City to work with landowners, businesses, developers to ensure compliance:
Guelph, Ont., June 29, 2016 – The City’s 72 Source Water Protection policies come into effect Friday. The provincially-legislated policies are part of the Lake Erie Source Protection Region’s Source Protection Plan designed to identify and manage threats to Guelph’s municipal drinking water.
“The best way to ensure safe drinking water is to protect it at its source,” said Peter Rider, the City’s Risk Management Official.
“Everyone in our community can play a role in protecting Guelph’s groundwater for future generations by taking simple precautions with everyday actions.”
Guelph is one of 13 municipalities rolling out policies that support the locally-developed source protection plan. The plan and its Guelph-specific policies were endorsed by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) last November.
“Guelph has some of the best drinking water in the world, and it’s vital that we protect this valued resource,” said Mayor Cam Guthrie. “Council fully supports the source protection plan and its implementation.”
Compliance with the policies to mitigate drinking water threats requires adhering to best practices for the handling, storage, and disposal of potential contaminants by residents, businesses and land developers.
The City’s newly appointed Risk Management Official (RMO) is leading the policy implementation that will initially focus on compliance for new development and building permit applications, increasing community awareness, and targeted outreach to local businesses and industry.
The RMO and Risk Management Inspector are authorized under the Clean Water Act to issue notices and orders for non-compliance.
As the policies were developed, residents and businesses provided input at various stages on a variety of factors that considered fairness to landowners, impact on citizens, and ease and cost of implementation.
The City, along with twelve Grand River Source Protection Area partners, began source water protection research, planning and policy development in 2006.
All Ontario municipalities, under the provincial Clean Water Act, are required to develop and implement Source Protection Plans to protect existing and future municipal drinking water supplies and safeguard human health and the environment.
More information about Guelph’s source water protection efforts and policies is available on guelph.ca/sourcewater.