Ontario has approved the Trent Conservation Coalition Source Protection Plans to strengthen local source-to-tap drinking water protection.
The plans were developed by local municipal and community partners on the Trent Conservation Coalition source protection committee and will take effect Jan. 1, 2015.
Source protection plans are designed to protect the water quality of the lakes, rivers, and sources of underground water that supply municipal drinking water systems. The plans set out actions to eliminate, manage, or reduce potential risks to drinking water sources.
“Few things are as important to our health and wellbeing as having safe water to drink,” said Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Glen Murray. “Protecting the sources that supply our drinking water is the first step in keeping our drinking water safe and helps ensure we never have another Walkerton incident.”
The Trent Conservation Coalition plans will:
- Establish maintenance and inspection programs for septic systems close to drinking water systems to meet building code requirements;
- Create risk-management plans for handling and storing pesticides, fertilizers, road salt, fuel, and manure; and
- Produce and place road signs to identify drinking water protection zones.
“We are proud of the work of our regional source protection staff in achieving this goal,” said Jim Hunt, the chair of the Trent Conservation Coalition source protection committee. “The process is collaborative and science-based, and will provide ongoing protection for municipal source water by emphasizing minimizing the risk to water supplies from land use activities.”
The Trent Conservation Coalition Source Protection Region covers the Ganaraska watershed, Trent watershed, and parts of Lake Ontario. The region stretches from Algonquin Park in the north to Lake Ontario in the south. The region includes all or part of 38 municipalities including the City of Peterborough and the Region of Durham.