Free pollution prevention reviews available for small, medium businesses

Com­pa­n­ies in the Grand River water­shed that want to help protect municipal drinking water sup­plies from contamination may be eligible to participate in a cost-free pollution prevention review program.

Money is available to businesses with 500 employees or fewer whose properties are located within 100 meters of a municipal well or 200 meters from a municipal surface water intake. There are more than 190 municipal wells and five sur­face water intakes in the Grand River watershed, and many of them are located in the built-up areas of cities and towns. Many of the wells are located in cities and towns. Maps showing the location of the municipal wells and intakes are available at www.­source­

Interested businesses can contact Crystal Allan at the GRCA at 519-621-2763, ex­tension 2268 for further infor­mation. Eligible businesses must submit an application by Sept. 30.

Pollution prevention re­views are conducted by a con­sultant and paid for by GRCA. On-site reviews typically last between two and four hours and are followed by a cus­to­mized report to the business within two to three weeks.

During the review a trained consultant will undertake a de­tailed analysis of several key areas within the business, with the goal of minimizing or eliminating the threat of con­tamination to sources of drink­ing water.  The final report will be kept confidential between participating business and the consultant and not be given to any other organization.

The money for the review is available under the Drinking Water Source Protection Pro­gram of the Ontario Ministry of the Environment.  The program was created under the new Clean Water Act which was pass­ed to protect the sources of municipal drinking water. The province has given the GRCA from a $579,000 for grants to landowners for a variety of actions to protect municipal water supplies.

Landowners can apply for grants to decommission or up­grade private wells, conduct an inspection or upgrade of a sep­tic system, or undertake a pro­ject that would reduce a runoff or erosion problem. Under the Clean Water Act, the Ministry of the Environ­ment has committed to spend $7-million across Ontario each year for four years, to help land­owners take action to reduce threats to local muni­cipal drinking water supplies.