Drinking Water Well Protection

Well engineer Chris Gerrits from Gerrits Drilling and Engineering spoke about proper well care and maintenance.  He demonstrated how wells work and their connection to the underground aquifers from which they draw water.

The Ontario Building Code for wells has changed over the past 50 years in an effort to improve drinking water quality.  The most recent version, Regulation 903, came into effect after the Walkerton Inquiry.  Upgrades, such as a properly sealed well with a vermin proof cap can go a long way to protect against contamination from surface water run-off. Consider upgrading your older well to the modern building code and protect your family’s drinking water.

Have you got an old abandoned well lurking on your property?  These unused wells tend to fall into poor repair and become conduits for surface water to enter the ground water below.  Because many wells can be tapped into the same ground water source, abandoned wells put other wells at risk of drinking water contamination.  If you have an abandoned well on your property, it should be decommissioned by a licensed well contractor as per Regulation 903.

Most municipalities provide funding to help with the costs of well upgrades and decommissioning. Contact CVC to see if you’re eligible.

Top 6 Well Tips:

  1. Know your well.  If you don’t already have your current well record on file, you can contact the Ministry of the Environment by phone or online to obtain one. http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/regs/english/elaws_regs_900903_e.htm
  2. Have your well water tested for bacteria and nitrates at least 3 times a year, particularly after heavy rainfall or melt-water run-off.
  3. Keep your well in sight and in mind.  Don’t hide it under an ornamental well or in a flower bed.  These can actually help surface contaminants like fertilizers enter your well.
  4. Protect the area around your well from hazardous materials like gasoline, oil, pesticides and fertilizers.
  5. Decommission abandoned well

Click here to view a video clip of the event.

For more information on maintaining your private well or septic system, please contact Karen Buckle, Rural Outreach Team, CVC: 905-670-1615 x 440.

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