Source protection funds flowing to South Dundas and 188 other Ontario Municipalities

Grants aimed at helping municipalities safeguard its drinking water sources were announced November 1 by the Ontario government.

South Dundas is among the 189 municipalities eligible for grants ranging from $18,000 to $100,000. 

These funds relate to source protection plans.

Drinking water source protection planning was a recommendation of the O’Connor inquiry into the Walkerton tragedy. 

Seven people died and more than 2,000 became sick after consuming contaminated drinking water in the Town of Walkerton, in 2000.

“Guarding against threats to our drinking water supplies is the purpose of source protection. With the help of our many partners on local Source Protection Committees, we are completing source-to-tap drinking water protection,” said Jim Bradley Minister of Environment.

The funding notice was unexpected. 

South Dundas chief administrative officer Steve McDonald notified council of the fundng announcement at the November 19 meeting.

“We’ve been offered $63,000 and we’re going to take it,” said McDonald. That amount includes a $15,000 incentive which is available to municipalities that work together to implement source protection plans. 

McDonald plans to meet with South Dundas’ source protection people for recommendations on how the money should be spent.

Funds can only be used to offset costs the municipality will incur in order to fulfil its duty to ensure drinking water threats are managed as specified in source protection plans.

Eligible costs include risk management, expenses municipalities incur in order to change land-use planning policies to prohibit or reduce activities that pose a significant drinking water threat, community education and outreach, and other activities that align with the collection of data under the Clean Water Act.

South Dundas mayor Steven Byvelds pointed out that South Dundas is in a fortunate position of having few significant threats to its drinking water source, however, welcomed the funding.

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