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We all rely on safe, sustainable drinking water. Under the Clean Water Act, source protection plans across Ontario contain policies to protect local sources of municipal drinking water. For a property located in a source protection area and close to a municipal well or surface water intake, there may be policies in place that manage or prohibit certain activities.

Make sure your buyer knows how these policies may impact future plans for a property. Follow these tips:

Look it up

Search for the property using the Source Protection Information Atlas from the Government of Ontario. This will show if it is located in a vulnerable area – that is, close to a source of municipal drinking water, and what (if any) policies may apply.

Get familiar

Your local Source Protection Authority can answer your questions or direct you to resources you can use with your clients to determine which source protection plan policies (if any) apply to their locations.

Inform your client

If the property is in a vulnerable area, then there may be policies in place that manage or prohibit activities on the property that pose a risk to sources of drinking water. These policies are in place to ensure that our sources of municipal drinking water remain protected.

Provide direction

Clients who are proposing any new use, business or construction for the property should check in with their local municipality. You can also guide them to the resources provided below to help them in their research, or with any specific questions they may have.

Access resources

Note: the information found in this article should not be considered legal advice.

Conservation Ontario is a non-profit association that represents Ontario’s 36 Conservation Authorities. Conservation Authorities are community-based watershed management agencies, mandated to ensure the conservation, restoration and responsible management of Ontario’s water, land and natural habitats through programs that balance human, environmental and economic needs. Conservation Authorities are legislated under the Conservation Authorities Act, 1946.