Source Protection Office

The Town of Orangeville uses a multi-barrier approach to ensure safe, clean drinking water for all residents. The very first barrier in our multi-barrier approach is Source Water Protection.

Walter the Water Drop

What is Source Water Protection?

Source water protection is the protection of municipal drinking water sources such as lakes, rivers and groundwater, from contamination and overuse. Protecting our drinking water sources from pollution in the first place makes it much easier and much less expensive for our water treatment systems to treat the water before delivering it to our taps. By protecting the source of our drinking water we can ensure there is enough clean and safe drinking water for everyone today and in the future.

Where does Orangeville’s Drinking Water Come From?

The Town relies on 12 wells to supply groundwater for us to drink. Groundwater comes from rain or snow that seeps below the surface and pools in the cracks and spaces in the soil, sand, and rock. These underground sources of water are known as Aquifers. 

illustration of where our water comes from

How Do We Protect Drinking Water Sources?

The Town is implementing source protection policies to address activities that have the potential to adversely impact the quality and quantity of local drinking water sources.

Source protection policies are contained in a document called the Credit Valley- Toronto and Region-Central Lake Ontario (CTC) Source Protection Plan. The CTC Source Protection Plan outlines the strategy on how municipal drinking water systems will be protected.  (Find the plan here: http://www.ctcswp.ca/)

Source protection policies require businesses and landowners to reduce or eliminate risks to water supplies posed by activities identified as significant drinking water threats. 

The types of activities that may be classified as significant drinking water threats are outlined below. These threat activities are only designated as significant if they are being carried out in a source protection vulnerable area and meet certain site-specific circumstances.

  • Road salt and snow storage
  • Fuel storage(liquid fuel + heating oil)
  • Chemicals (DNAPLs and organic solvents)
  • Water taking ( installing a new well) or reducing recharge (e.g. paving over a grassed area )
  • Waste disposal sites
  • Sewage works: sewage treatment plants, municipal sewers, septics, stormwater
  • Handling, Storage, & Application of

- Nutrients (manure, bio-solids, outdoor livestock areas)

-Commercial fertilizer

- Pesticides

  • Aircraft de-icing run-off 

What is a Vulnerable Area?

Source protection policies apply to significant threat activities occurring in source protection vulnerable areas. Vulnerable areas are areas of land surrounding municipal wells which contribute water to the well. In these areas, extra care must be taken when conducting activities that may impact water quality and quantity.  There are two key types of vulnerable areas in Orangeville: Wellhead Protection Areas for Quality and Wellhead Protection Areas for Quantity. See the map below to find out if you’re in a source protection vulnerable area or visit : http://www.ctcswp.ca/protecting-our-water/what-does-this-mean-for-me/   

Wellhead Protection Areas for Quality & Quantity


View full screen maps

If you are undertaking a significant drinking water threat activity in a source protection vulnerable area, you may be subject to the requirements of the source protection policies. The Town’s Risk Management Official (RMO) and Risk Management Inspector (RMI) will be able to tell you whether source protection policies apply to your operation.  The RMO and RMI are the Town staff responsible for the implementation of the policies in the Source Protection Plan.

Protecting drinking water is everyone’s responsibility. Even if you are not directly impacted by the source protection policies there are many things that you can do to help protect source water. Browse our website for more information on the source water protection initiative and tips on how you can help!