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Water and Wastewater

Why Do We Need to Protect Source Water

The contamination of water sources in Walkerton in 2000 that resulted in loss of human life and illness showed the importance of protecting the sources of municipal drinking water.

In response to this tragic event, the Ontario government passed the Clean Water Act, 2006 to protect the groundwater, rivers and lakes that are sources of municipal water. Under the Act, source protection plans are being developed to provide an additional layer of protection to municipal water supplies.

Protecting Source Water is the most cost-effective and reliable way to protect our drinking water for generations to come. It is much more expensive to treat contaminated groundwater than to protect it from getting contaminated in the first place.

Protecting our Source Water is important because:

  • Not all forms of contamination can be easily removed or treated (i.e. many chemical compounds).
  • Many people in Ontario, especially in rural areas, are not connected to municipal water. These people supply their own drinking water from a private well or surface water intake. For these people, protecting source water from contamination may be the only barrier they have against contaminated drinking water.
  • It is often far more expensive to treat contaminated source water than it is to protect it from contamination.

In Ontario we have an abundance of good quality water. We need to use this water wisely to ensure that we have enough clean water for many generations.

Find out more about what you can do to protect water sources and about Region of Peel initiatives.

For more information on the background for Source Water or other Source Water facts, please visit the CTC Source Protection Region website or Conservation Ontario website

Revised: Wednesday December 11 2013


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