Source water is untreated water from streams, lakes, rivers or underground aquifers that people use for potable water supply. Protecting source water is a team effort, a collaboration between Source Protection Authorities, municipalities, the province, and community members.
What is source water protection?
Source water protection protects Ontario's municipal drinking water from overuse and contamination, and complements water treatment and monitoring by reducing risks to water supplies in the first place.
Threats to source water
The provincial government identified 21 significant threats to our drinking water, from waste management and sewage to road salt and pesticides. The level of risk they pose depends on the nature of the threat and its location.
There are four categories of areas defined by the Clean Water Act as in need of protection. These “vulnerable areas” include:
How to help protect source water
Everyone needs to do their part to protect source water. Here are a few ways you can help:
Source water protection authorities
Springwater belongs to the South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe Source Protection Region—one of 19 regions throughout Ontario. There are three source protection authorities within this region:
- Lakes Simcoe and Couchiching/Black River Source Protection Authority
- Nottawasaga Valley Source Protection Authority
- Severn Sound Source Protection Authority
These protection authorities integrate source water planning across the watershed and in municipal watershed plans.
Source water protection plan
The Source Protection Plan for the South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe Source Protection Region sets out actions to address contamination threats to the lakes, rivers and underground aquifers that supply water to the municipal drinking water systems in our area.