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Drinking Water Source Protection - Municipality of Centre Hastings

Drinking Water Source Protection

Source water protection is protecting water sources from overuse and contamination. This helps to safeguard public health.

In Ontario, source water protection is carried out under the Clean Water Act, 2006. Source water protection is considered the “first barrier” of a multi-barrier approach to providing safe drinking water. Other barriers are effective water treatment, proper distribution, operator training and adequate water testing.

Source water is untreated surface water and groundwater that people use to supply drinking water systems.

Municipalities obtain water for municipal distribution and public use from both groundwater and surface water sources.

Groundwater is drawn from wells drilled into an underlying aquifer, which is the water source.

Surface water sources include lakes, rivers and bays.

How Does Source Water Affect You?

Find out if the property you are looking at has land-use restrictions because ground or surface water is nearby. This map also gives you the vital information you’ll need to complete your application for a provincial environmental compliance approval (ECA).

Find out if the property site has restrictions affecting animal penning, manure storage or fertilizer use.

Find vulnerable areas to help when issuing building permits, developing Official Plans, plotting utility or transportation corridors, or creating risk management plans.

Find out if the property you want to buy has specific requirements.

The following links can be used to search if your property is in a vulnerable area (close to a municipal drinking water well or other drinking water intake). In these areas certain land or water activities, if left unchecked, could pollute the water supply. If your location is in a vulnerable area, follow the link to the source protection plan to find out what activities are prohibited or need to be managed.

Septic Information

A septic system is a small-scale private sewage treatment system. Septic systems are common in rural areas, where hook-up to sanitary sewer mains is unavailable, but may also exist in urban areas. The design of your septic system will depend on the characteristics of the soil, and surrounding landscape, as well as the amount of space available, where you live.

Traditional septic systems are composed of an underground septic tank, a distribution box, and a leaching field (also called a drainfield).

Sewage flows from your house into the septic tank, where the solids settle to the bottom forming a sludge layer. Fats and greases float to the surface, forming a scum layer. The remaining wastewater flows into the distribution box, then into the leaching field. In the leaching field the water is filtered through porous materials, such as sand and gravel, before seeping into the ground.

  • Sewage backup in drains or toilets

  • Slow flushing toilets, sinks or drains

  • Visible liquid on the surface of the ground near the septic system. It may or may not have an odor associated with it.

  • Lush green grass over the drain field, even during dry weather, often indicates that an excessive amount of liquid from the system is moving up through the soil instead of downward. While some upward movement of liquid from the drain field is good, too much could indicate major problems.

  • Build-up of aquatic weeds or algae in lakes or ponds adjacent to your home. This may indicate that nutrient-rich septic system waste is leaching into the surface of the water.

  • Unpleasant odors around your house

  • Divert rainwater from the septic system

  • Don’t overload the septic system

  • Keep trees away from the septic system

  • Be aware of what goes into the septic system

  • Use garbage disposals wisely

  • Limit the amount of heavy duty cleaners

  • Avoid hazardous chemicals

  • Don’t pour grease down the drain

  • Protect the system from damage

  • Perform routine maintenance - get the septic tank pumped regularly, every 3-5 years

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