News Releases

Essex Region Source Protection Plan Approved

Wednesday, Apr. 22, 2015

Essex - The Source Protection Plan for the Essex Region Source Protection Area has been approved by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change. This plan, effective October 1, 2015, sets out policies that will protect the water sources that supply our municipal drinking water systems.

The plan was developed by the Essex Region Source Protection Committee and its municipal and community partners. The plan is a requirement of Ontario's Clean Water Act, which was passed as a response to the Province's inquiry into the Walkerton drinking water tragedy. The Source Protection Plan was developed over several years and is based on technical studies, collaborative policy development, and extensive public consultation. The process was guided by a Source Protection Committee made up representatives from municipalities, business, industry, landowners, and other stakeholders.

"We are proud of the work of the Source Protection Committee in reaching this goal," said Tom Fuerth, Chair of the Source Protection Committee. "Collaboration with our local stakeholders, municipal partners and the Ministry resulted in policies designed to protect sources of municipal water supply. The science-based process will provide ongoing protection by recognizing and minimizing the risk to water supply sources from land use activities. We look forward to continuing with our partners into the future to enhance the protection of existing and future sources of drinking water."

Policies in the Source Protection Plans include a variety of approaches to manage and prevent risks to municipal drinking water. These approaches include education and outreach, the development of risk management plans, land use planning, and monitoring. These policies will help to keep contaminants out of our rivers and lakes that are sources of municipal drinking water.

The source protection planning process is directed and funded by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change in conjunction with municipalities. Local Conservation Authorities provide additional technical, communications and administrative support for the source protection planning process. For more information please visit our website: www.essexregionsourcewater.org

Quick Facts

Municipal drinking water supplies in the Essex Region are all drawn from the Great Lakes system ? the Detroit River, Lake Erie and Lake St. Clair

There are seven municipal water treatment plants (WTPs) in the region and an additional plant in Wheatley which serves part of the Municipality of Leamington

When completed, watershed-based source protection plans will protect more than 450 municipal drinking water sources across Ontario.

Ontario has provided more than $200 million for source protection planning since 2004.

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