The Source Protection Process and the Assessment Report (AR)
The Assessment Report (AR) summarizes the technical studies that were completed for the Niagara Peninsula Source Protection Area. The AR contains:
- Delineations of Vulnerable Areas including municipal water treatment plant Intake Protection Zones (IPZs), Highly Vulnerable Aquifers (HVAs), and Significant Groundwater Recharge Areas (SGRAs);
- Assessments of activities that would be significant or moderate drinking water threats in these vulnerable areas, particularly with respect to municipal drinking water systems;
- Identification of water quality issues associated with the raw (untreated) water supplied to the municipal water treatment plants, which could be addressed through source protection planning;
- A water budget analysis and water quantity stress assessment for the whole source protection area; and
- General background information that may be useful in developing the Source Protection Plan.
The AR provides the scientific information needed to develop the Source Protection Plan. The AR was amended in May 2011 and approved by the Ontario Ministry of Environment (MOE) in July 2011.
The SPC chose to update the AR in 2013. These changes to the AR included:
- Minor updates to some maps and tables
- The addition of transportation threats. These threats were based on the May 2011 letter from MOE after the SPC requested to add transportation threats.
- The results of event-based contaminant modelling, to determine if large fuel spills could adversely affect the water quality at the intakes for DeCew, Welland, and Port Colborne Water Treatment Plants (WTPs).
- The addition of significant threats identified from the event-based contaminant modelling. These threats included the handling, storage and transportation of diesel fuel.
- The delineations of IPZ-3s associated with the event-based modelling and newly added significant threats.
The AR with the 2013 updates was submitted to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment in October 2013. After a full review of the document, the MOE approved the AR in November 2013.