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Water and Wastewater

The Wellhead Protection Area Program

Private Well Abandonment Program

Phases of the Wellhead Protection Area Program

Phase One

The first phase of the program was completed in 1993. The Region of Peel reviewed municipal and domestic well information to better understand the conditions at each wellfield. The Region also conducted a preliminary inventory of potential contaminant sources in the area surrounding each wellfield, identifying any activities or sources of contamination that could threaten the groundwater quality in the area.

Phases Two and Three

Phases two and three of the program were carried out between 1993 and 1996. Using computer modelling, the zone of groundwater contribution to each well was charted, and time-related capture zones were defined. These capture zones represent the location at which it would take a particle of water the specific time to reach the wellhead. This information is very important for planning purposes, as the capture zones show the area that will require protection for each well or wellfield.

For instance, the 5-year capture zone represents an estimated minimum time needed to replace a contaminated municipal well with a new well. The 10-year capture zone represents the time needed to try to remedy any contamination and still allow time to construct a new well, if necessary.

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Wellhead - Cross Section

In Phase three, a more comprehensive evaluation of potential sources of contamination within the 10-year capture zone for each wellfield was developed. The criteria for implementing the Wellhead Protection Area Plan was also developed.

Phase Four

Land use policies for the Wellhead Protection Areas were developed in phase four. These policies, which were incorporated into the Town of Caledon Official Plan and Zoning By-law in October 2000, regulate storage practices, limit the application of hazardous materials, and outline procedures for groundwater quality monitoring.

The review of old, unused wells is one of the management components of the Wellhead Protection Area Plan. Old wells on farms, residences, or abandoned properties can lead contaminants from the surface to the aquifers. Numerous unused wells within the hydrogeologically sensitive areas of the Region has been located and properly abandoned.

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Revised: Friday November 19 2010

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