Southwest Guelph Water Supply Class Environmental Assessment

Quarterly progress update, May 2022

Since the launch of the Southwest Guelph Water Supply Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA) in September 2021, the City has initiated an Operational Testing Program. To date, sentry wells (groundwater monitoring wells located between a point of interest and a supply well) have been constructed around the Dolime Quarry to monitor the groundwater levels and groundwater quality at strategic locations. The team is also collecting groundwater and surface water data to establish a baseline to support long-term monitoring and data analysis.

The City has also initiated consultation with government agencies and the surrounding county and townships to keep them informed and updated about the status of the Class EA and Operational Testing Program and provide regular and ongoing opportunities to discuss issues and concerns.

What is the Operational Testing Program?

The Operational Testing Program is a multi-year testing program that will determine the quantity of groundwater that can be safely and sustainably pumped from existing and new City water supply wells. The City of Guelph’s Water Supply Master Plan has determined that that we will require about 26,000 cubic metres per day of additional supply to meet water demands to the year 2051. The Operational Testing Program will evaluate two key objectives:

  1. How can the City sustainably pump a portion of the additional water required for 2051 from southwest Guelph, and
  2. How will the Dolime Quarry pond be managed after the quarry has closed to maintain high groundwater quality in the surrounding aquifer.

The Operational Testing Program is a six-stage process that will gather operational and environmental data related to the City’s supply wells. At each stage, the City will pump up to eight existing City supply wells and up to three existing test wells in different configurations while controlling the level of the Dolime Quarry pond. Groundwater and surface water will be monitored to determine how the environment responds to the pumping; the data will be compiled and analyzed at each stage.

The City is planning to initiate Stage 1 of the Operational Testing Program in late May 2022, which involves shut-down tests at existing wells to establish baseline conditions. The City will collect groundwater and surface water data during Stage 1, evaluate how the wells and environment respond during the testing, and use the information to plan Stage 2, to occur in fall 2022.

Next steps

Public facing summaries will be posted on the website approximately quarterly with updates to the progress of the project.