Trout Creek Removed from Drinking Water Source Protection ProgramSaturday, October 12, 2013 by: Kate AdamsNorth Bay-Mattawa Source Protection Committee
The North Bay-Mattawa Source Protection Committee (SPC) was notified by the Minister of the Environment of his decision to grant the Powassan Council’s request to remove Trout Creek from the drinking water source protection program.
“We respect the Minister’s decision and will now move forward with making the necessary revisions to the Assessment Report and our Proposed Source Protection Plan. We are proceeding with assisting the municipalities in the source protection area with preparing for the implementation of policies once the Minister approves the proposed plan,” said John MacLachlan, Acting Chair of the SPC.
The Ontario Drinking Water Source Protection (SP) Program was established to protect the sources of municipal drinking water throughout the province. The municipal drinking water systems included in the North Bay-Mattawa SP Area are Callander, Mattawa, North Bay, Powassan, and South River. The cluster of wells in Trout Creek was added at the request of a previous Powassan Council. The Proposed SP Plan was completed in August 2012 and submitted to the Ministry of the Environment (MOE). Approval of the SP Plan is pending.
The Assessment Report, which contained information used to develop the SP Plan, identified septic systems in Trout Creek as significant threats to the drinking water in the individual wells which serve the residents of the village. They were identified as threats based on their proximity to the wells. Any septic system within 100m of any well in Trout Creek was automatically identified as a threat based on MOE technical criteria.
While Trout Creek was a part of the program, eligible homeowners received funding to replace their septic systems through the Ontario Drinking Water Stewardship Program. A total of $75,300 in grants assisted 11 Trout Creek homeowners with the replacement of their systems. The Municipality of Powassan also has the benefit of the research and information that was gathered through the technical studies.
“We’re moving forward and are awaiting the Minister’s comments with respect to the Proposed Source Protection Plan. Staff is currently working on the verification of other threats identified in the source protection area and assisting the municipalities with preparations for policy implementation,” added MacLachlan.