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New road signs to help protect drinking water

Drinking-water-Road-Sign-1Motorists will notice new Drinking Water Protection Zone road signs now up across the region – and Ontario – to raise awareness about protecting drinking water sources and public health.

The signs identify zones along frequently travelled roads where pollution spills could have a significant impact on municipal drinking water sources. They are part of Ontario’s Source Water Protection Program, under the Clean Water Act, which empowers communities to better protect their local water sources.

“The signs mark sections of road where accidental spills could travel quickly to a public drinking water source and contaminate it,” said Keith Taylor, Source Water Protection Project Manager at Quinte Conservation.

“In the event of a spill, emergency responders can notify Ontario’s Spills Action Centre so quick action will protect the public drinking water source and public health.”

Some 800 new road signs will be installed across the province with 33 of those in the Quinte Region; 24 on municipal roads and nine on provincial highways. In this area, signs are being located in the municipalities of Prince Edward County, Belleville, Marmora and Lake, Centre Hastings, Madoc Township, Tweed, Deseronto and Greater Napanee.

Quinte Conservation assisted municipalities to identify precise locations for the new signs and facilitated a bulk order this spring. Municipalities installed signs on municipal roads using provincial funding. The province is installing the signs on provincial roads and highways.

The first Drinking Water Protection Zone road sign in the province was installed on Lennox and Addington Road 2, Greater Napanee, last November.

The road signs are called for in the Quinte Region Source Protection Plan and local municipalities are working with Quinte Conservation to implement policies in the plan since it came into effect in January, 2015. The plan, developed under Ontario’s Clean Water Act, directs local efforts to protect and keep the sources of municipal water clean and plentiful. One of the 63 policies in the plan calls for the new road signs.

The initiative to protect sources of municipal drinking water is directed and funded by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change under the Clean Water Act. Quinte Conservation provided local technical, communications and administrative support for the planning process and supports local municipalities as policies are implemented. More information about drinking water source protection is available at

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  1. Gary says:

    Agreed Dennis.

  2. Chris Keen says:

    @ Dennis Fox: Not to mention the fact that IWTs may have a serious adverse effect on groundwater.

    I’m sure the irony escapes the MOECC!

  3. Dennis Fox says:

    This idea is not a bad one, but I am left wondering just what is the point – other than it is a “feel good” move by our provincial government showing it is trying to do something good for the environment – as they approve wind turbines on Amherst Island and oil pipelines through cities, across rivers and through environmentally sensitive lands – not to forget the breaking of land treaties with our aboriginal people and pollute their lands too. Come to think more seriously about these signs – just who do they think they are fooling? Certainly not the public!

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