Province Protecting Sources of Drinking Water in the GTHA
Ontario Approves Two More Source Protection Plans
Ontario has approved two plans to protect sources of drinking water in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.
The CTC Source Protection Plan, and the Halton-Hamilton Source Protection Plan were developed by local municipal and community partners to protect the quality and quantity of water sources that supply municipal drinking water systems around Credit Valley, Toronto and Region and Central Lake Ontario, and Halton-Hamilton. The plans set out actions to eliminate, manage or reduce potential risks to these drinking water sources.
Many municipalities in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area will now be responsible for:
- Creating management plans to reduce the risks associated with manure, biosolids, livestock grazing, and commercial fertilizers
- Providing information to the community on best practices for maintaining septic systems as well as handling, storing and applying commercial fertilizers, pesticides, and road salt
- Developing or updating water conservation plans to support future growth and development
- Improving partnerships to protect the Great Lakes.
The CTC Source Protection Plan, and the Halton-Hamilton Source Protection Plan will take effect Dec. 31, 2015.
Ontario has now approved 18 of 22 source protection plans from areas across the province, and expects to approve the remaining plans by the end of the year. Together those plans will cover areas where 95 per cent of province's population live.
Protecting the province's clean drinking water and the environment are part of the government's plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- The Clean Water Act established 19 local committees across Ontario. Each committee developed science-based plans that address risks to the water that supply municipal drinking water systems.
- The Credit Valley, Toronto and Region, and Central Lake Ontario (CTC) make up one source protection region. The region has 27 municipal drinking water systems that serve approximately 95 per cent of the area’s 6.7 million residents.
- The Halton-Hamilton source protection region has 10 municipal residential drinking water systems - six draw from an aquifer, and four draw from Lake Ontario. Over 90 per cent of the area’s 900,000 residents are served by these systems.
- Earlier this year, Ontario introduced the proposed Great Lakes Protection Act, building on existing Great Lakes partnerships for joint action to fight climate change, reduce harmful algal blooms, protect wetlands and tackle other complex problems in the Great Lakes basin.
“Few things are as important to our health as having safe water to drink. Ontario’s approach to protect drinking water has made our tap water among the best protected in the world. Protecting the sources of drinking water - our lakes, rivers and groundwater - is the foundation of our safety net.”
“The day our plan was approved was a proud one for our committee. We have worked collaboratively to develop policies to protect drinking water sources for the seven million people who depend on municipal water. Our drinking water sources are diverse — from Lake Ontario to rural wells, with quality and quantity challenges.”
“I am very pleased with the approval of the source protection plan for the Halton-Hamilton Source Protection Region. A special thanks to the hard work of the committee members and the guidance from our dedicated staff in developing a science-based plan that will protect our municipal drinking water supplies now and in the future. Also, thanks to our partners at the ministry, municipalities and our community stakeholders. We look forward to working with our partners to implement the plan.”