The City of Guelph has identified vulnerable local water supply source areas in need of protection, called wellhead protection areas and intake protection zones, in compliance with the provincial Clean Water Act.
All Ontario cities, including Guelph, are required by the Act to define and map vulnerable areas around water supply sources—either a supply well, or surface water intake area—that could be affected by potential threats. These areas require extra care in order to protect water quality. Potential threats, including common commercial and residential activities that take place on properties in these vulnerable areas, are currently being evaluated and will be ranked according to criteria developed by the Ministry of the Environment (MOE).
Once finalized the City’s Groundwater Vulnerability Assessment, Surface Water Vulnerability Assessment and Drinking Water Threats Assessment will be compiled with assessments by other municipalities in the Grand River Watershed, and used to develop the Grand River Watershed Source Protection Plan. The Plan, as required by the Clean Water Act, will outline protective measures so the identified potential threats do not impact the quality of each municipality’s groundwater.
The MOE funds water source protection investigations and has recently committed an additional $80,000 to Guelph for public education geared to home, business and rural land owners.
The Province of Ontario’s Clean Water Act was developed to protect drinking water at the source as part of a commitment to safeguard human health and the environment.