TORONTO, Oct. 29, 2012 /CNW/ - The CTC (Credit Valley, Toronto and Region, and Central Lake Ontario) Source Protection Committee is pleased to announce the submission of the Proposed Source Protection Plan for approval to the Ontario Minister of the Environment. The Plan sets out policies which, when implemented, will reduce threats to sources of drinking water in the Region.
Protection of drinking water sources stems from the incident at Walkerton, Ontario in 2000 where seven people died, and thousands became ill due to the contamination of the town's drinking water. The subsequent commission lead by Justice Denis O'Connor recommended protection plans be developed for drinking water sources around the province. The province responded with the Clean Water Act that enshrined drinking water source protection into law.
The premise of source water protection is to protect water sources before they become contaminated. How drinking water sources are protected is determined by the Source Protection Plan.
Over the past five years, the CTC Source Protection Committee has been working on developing this plan to protect sources of municipal drinking water. The committee is made up of representatives from the public, municipalities and local industries who live or work in the Region. Their mandate and responsibilities are established under the provincial legislation and regulation.
The first step was the development of science-based Assessment Reports that show where areas vulnerable to contamination exist in the Region. These Assessment Reports also determined what kind of activities could be threats to drinking water, and where they are located in these vulnerable areas.
Using the results of the analysis in the Assessment Reports, the Source Protection Committee was required to develop policies that will reduce the threat level of activities deemed "significant". Consultation was conducted at each stage, including a number of public meetings held throughout the Region.
The policies use a number of different tools to ensure protection of drinking water: land use planning, risk management plans, and, in some cases, prohibition to name a few. Municipalities and provincial ministries will be primarily responsible for implementing policies.
ABOUT SOURCE WATER PROTECTION
Source Water Protection prevents drinking water sources from contamination and overuse. The goal is to ensure we have enough clean drinking water for generations to come. The water tragedy at Walkerton in 2000 showed the importance of protecting the sources of municipal drinking water. In 2006, the Ontario government passed the Clean Water Act to protect the wells, 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. For more information, and to download a copy of the Proposed Source Protection Plan, please visit www.ctcswp.ca or call 416-661-6600 extension 5752.
SOURCE: Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
For further information:
Megan Price, Communications Supervisor and Acting Project Supervisor, CTC Source Water Protection Region,
Toronto and Region Conservation 416-661-6600 ext 5568 [email protected]
Supervisor, Media Management, Toronto and Region Conservation
416-661-6600 ext 5632 [email protected]