundwater and surface water flow across political boundaries.

For source protection planning purposes, the watershed is referred to as a Source Protection Area under the Clean Water Act. The Lower Trent Source Protection Area is part of the Trent watershed. The City of Quinte West is located within the Lower Trent Source Protection Area and all of the City boundaries lie within the area governed by the Trent Source Protection Plan.

Where are the vulnerable areas in the City of Quinte West?

The City of Quinte West has identified vulnerable areas including Wellhead Protection Areas for groundwater-based sources, and Intake Protection Zones for surface water-based sources. These areas include:

Bayside Intake Protection ZoneSource Water Protection Sign

Trenton Intake Protection Zone

Frankford Intake Protection Zone

Stirling Wellhead Protection Area

Source Water Protection Zone Road Signs

Are you in a vulnerable area?                                              

What will this new plan mean for City residents?

For most residents, the implementation of this plan will simply mean your continued access to safe, reliable water. For others, changes may need to be implemented in order to comply with new policies that will ensure the protection of Quinte West drinking water for all.

Private and public landowners who handle, store or apply materials that could pose a threat to municipal drinking water sources in vulnerable areas will be required to follow related policies of the Source Protection Plan. This will include, for example, best management practices to minimize potential impacts to the City's municipal drinking water supply.

For more information on how the Clean Water Act and the Trent Source Protection Plan will effect you, please click here.

 Lets work together to ensure safe and plentiful drinking water resources!

 

Application and Guide:

Application for a Restricted Land Use Notice (Section 59 Notice Application)

Guide to Completing the Application for Restricted Land Use Notice

Resources:

Lower Trent Conservation Website

Trent Source Protection  Website

Quinte Conservation Website

Quinte Source Protection Region Website

Source Protection Brochures:

This series of educational brochures includes information and helpful tips on how to protect drinking water.  Click on the each brochure to view.

 Source Protection Videos:

  • Trent Conservation Coalition General Overview View
  • Drinking Water Source Protection: Septic System Tips View
  • Working Together, Ontario's Source Protection and Municipal Water Treatment View
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