Source water protection is protecting water sources from overuse and contamination. This helps to safeguard public health.
In Ontario, source water protection is carried out under the Clean Water Act, 2006. Source water protection is considered the "first barrier" of a multi-barrier approach to providing safe drinking water. Other barriers are effective water treatment, proper distribution, operator training and adequate water testing.
Source water is untreated surface water and groundwater that people use to supply drinking water systems.
In the Quinte Region, municipalities obtain water for municipal distribution and public use from both groundwater and surface water sources.
Groundwater is drawn from wells drilled into an underlying aquifer, which is the water source.
Surface water sources include lakes, rivers and bays such as the Bay of Quinte, Lake Ontario, Roblin Lake and the Napanee River. Surface water is drawn through intakes (pipes) in the surface water.