Drinking Water Supply Protection


The Ontario Clean Water Act (2006) requires source water protection plans including intake protection zone delineation, vulnerability scoring and uncertainty analysis. Studies have been completed for over 50 intakes in Ontario.

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Various Conservation Authorities and Municipalities
Ontario, Canada
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Ontario, Canada

Project Highlights


Vulnerability assessments were completed for intakes in all of the Great Lakes and Connecting Channels, as well as Lakes St. Clair, Simcoe, Couchiching and the Ottawa River. 3D numerical models were developed to delineate intake protection zones.

  • The model domains extend through much of the Great Lakes
  • Field investigations were conducted to provide data for numerical model calibration
  • Reverse particle tracking was used to delineate intake protection zones
  • Methodologies were developed to evaluate intake vulnerability

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Project Challenges


  • Complete source water protection planning as defined under the new processes of the Clean Water Act.
  • Accurately delineate intake protection zones for over 50 intakes in multiple source protection regions.
  • Delineate the region over which threats could impact the drinking water.

Baird Solutions


  • With regular Ministry of the Environment involvement, new approaches for delineating intake protection zones and assessing vulnerability scores were developed.
  • In many areas, a regional approach was developed where large model domains were used for multiple sites.
  • A reverse particle tracking method was used in the model to examine the range of starting locations.

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