Ontario Newsroom

Protecting Sudbury-Area Drinking Water

Archived News Release

Protecting Sudbury-Area Drinking Water

Ontario Supports Actions to Safeguard Drinking Water

Ontario has approved the Sudbury Source Protection Plan to strengthen local source-to-tap drinking water protection.

The plan, developed by municipal and community partners on the Sudbury source protection committee, will take effect Apr. 1, 2015.

Source protection plans are designed to protect the water quality of lakes, rivers and underground sources that supply municipal drinking water systems. The plans set out actions to eliminate, manage or reduce potential risks to drinking water sources.

Actions in the Sudbury plan include:

  • Establishing maintenance and inspection programs for septic systems in drinking water protection zones to meet building code requirements.
  • Creating risk-management plans for handling and storing pesticides, fertilizers, road salt, fuel and manure, as well as for existing waste sites.
  • Developing a storm water management strategy for Ramsey Lake and a water conservation action plan for the valley drinking water system.
  • Producing and placing road signs to identify drinking water protection zones.

Protecting drinking water enhances quality of life for Ontario families and supports sustainable communities now and into the future. This is part of the government's plan to invest in people, build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.

Quick Facts

  • The Clean Water Act established 19 local committees across Ontario. Each committee developed science-based plans that address contamination risks to the water that supplies municipal drinking water systems.
  • The Sudbury source protection region consists of three watersheds (Vermillion River, Wanapitei River and Whitefish River) and covers an area of approximately 9,150-square kilometres.
  • There are six municipal drinking water systems in the area. Four systems draw their water from aquifers. One, owned by Vale Canada Limited, draws water from the Vermillion River, and the Sudbury system takes water from both Ramsey Lake and local aquifers.

Additional Resources


“Few things are as important to our health and well-being as having safe water to drink. 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.”

Glen Murray

Minister of the Environment and Climate Change

“The approval of the Sudbury source protection plan is an important milestone, and one of the vehicles needed to ensure future water quality in the City of Lakes. It will take a continued community effort to ensure protection of our drinking water. The diligence and strong leadership of the Sudbury source protection committee, Conservation Sudbury and the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change have laid the groundwork for a successful plan, and I anticipate the continued co-operation from the city and other local municipalities as the plan is implemented.”

Nels Conroy

Chair of the Sudbury Region source protection committee

Media Contacts



Environment and Energy