source protection
The Saugeen, Grey Sauble, Northern Bruce Peninsula Source Protection Committee (SPC) has approved the 2021 annual progress report to be submitted to the Province of Ontario. This progress report documents the achievements we have made together to implement source protection plan policies that add protection to local municipal drinking water sources. You may view or download this report at from the Resources Tab. 

The local Source Protection Plan came into effect in July 2016, with five-year deadline of July 2021 to achieve full implementation of many of the plan’s policies. The annual report for the activities of 2021 shows 100% of significant threat policies have been implemented, but there is still a need to ensure that any municipal plan/by-law amendments or outstanding risk management plans that are currently in-progress are fully implemented in a timely manner. The current pandemic situation has resulted in some delays in completing all the required risk management plans and municipal Official Plan amendments within 5 –year implementation timeline.  

The Source Protection Committee is certain that the significant progress achieved to-date is a direct result of provincial funding dedicated to source water protection. The committee acknowledges and commends the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks for recent source protection budget extensions for the next 2 years and truly appreciates its ongoing commitment to the program. “The Committee would like to thank participating municipalities, landowners, Ministries and Source Protection Authorities for their contributions and support to achieve this significant milestone,” Bill Twaddle, SPC Chair. 

The committee would also like to congratulate the Ministry on the release of best practices for source water protection to help ensure communities and landowners in areas not covered by provincially-approved source protection plans have the tools they need to protect their drinking water sources -  Best practices for source water protection. Over the next two years, staff will be setting up meetings with municipalities across this Region to better understand the guidance material and help with its implementation for interested municipalities. 

The Source Protection Committee (SPC) is required to conduct a formal review of the annual progress report and provide written comments regarding the extent to which the objectives set out in the Source Protection Plan are being achieved. 

The following is a summary of the information included in the Annual Progress Report for 2021:  

  • To-date, 153 out of an estimated 175 Risk Management Plans have been completed across the Region. An extension request to complete remaining RMPs was approved by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks with a new deadline of December 31, 2022. 
  • There have been 203 inspections carried out by Risk Management Inspectors for prohibited or regulated activities, with a 100% compliance rate (17 completed in 2021). 
  • All 21 upper/lower-tier municipalities across the Region have completed or are in the process of completing Official Plan/Zoning By-law updates. Nineteen have fully completed Official Plan updates. Given recent impacts affecting consultation processes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a few municipalities have extended their Official Plan/ Zoning by-law amendments into 2022. 
  • 99% of septic inspections have been completed as required under the Clean Water Act and Building Code Act within vulnerable source protection areas, with an additional 11 septic systems inspected in 2021 as part of the 2nd round of septic inspections. An increasing number of inspections are scheduled for 2022 as part of the 2nd round. 
  • In 2021 detailed reviews were completed by Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks staff for three wastewater/sewage works approvals, with two identified as a Significant Drinking Water Threat (SDWT) to be managed through an existing Prescribed Instruments. Furthermore, three Nutrient Management Strategies were reviewed by Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs staff but determined to not be a SDWT. 
  • 100% of the significant drinking water threat policies have been implemented. Of these, 97% have been fully implemented and 3% require no further action. 
  • Following the completion of municipal outreach meetings, it has been determined that all municipalities across the Region are prepared to meet Source Protection Plan implementation requirements.  

Drinking Water Source Protection is a program governed by legislation and regulations of the Clean Water Act, 2006. The Source Protection Plan is a science-based document that was developed locally and written for this Source Protection Region. The Source Protection Plan was approved by the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change on October 16, 2015. Policies in the plan became effective on July 1, 2016.

source: media release