Help ensure clean, safe drinking water for
rural water well owners
As a municipal official you can play a lead role in protecting the shared
groundwater in your community by helping rural land owners to properly
manage and maintain their wells.
Here’s how… support a Well Aware program in your community.
Well Aware helps identify potential risks to wells and gives well owners the necessary knowledge to properly maintain the water quality of their wells. Through Well Aware, you can help rural residents address issues that affect the quality of their drinking water, including:
- Finding solutions to adverse water sample results
- Understanding their responsibilities under the Ontario Wells Regulation
- How to meet best management practices
Your support could look like this:
- Create awareness of private well stewardship (bill stuffers, static display, your website)
- Distribute materials (booklets, information kits)
- Host a public forum focused on private wells
- Provide financial support in your community
It is equally important to consider the well when:
- issuing building permits. This can ensure the minimum setbacks for drilled (50ft.) and dug/bored (100ft.) wells are maintained.
considering municipal water/wastewater hookup. Unused and abandoned wells are direct links to the groundwater and are considered the most direct threat of contamination. Plugging and sealing them properly at the time of a municipal hook up is a best management practice.
|This drilled well is located in a basement making any maintenance virtually impossible, and very costly. This well was thought to be more secure here, the homeowner is mistaken.||After this well was constructed, a retaining wall was built. The structure around the well was to protect the well from getting damaged. Homeowner is mistaken. Minimum setback is 50 feet.||This drilled well is located under the deck with a cardboard box covering an ill-fitting cap. The homeowner was receiving adverse water test results. Homeowner was unaware that building a deck over the well is not a best management practice.|
|What the issue is:||What the issue is:||What the issue is:|
Located close to work bench with chemicals, fuels, and solvents that can potentially spill. In the event of a fire, suppressant has a direct route to the aquifer. Wells are best located on a high point of the property.
|The structure around the well is home to many vermin such as spiders, earwigs, snakes, toads, other. All wells should be free & clear of debris, including wishing wells. Accessibility is also extremely difficult.||The dark & damp location under the deck is home to many vermin such as spiders, earwigs, snakes, toads, other. This well is now out of sight out of mind, which supports a complacent attitude towards their drinking water.|
Well Aware home visits, conducted by trained Water Advisor, help rural well owners identify priorities for action to protect their drinking water source. The visits, which are voluntary, confidential, and non-regulatory, guide the private well owner through a self-assessment to help identify and address potential risks to their well water.
Well Aware is a program of Green Communities Canada that encourages Ontario's residential well owners to protect their wells and our common groundwater supplies. Since 2001, we have helped more than 3,500 Ontarians to gain confidence in the management of their wells and to protect their family’s drinking water at their home. An additional 210,000 residents have benefited from our Well Aware booklet, “A Guide to Caring for your Well.”