In conjunction with Canada Water Week and World Water Day, and in compliance with Ontario’s Clean Water Act, the City of Ottawa is raising public awareness about efforts to protect municipal drinking water sources, and how residents can help.
The City‘s Source Water Protection Program safeguards public health from drinking water threats by protecting the valuable drinking water supply. Drinking Water Protection Zones around municipal drinking water systems were determined through a series of technical studies.
The most vulnerable areas have been established as Drinking Water Protection Zones near the City’s two Ottawa River water intakes (Intake Protection Zones) and five municipal groundwater well systems (Wellhead Protection Areas). The activities of residents living and working in these areas can potentially impact the drinking water supply. If sources become contaminated, treatment can be expensive and occasionally, the impacts can be irreversible.
The City of Ottawa is encouraging residents within a Drinking Water Protection Zone to make small changes that will help protect local waterways and underground aquifers. Some examples to help keep the City’s source water clean include:
- properly disposing of hazardous waste substances;
- using environmentally friendly cleaning products;
- reducing use of fertilizer and de-icing salt;
- maintaining your vehicles to prevent leaks and taking care when handling fuel;
- reducing stormwater by using a rain barrel;
- planting trees and minimizing hard surfaces such as pavement and patio stones;
- washing your car at a facility with a draining system intended for soap and cleaning products.
Please visit http://ottawa.ca/en/residents/water-and-environment/air-land-and-water/source-water-protection to find out how you can help protect our valuable municipal drinking water sources.