• News
  • October 25, 2013

Helping Small Rural Communities Safeguard Drinking Water Sources

Mauro announces Oliver Paipoonge to receive Source Protection Funding

October 24, 2013

The Source Protection Municipal Implementation Fund (SPMIF) helps small and rural municipalities get ready to implement actions to protect local sources of drinking water.

In the 2013 budget, our government committed to providing $13.5 million to small and rural municipalities to assist with the implementation of the Source Protection Plans to help protect the quality and quantity of drinking water supply sources for the people of Ontario.

Through this program, the Lakehead Source Protection Area of the Municipality of Oliver Paipoonge will receive $50,000 to help implement local actions to protect its drinking water sources.

Source protection is an important part of Ontario’s drinking water safety net and protects existing and future sources of drinking water. The Clean Water Act gave communities the authority to lead the charge.

Under the act, 19 source protection areas were created. Each area set up a committee of local interests to develop a collaborative science-based assessment report to identify risks to the safety of the area’s drinking water sources, and a plan to protect them.

Source protection planning is about safeguarding the rivers, lakes and groundwater that supply our drinking water.

Source protection plans have the following components:

  • Developed by the people living in each source protection area to reflect their unique drinking water threats.
  • Based on watershed boundaries, not municipal ones. Drinking water sources often cross many municipalities in a watershed before being drawn into a drinking water system.
  • Identify threats, such as chemicals, fuel, oil or road salt, to the quality or quantity of water caused by people’s activities or by the natural environment.
  • Provide solutions to prevent threats from occurring.


"I am very pleased that Oliver Paipoonge will benefit from this Ministry of Environment fund to help implement local actions to protect its drinking water sources."

— Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan

"Today's announcement of $50,000 to the Lakehead Source Protection Area is a welcome grant from the Ministry of Environment. On behalf of the municipality, I would like to thank the provincial government, and in particular MPP Bill Mauro, for his ongoing support of our community."

- Lucy Kloosterhuis, Mayor, Municipality of Oliver Paipoonge


  • Source protection planning was a recommendation of the Walkerton Inquiry. In 2000, seven people died and more than 2,000 became sick after drinking contaminated water supplied by the town of Walkerton.

  • Municipalities across the province are taking steps to protect wellhead areas and water intake zones, such as upgrading fuel tanks, to provide more protective spill containment and engineering stream banks to protect water from run-off and erosion.

  • Municipalities have already worked with their partners to identify significant drinking water threats and establish source water protection plans.

  • Municipalities will also develop education and outreach programs about threats to their local drinking water supplies and best practices for dealing with these threats.

For more information:

Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay-Atikokan
(807) 623-9237

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