Water & Source Water

Water is a critical resource for long term social, economic, and environmental health. Managing surface water and ground water, as well as stormwater and sewage, will play an important role in how communities develop.   

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Provincial & County Policy

The Provincial Policy Statement and the County of Simcoe Official Plan Policies provide direction on specific issues. The Township Official Plan policies must conform to the PPS and County Official Plan, which set out the following policies:

Protection & Identification

Provincial Policy requires that ground water features, hydrologic functions, and natural heritage features be identified and protected for long-term use and conservation.

Wellhead Protection

Some necessary restrictions on development and site alteration may be required to protect municipal drinking water supplies, and improve vulnerable and sensitive surface water and ground water features and functions.

Certain activities and uses are prohibited in wellhead protection areas, such as storage of petroleum fuels, road salt, and liquid industrial waste.

Water & Stormwater

Planning for sewage, water, and stormwater must optimize existing infrastructure. Municipal sewage and water services are the preferred form of servicing settlement areas. Private individual on-site sewage and water services may be used, in certain circumstances as long as there are no negative impacts. Planning for stormwater must minimize changes in water quality and quantity, and promote the use of best practices, such as attenuation and re-use, and low impact development.

Existing Policy & Legislation

  • Provincial Policy Statement 2014
  • County of Simcoe Official Plan Policies
  • South Georgian Bay Lake Simcoe Source Protection Plan
  • Clean Water Act

Current Township Policies

The current Official Plan does not have a specific section regarding water, although a number of policies for water are contained throughout the Official Plan. Schedule ‘E-6’ of the current Official Plan identifies areas of high and low aquifer vulnerability within the Oak Ridges Moraine. Section 4.12 of the Current Official Plan contains policies for Sewage and Water Services, Major Development, Areas of High Aquifer Vulnerability, and Wellhead Protection Areas in the Oak Ridges Moraine. Section 8.12 contains groundwater availability and protection standards for subdivisions and consents. Current Official Plan policies require that:

  • Applications for major development in the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation plan area must be accompanied by a sewage and water system plan.
  • Certain uses are prohibited in Areas of High Aquifer Vulnerability, such as storage of hazardous waste, waste disposal sites, and snow storage and disposal facilities.
  • Certain uses are prohibited in Wellhead Protection Areas, such as storage of hazardous materials and hazardous waste. Certain uses must be carefully managed in Wellhead Protection Areas, such as animal agriculture.
  • All applications for subdivisions and consents proposing the creation of 5 or more lots must be accompanied by a hydrogeological report. For developments not on a municipal water supply, an aquifer evaluation report is required. All applications must be accompanied by a preliminary stormwater management report.

New and revised Official Plan policies will aim to ensure efficient and sustainable use of water resources, and promote the protection of surface and ground water.

Your ideas and vision are important!

What changes would you like to see?

  • Do you think that the current policies are sufficient to protect surface water and ground water?
  • Do you think that the current policies are adequately protecting drinking source water, including public and private water systems?
  • Are there any other standards for subdivisions and consent applications that you would suggest to protect water?
  • Please provide any other comments you may have for consideration in the development of new policies.

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