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Ontario approves South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe source protection plan


March 2, 2015
By Ground Water Canada

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March 2, 2015, South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe, Ont. – Ontario has
approved the South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe Source Protection Plan to
strengthen local source-to-tap drinking water protection.

March 2, 2015, South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe, Ont. – Ontario has approved the South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe Source Protection Plan to strengthen local source-to-tap drinking water protection.

 

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The plan, which was developed by local municipal and community partners
on the South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe source protection committee, will take
effect July 1, 2015. Partners included the Chippewas of Rama First Nation.

 

Source protection plans are designed
to protect the water quality of the lakes, rivers and sources of
underground water that supply municipal drinking water systems, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change said in a news release. The
plans set out actions to eliminate, manage or reduce potential risks to
drinking water sources.

Actions set out in South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe plan include:

  • Providing
    information to residents on best practices for maintaining septic
    systems, livestock grazing and pasturing areas, handling and storage of
    salt or fuel, and applying or storing pesticides, manure or other
    fertilizers.
  • Creating risk-management plans for activities,
    such as application and storage of snow, salt, fertilizer and manure
    that contribute chloride, sodium or nitrate to source water.
  • Producing and placing road signs to identify drinking water protection zones.

 

The region has complex geology and physiography, including
portions of the Niagara Escarpment, Oak Ridges Moraine, Oro Moraine,
Peterborough Drumlin Fields, Simcoe Uplands and Lowlands, and the
Canadian Shield, said the release. More than one million people live here, with the highest
concentration in the Lake Simcoe watershed, particularly in the
communities of Barrie and Newmarket. Of the 111 municipal drinking water systems here, 79 systems
draw water from a ground water source, such as an aquifer, eight draw
water from a surface source, and the remaining 24 use both a ground water
and a surface source. This is the first approved plan to include a First Nations drinking water system.