Source water is untreated water from streams, lakes, rivers or underground aquifers that people use for potable water supply. Protecting source water is a team effort, a collaboration between Source Protection Authorities, municipalities and communities, the province, and you!

What is Source Water Protection?

Source Water Protection protects Ontario's municipal drinking water from overuse and contamination and complements water treatment and monitoring by reducing risks to water supplies in the first place.

Threats to source water

The provincial government identified 21 significant threats to our drinking water. The level of risk they pose depends on the nature of the threat and its location.

Vulnerable areas

There are four categories of areas defined by the Clean Water Act as in need of protection. These “vulnerable areas” include:

  1. Wellhead Protection Areas
  2. Intake Protection Zones
  3. Significant Groundwater Recharge Areas
  4. Highly Vulnerable Aquifers

Learn more about each vulnerable area.

Water and wastewater in Muskoka

The District of Muskoka is responsible for operating all municipal water and wastewater systems within its six area municipalities. Water management in Muskoka is broken down into three service areas:

  1. North – Huntsville, Port Sydney, and Baysville
  2. Central – Bracebridge and Gravenhurst
  3. West – Port Severn, Bala, Port Carling, and MacTier

How to help protect source water

Everyone needs to do their part to protect source water. Here are a few ways you can help:

  • Practice water conservation
  • Maintain your septic system and well
  • Store, handle and dispose of hazardous materials and harsh cleaning products with care
  • Maintain natural vegetation to reduce run-off of pollutants into the water

Source Water Protection Authorities

The Lakes Simcoe and Couchiching/Black River, Nottawasaga Valley and Severn Sound Source Protection Authorities oversee activities in the South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe Region that directly affect the quality and quantity of our municipal drinking water sources.

Source Water Protection Plan

View the South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe Region's Source Protection Plan that took effect in 2015 and the assessment reports that helped form the plan. The plan introduces a variety of action items to protect our drinking water and meets the requirements of the Clean Water Act.  

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