Protecting Our Drinking Water
Sault Ste. Marie Region Source Protection Area
Why Is Water Important?
Water, it’s the one resource every living thing on our planet depends on to live.
Drinking Water Source Protection, is the first step in a multi-barrier approach to protecting our sources of drinking water before they become contaminated. Conventional water treatment removes many potential contaminants that could result in illness and even death; however preventing contamination is a much more effective way of ensuring clean drinking water and avoiding serious health issues. The majority of people affected most seriously by water related illnesses are very young children and the elderly. Water related illnesses can include: Cholera, E coli, and Cryptosporidiosis.
On a tragic day in May 2000, the death of seven people and illness of 2300 others in Walkerton set in motion events which would change the way we viewed the right to safe, clean drinking water.
Led by Justice Dennis O’Connor, a provincial inquiry into the water supply systems in Ontario was launched. The inquiry resulted in two reports along with 121 recommendations. At the forefront of these findings was the recommendation from Justice O’Connor that a multi-barrier approach to preventing contamination of drinking water should be implemented. Drinking Water source Protection Planning is the first barrier in the multi-barrier approach which also includes: water treatment systems, distribution, testing and drinking water.
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