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Source Protection Plan: 2012
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Source Protection Plan

The third job of the Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Committee is to prepare a Source Protection Plan — policies to protect sources of drinking water from contamination and overuse.

Source Protection Plan

A small policy wording change has been made to clarify a policy and make it meet its intended purpose. The policy is the waste policy where the municipality uses its powers under the Planning Act to prohibit future establishment of waste disposal sites where they would be a significant drinking water threat. The problem with the policy is that one of the waste categories is small waste storage which could include small businesses such as restaurants. The Source Protection Committee did not intend to impact small businesses but rather prohibit the establishment of large waste disposal sites such as landfills and waste activities such as application of untreated septage to land in locations where these would pose a significant threat to drinking water.

A provincial instrument is not required for this waste category so it is only the municipal prohibition that is problematic. Under Section 51 of Ontario Regulation 287/07 under the Clean Water Act, the Source Protection Committee can make minor edits to correct obvious errors even after the Source Protection Plan has been approved provided that a notice describing the amendment is posted on the Internet to keep stakeholders informed.

Here is the policy change which appears on Page 26 of the Source Protection Plan:

Future Waste Disposal Site — Prescribed Instrument/Planning Act Decisions

Future waste disposal sites are prohibited where they would be a significant drinking water threat as described in Appendix B. Accordingly, decisions to issue, otherwise create or amend Prescribed Instruments (Environmental Compliance Approvals under the Environmental Protection Act or the Ontario Water Resources Act) must conform with this policy. In addition, decisions made by planning authorities under the Planning Act must conform with this policy.

Please contact us if you need additional information.

  On August 27, 2014 the Source Protection Plan was approved. It will come into effect on January 1, 2015.
  View the Source Protection Plan
Click here to view the Plan online

What Happened to the Comments Received on the Draft Plan?
Click the links below to view the comments we received during our three rounds of consultation and how they were addressed:

What is a Source Protection Plan?
A Source Protection Plan is a series of mandatory and voluntary policies developed in consultation with the local community to help prevent contamination near sources of drinking water – primarily municipal drinking water. Policies:

  • Encourage good stewardship and promote awareness about local drinking water sources
  • Support existing programs that already ensure good management practices
  • Require additional oversight or risk reduction measures where needed
  • Prohibit certain activities from being established in the future

The Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Committee ensured municipalities, farmers, businesses, industries, property owners, First Nations, community groups, health officials, provincial ministries and the public all had an opportunity to be involved in policy development.

Where Will Policies Apply?
Source Protection Plans must contain policies to address “significant drinking water threats”. For an activity to be considered a significant threat it must be taking place in a vulnerable area around a municipal well or a vulnerable area upstream of a municipal water treatment plant intake pipe. Vulnerable areas where Source Protection Plan policies will apply were identified and mapped in the Assessment Reports. Less than 1.5% of the Mississippi-Rideau region is included in a vulnerable area where significant threats are possible. This means the vast majority of property owners will not be subject to the policies in the Source Protection Plan. Maps of the 12 vulnerable areas where significant threats are possible are below:

Wellhead Protection Areas:

Intake Protection Zones:

Other policies were included in the Source Protection Plan that apply in broader areas. These policies are not restrictive in nature, rather they focus on promoting and encouraging best practices.

What Activities Will Policies Affect?
Within vulnerable areas, the Ministry of the Environment decided which land use activities would be considered a “drinking water threat.” The term “drinking water threat” does not mean an activity is contaminating water quality or is likely to in the future. It simply indicates that an activity involves a chemical or pathogen and therefore has the potential to cause contamination if there were to be a spill or leak. Many of these activities are currently well regulated and are at little risk of causing contamination. The reason source protection policies are being developed to address these activities is to take a proactive, precautionary approach to ensure all activities with the potential to cause contamination are managed safely.

Click below to view the full list of drinking water threats. These tables indicate where and when each activity is considered a significant, moderate or low threat.

Drinking water threats listed in the provincial tables fall into 13 main categories. Click on the categories below to see how these activities are addressed by policies in the proposed Source Protection Plan:

What Goes in a Souce Protection Plan?
The Ministry of the Environment developed a regulation which outlines what information must be included in a Source Protection Plan (what types of activities require a policy, what types of policies can be developed and who the policy implementers can be).

How Was a Plan Developed?
The Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Committee developed their Source Protection Plan in three stages: draft policies, draft Source Protection Plan and proposed Source Protection Plan.

Draft Policies
The Committee worked with municipal staff, sector experts and ministry staff to research and develop draft policies. These draft policies were then shared with potentially affected property owners, the public, municipalities, provincial ministries, health units, interested industry associations and others in October and November 2011. Letters were sent directly to potentially affected property owners and policy implementers and a series of open houses were held to solicit public input. Comments were accepted until March 20, 2012.

Open House Dates Were:


November 14, 2011


November 16, 2011


November 21, 2011


November 22, 2011


November 24, 2011



Draft Source Protection Plan
The Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Committee considered all comments received on the draft policies when developing their draft Source Protection Plan. This draft Plan was posted for a 37 day public comment period ending May 4, 2012. Letters were once again sent to potentially affected property owners, policy implementers (municipalities, ministries), interested industry associations and others, and three public open houses were also held to solicit public input.

Open Houses Dates were:

North Crosby

March 29, 2012


April 19, 2012

Carleton Place

April 24, 2012

Smiths Falls

April 26, 2012

Proposed Source Protection Plan
The Committee considered all comments received on the draft Source Protection Plan and modified the Plan where possible to address comments. A proposed version of the Source Protection Plan was posted for a final 30 day public comment period ending July 23, 2012. All comments received during that period were forwarded to the Ministry of the Environment for their consideration when reviewing the proposed Plan for approval. Policy implementation will begin when the Plan is approved.