Help protect Guelph’s water

Sort and dispose of waste properly

Don’t pour food, grease, oil, paint, medication, pesticides, gasoline, or other hazardous waste down sinks, toilets, or storm sewers. These products can cause clogs, floods, fires, or explosions, in our sewer systems.

Take unused medication to a local pharmacy and bring any other hazardous waste items to Guelph’s Household Hazardous Waste Depot.

Handling fuel

When filling up cars, lawnmowers, boats, and other machinery, use a fuel-safe container to catch spills or drips, then dispose of the product safely.

Clean up pet waste

Never put dog poo in a storm drain. Pet waste contains bacteria like giardia and salmonella that can affect our rivers, streams and groundwater. Proper pet waste disposal is important in your own yard, and wherever you walk your dog.

Clean up litter

Litter can travel into storm sewers, rivers and streams, polluting the water and harming fish and wildlife. On your own, or as part of a community cleanup, help keep litter out of Guelph’s parks and natural spaces.

Help manage stormwater runoff

Stormwater is not filtered or treated at Guelph’s wastewater treatment plant.

Rain or melted snow that runs off our roofs, driveways and roads can carry dirt, oil, fertilizer, grass-clippings, road salt, pet waste and litter directly into our rivers, streams, wetlands, and eventually to our drinking water sources.

Watering lawns and gardens

Take care not to overwater your lawn and keep the water off streets, sidewalks and driveways. Soaker hoses can help put water where you need it or try using a rain barrel to collect and use rainwater in your yard and garden.

Help keep storm drains clear

Keeping storm drains and catch basins clear of leaves, dirt, ice and litter helps maintain water quality in our rivers and waterways and reduce the risk flooding.

Report activity near stormwater ponds

Please report beaver or other animal activity, skating, fishing, grass-cutting or planting near stormwater management areas. These activities may seem harmless, but they can interfere with the City’s stormwater management systems.

Learn more about stormwater management and rebates

Use a commercial car wash

Washing your car in the driveway can send potentially harmful soap chemicals into our storm sewers and waterways. Commercial car washes use less water and dispose of dirt and chemicals properly.

Reduce or eliminate chemicals

By reducing or eliminating the use of pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals, you reduce the risk of these products reaching our drinking water sources.

Remove as much ice and snow as you can before applying road salt. Use one tablespoon of salt for a one-metre square area. There should be no salt left after the pavement dries. Salt isn’t effective when it’s colder than -10 degrees Celsius; try alternatives like sand or non-clumping cat litter.

Maintain or decommission wells and septic systems

Bacteria, pesticides, and fertilizers can get into our groundwater through unused and unmaintained water wells and septic systems. Sample and test your system regularly and decommission unused wells and septic systems.

Guelph’s water supply

When you use less water, the City uses less energy to deliver water to our community and process it after it goes down the drain. Using less water also means we can delay having to find and bring on new water sources which has costs related to building new wells, treatment facilities and underground pipes.

When we use salt on our driveways and roads, and when we pour chemicals down the drain, we threaten the quality of our drinking water. Even a small amount of a chemical, like your pool water or the run-off from washing your car in the driveway, can contribute to a toxic level of contamination in our drinking water. It’s important that residents and businesses use chemicals and winter salt responsibly, and store these materials properly as well, to keep our groundwater safe.

Water is a finite resource and it’s our collective responsibility to save and protect it.

Guelph source water protection plan

The Ontario 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 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.

Guelph/Guelph-Eramosa Tier 3 Water Budget Study

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

For more information

519-822-1260 extension 3320
[email protected]