The Region of Waterloo has been protecting sources of drinking water since 1994. Our Water Resources Protection Master Plan classifies protection areas around our sources and details how threats would be identified and managed. For more information, click on Water Resources Protection Master Plan
The Ministry of Environment is establishing a watershed-based source protection program across Ontario. Under its terms of reference, required by the 2006 Ontario Clean Water Act, the Region is taking the lead in assessing the potential risk of existing and future activities on our water supply. The Region is also responsible for developing policies to reduce risk, in consultation with the public.
For more information, visit the Lake Erie Source Protection Region website.
Monitoring of Source Water
The quality of our drinking water is influenced by the soil and rock the water moves over or through on the way to your tap. We monitor the quality of water entering the distribution system and publish the results in annual reports.
Region staff also measure the quantity of water removed from wells and surface water intake from the Grand River. The Groundwater Monitoring Report, produced every two years, summarizes the impact that water-taking has on the environment. Details are available on request.
Facts on Tap
These publications provide information to property owners on their role in ensuring our drinking water supply remains safe today and in the long term.
Issue #1 - Sept. 2008
Issue #2 - April 2009 (Agriculture)
Issue #2 - April 2009 (ICI & Municipal)
Issue #2 - April 2009 (Rural Residential)
Issue #2 - April 2009 (Landowners with Vacant Land & Parkland)
Issue #3 - March 2010
Issue #4 - October 2011
As part of our Water Resources Protection Master Plan, The Region implements several programs:
Rural Water Quality Program
Farmers understand the importance of a healthy environment for their crop and livestock production. However, traditional farming methods may jeopardize water quality, for example through manure runoff into creeks and streams.
New practices and recommendations can change farming practices and therefore improve water quality. The Rural Water Quality Program was set up by the Region in 1998 to provide financial incentives for farmers to upgrade their farming methods. It is administered by the Grand River Conservation Authority.
Spills, Prevention & Response Workshop
A spill can have devastating consequences, from clean-up costs and fines to wasted time and damaged assets. The Region offers a practical workshop on minimizing the risk and liability to your operation by reducing the potential for spills.
In the meantime, the Spill Prevention and Response brochure provides valuable information.
SMART ABOUT SALT™
Too much road salt has the potential to affect the taste of our drinking water. In January 2008, the Region introduced a program to reduce over-use of salt on parking lots and sidewalks. It was the first of its kind in Canada.
The Region is a founding member of the Smart About Salt Council, which offers training and accreditation on salt management to contractors and commercial property owners.
Note for homeowners: Salt is effective if it is used in the right conditions and allowed to work. Applying excessive amounts is unnecessary. Homeowners concerned about sidewalk safety may refer to our Winter Snow Clearing Guide.
What do these signs mean? Click here for a sign brochure.
Well Interference Complaints: If you suspect that your private water well is being adversely affected by regional water taking, please refer to the attached information.
Potable Groundwater Criteria Use: Policy regarding use of clean-up standards and guidelines for sites within the Region.
Urban Threats Inventory Database: This report gives information on urban land-use activities that have potential to affect the quality of surface and groundwater in the Region.
Learning about water: Environews
Each spring and fall, watch for the Region's Environews delivered to your mailbox. Environews is quick and easy to read and packed with practical suggestions for conserving water and protecting sources.