There are a number of potential threats to our drinking water, and the level of risk they pose depends on the nature of the threat and its location.

The Clean Water Act requires the elimination of the threats that pose the greatest risk – these are called significant threats and are critical to minimize (or eliminate!).

There are 21 significant threats that have been identified by the provincial government. To keep things simple, we’ve grouped them into seven categories, below.

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Hazardous Liquids

Unsafe handling or storage of hazardous liquids such as paint or motor oil – even small quantities can contaminate large amounts of water.

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Hazardous Waste

Improperly used or stored hazardous waste – some of the most toxic substances include common products like paint removers, adhesives, stains, oils, metal cleaner and more.

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Improperly maintained septic systems that can introduce chemicals, bacteria and viruses into a drinking water source.

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Improperly storing or applying materials such as nutrients, fertilizers and pesticides to land, or using land for excessive livestock operations.

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Road Salt

Excessive use of winter salt on roads and other surfaces.

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Snow Storage

Run-off from large piles of melting snow (such as in parking lots) that are contaminated by salt, oil, grease and heavy metals.

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Groundwater Depletion

Taking water without replenishing it at the source; activities that prevent rain or snow from entering the ground and replenishing underground water sources can lead to a water shortage.