Using Hydrogeology to Monitor our Groundwater
As snow melts and rain falls it flows along the land surface to streams or lakes, is used by plants, evaporates to the atmosphere, or seeps into the ground. Water seeping down from the land surface adds to groundwater in the aquifers and is called recharge water. An aquifer is soil or rock through which water can easily move.
Hydrogeology is a science that deals with the properties, distribution, and circulation of water in the soil and underlying rocks. Halton Region was the first region in the province to employ a hydrogeologist to help develop a full understanding of the groundwater flow system in Halton.
Halton Region was one of the first municipalities to develop an Aquifer Management Plan to better protect and manage groundwater in the Region. Since then the Region has undertaken many initiatives to monitor and protect groundwater, including the following priorities:
- Wellhead protection strategies.
- Determination of groundwater reserves.
- Watershed protection initiatives.
- Identification and evaluation of Halton's groundwater-sensitive settlement areas.
- Urban and rural surface and groundwater awareness and education.
- Identification of sensitive recharge areas.
- Ongoing monitoring of water levels, surface flows and water quality; and
- Spill contingency planning.
Halton is able to confirm that the groundwater at all of the municipal wells is of excellent quality. We are also able to confirm that the water levels in our aquifers are stable, indicating that our current pumping rates are balanced with the natural recharge.
Concerns with Water Quantity
If you believe you are potentially experiencing off-site interference to your private well water supply, please contact:
For incidents during non-business hours, please contact (24/7):
- Ministry of the Environment Conservation and Parks
Spills Action Centre
Concerns with Water Quality
Contaminants are released into the environment every day. These contaminants can get into groundwater aquifers and surface water streams and lakes. Halton maintains a Source Water Protection program towards managing threats to municipal groundwater supplies. Private well water should be tested at least three times every year.
How can we be sure that contaminated sites are identified when development is proposed?
You can help reduce groundwater contamination by:
- Reducing use of household and industrial chemicals.
- Taking care in storing, using and disposing of chemicals at home and at work.
- Using fertilizers and pesticides carefully on the farm and on your lawn, looking at more natural methods of gardening and completing an Environmental Farm Plan (external link).
- Being aware of your water use - don't waste. Water conservation allows us to pump less water from the ground.
- Taking leftover hazardous materials (paint, batteries, used motor oil, household cleaners, weed killer, etc.) to the Region's Hazardous Waste Depot located at the Halton Waste Management Site, 5400 Highway 25.