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Ontario steps up plans to protect drinking water

Monday, August 31, 2015

Ontario approved the Credit-Valley-Toronto and Region-Central Lake Ontario (CTC) Source Protection Plan (SPP) and the Halton-Hamilton SPP on August 14, 2015. The plans are set to take effect on December 31, 2015.

Under the Clean Water Act, these SPPs, developed alongside source protection committees, participating municipalities and the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, are designed to protect drinking water sources and supplies from looming threats.

With Ontario now approving SPPs for much of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton regions, Toronto, the Region Conservation Authority and the Halton Region source protection authority are expected to prepare and submit work plans by November 30, 2015. According to law firm Wilms and Shier, these plans should “recommend the scope and scale of the reviews for respective SPPs.

Many municipalities in these regions will now be responsible for creating management strategies to reduce risks associated with manure and biosolids, as well as inform communities on best practices for septic system maintenance and storing and applying commercial fertilizers, pesticides and road salt. They will also be expected to develop water conservation plans to support future growth and improve partnerships for protecting the Great Lakes.

Eighteen SPPs have already been approved, with Ontario on task to approve remaining plans by the end of the year. Approved plans and assessment reports are posted on the CTC website at www.ctcswp.ca and the Halton Hamilton website at www.protectingwater.ca.

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