The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority

NVCA Board of Directors advocates to province to maintain free testing for private wells

Media Release


UTOPIA, Ontario (April 30, 2024) – Today, NVCA’s Board of Directors sent a letter to the Province of Ontario to call on the province to not phase out free well-water testing for private wells.

Ontarians who get their drinking water from municipal sources are protected by the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act. Although residents on private wells have benefitted from free water testing provided by the Ontario government, they do not have the same legislated protections, putting the residents responsible for protecting and monitor their own drinking water sources.

“Free well-water testing is a critically important public service and a vital public-health measure for rural residents across our watershed,” said Jonathan Scott, Vice Chair of the Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority (NVCA). “The NVCA board urges the provincial government to maintain free well-water testing. It’s the right thing to do to ensure equitable access to safe drinking water.”

Well water safety largely depends on the activities conducted around the well. Even if a well is properly installed and maintained, bacteria can contaminate the drinking water if septic systems, manure or pet waste is located too close to the well.

A large proportion of residents in the Nottawasaga Watershed rely on private wells for drinking water. Through local health units, the Ontario government tests water from private wells for bacteria such as E. coli to prevent serious gastrointestinal illnesses.

NVCA encourages watershed residents to contact their local health unit for more information about private well water testing, or download the Testing and Treating Private Water Wells factsheet developed by the Government of Ontario.

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About NVCA: The Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority is a public agency dedicated to the preservation of a healthy environment through specialized programs to protect, conserve and enhance our water, wetlands, forests and lands.

Media contact: Maria Leung, Senior Communications Specialist, 705-424-1479 ext.254,

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