Protecting Guelph’s water supply

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Report spills of pollutants (e.g. oil, chemicals) to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change Spills Action Centre
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Water is critical to all aspects of our lives. Protecting water sources is important as it can help ensure there is enough safe water, now and into the future. Drinking water source protection is the first step in a multi-barrier approach to protecting our sources of drinking water such as lakes, rivers and groundwater before they become contaminated or depleted.

Ontario’s Clean Water Act requires municipalities to implement Source Protection Plans to protect existing and future drinking water supplies, so we have enough safe water now and in the future.

Guelph is located in the Grand River watershed. Guelph’s source water protection policies are part of the Grand River Source Protection Plan which is in turn part of the Lake Erie Source Protection Region.

Source water protection for business, builders, developers

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Related links

Guelph/Guelph-Eramosa Tier 3 Water Budget Study

The goal of the Guelph Guelph/Eramosa Tier 3 study is to measure current and future sustainability of municipal drinking water systems in light of municipal growth and climate change.

Learn more about Guelph/Guelph-Eramosa Tier 3 Water Budget Study

If contaminants such as gasoline, antifreeze, motor oils, paints, solvents or household cleaners spill on the ground, they could affect our drinking water. That’s why private and public landowners who handle, store or apply materials that could pose a threat to our drinking water sources must follow the policies of the Grand River Source Protection Plan.

The plan identifies where Guelph’s municipal water sources are most vulnerable to contamination and the activities that could affect our municipal drinking water including:

Wellhead protection areas

A wellhead is the above-ground structure of a well. Nearby land uses could affect the quality of water that flows into the well. In wellhead protection areas, people must be very careful when storing, using or handling materials that could pollute or contaminate a municipal well.

Intake protection zones

A surface water intake draws water from a lake, river or stream into the municipal drinking water system. The intake protection zone is the vulnerable area where contaminants could pose a significant threat to the source water. In most cases, an intake protection zone includes the water and the land that surrounds the intake, and accounts for the potential impact of land uses and water activities.

Learn more about provincial, regional and local source water protection