Conservation Ontario Brochures
What is a Wellhead Protection Area?
Many municipalities rely on wells to supply drinking water to its residents. Wells of all types, municipal and private, urban and rural, pump water from under the ground. This groundwater comes from rain or snow that seeps below ground and pools in cracks or spaces in the soil, sand and rock. These underground sources of water are sometimes known as aquifers. The level of groundwater, or the water table, rises and falls depending on the season, temperature, amount of rain or snow and the amount of water withdrawn from the aquifer. Download Full Brochure
What are Highly Vulnerable Areas?
In addition to protecting wellheads and surface water intakes, the Clean Water Act, 2006 recognizes the importance of protecting two other highly vulnerable areas: significant recharge areas and highly vulnerable aquifers.
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What is an Intake Protection Zone?
The majority of Ontario’s population draws its drinking water directly from the Great Lakes and large rivers, such as the Ottawa River and the St. Lawrence River. Surface water is transported through an intake pipe directly from the lake, river or stream and into a water treatment system. Fortunately, many of these drinking water intakes are located far from shore in deep water, like in the Great Lakes, where contamination is less likely. However, many other municipal surface water intakes in Ontario are located in areas where there are greater risks of contamination. Download Full Brochure
What is a Water Quality Issue?
Anything that causes a problem with, or has the potential to cause a problem with, the quality of municipal drinking water is considered a water quality issue. Issues may occur at the source of the drinking water, such as at a surface water intake or municipal wellhead, or it may occur in a location used to monitor the local source of water. Download Full Brochure
What is a Septic System?
A septic system is a private sewage treatment system. They are common in rural areas where there are no municipal sewage pipes for homes, farms, businesses or other facilities to hook into. They are less common in urban areas. Download Full Brochure
The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs created a series of short videos and a short booklet entitled SepticSmart! The resources include information about how septic systems work and how to take care of them, as well as newer types of septic systems available for challenging locations.
What Landowners can Do to Protect Water
Everything is connected through the water cycle and it is important to remember everyone lives downstream. What you do today can affect local water quality and quantity. In fact, since the quantity of water in any given source can greatly affect the quality of that water, it is important to protect both quality and quantity. In order to ensure a healthy of supply of water now and into the future there are many actions landowners can take. Download Full Brochure