Ontario has approved the Sudbury Source Protection Plan to strengthen local source-to-tap drinking water protection.
The plan, developed by municipal and community partners on the Sudbury source protection committee, will take effect Apr. 1, 2015.
Source protection plans are designed to protect the water quality of lakes, rivers and underground sources that supply municipal drinking water systems. The plans set out actions to eliminate, manage or reduce potential risks to drinking water sources.
Actions in the Sudbury plan include:
Establishing maintenance and inspection programs for septic systems in drinking water protection zones to meet building code requirements.
Creating risk-management plans for handling and storing pesticides, fertilizers, road salt, fuel and manure, as well as for existing waste sites.
Developing a storm water management strategy for Ramsey Lake and a water conservation action plan for the valley drinking water system.
Producing and placing road signs to identify drinking water protection zones.
Protecting drinking water enhances quality of life for Ontario families and supports sustainable communities now and into the future. This is part of the government’s plan to invest in people, build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.
The Clean Water Act established 19 local committees across Ontario. Each committee developed science-based plans that address contamination risks to the water that supplies municipal drinking water systems.
The Sudbury source protection region consists of three watersheds (Vermillion River, Wanapitei River and Whitefish River) and covers an area of approximately 9,150-square kilometres.
There are six municipal drinking water systems in the area. Four systems draw their water from aquifers. One, owned by Vale Canada Limited, draws water from the Vermillion River, and the Sudbury system takes water from both Ramsey Lake and local aquifers.