What is drinking water source protection?
Source water is the raw, untreated water that we take from lakes, rivers and underground aquifers to supply people with drinking water. “Drinking Water Source Protection” or “Source Water Protection” means protecting these sources of drinking water from contamination and overuse. The focus is on prevention!
Where does the Lake Huron Primary Water Supply drinking water come from?
The water supply is drawn from Lake Huron at Port Blake approximately 2.5 km offshore at a depth of 9 metres. This intake and water treatment plant services most towns and hamlets from Bayfield to London - about 400,000 people. The area 1 km around the intake is called the Intake Protection Zone- 1 or IPZ -1 and where the water takes 2 hours to reach the intake is the IPZ-2. These areas are where the water supply is most vulnerable. If you see a spill call the Spills Action Centre at 800-268-6060.
The Need for Drinking Water Source Protection
The Clean Water Act, 2006. Its purpose is to protect existing and future sources of drinking water by a multi-barrier approach.
Water treatment is not always enough. Water treatment systems do not remove all contaminants from water, particularly chemicals such as fuels and solvents. The safest approach is to prevent contamination.
Prevention saves money. It is much cheaper to keep water clean than it is to try and remove contaminants.
Other benefits. Clean and plentiful water also supports tourism, recreation, business development and fish and wildlife habitat - all of which are important to our local economies.
Source Protection Plans. Ensure storage of fuel, chemicals or waste as well as agricultural activities close to municipal water supplies do not cause contamination to the drinking water.