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Protecting Kingston-Area Drinking Water

Archived News Release

Protecting Kingston-Area Drinking Water

Ontario Supports Actions to Safeguard Drinking Water

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

The plan, developed by local municipal and community partners on the Cataraqui source protection committee, will take effect April 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.

Actions set out in the Cataraqui plan will:

  • Create risk-management plans for handling and storing pesticides, fertilizers, fuel and manure.
  • Provide information to residents on the proper care, re-inspection and maintenance of septic systems.
  • Conduct regular inspections of a sewage storage tank.
  • Produce and place road signs to identify drinking water protection zones.

Protecting drinking water is part of the government's economic plan for Ontario. The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.

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 Cataraqui source protection area, located at the eastern end of Lake Ontario and the upper part of the St. Lawrence River, covers about 3,200-square kilometres.
  • This area is home to 210,000 people, with 15 municipalities including Kingston, Brockville and Greater Napanee.
  • Of the 12 municipal residential drinking water systems here, three systems draw water from a groundwater source, such as an aquifer, while the remaining nine draw water from a surface source, such as Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River and Sydenham Lake.

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

“I am pleased that our plan has been approved. I thank the source protection committee and Authority for its commitment and dedication, as well as the staff at the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority for their professionalism. I also thank our partners at the ministry, the municipalities, and the broader public community for their involvement, which helped to achieve this milestone. The science-based plan will better protect the sources of our drinking water as Justice O’Connor recommended following the Walkerton tragedy.”

John Williamson

chair of the Cataraqui source protection committee

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Environment and Energy