Water Quality Programs

Source Water Protection

Clean drinking water is a must for public health in any community. If water is clean and abundant at its source, municipal water treatment becomes more efficient and a much more cost effective process. The Clean Water Act was passed by the provincial legislature in 2006 to assist Ontario communities in the protection of their municipal drinking water supplies at the source.

More information on Source Water Protection here.

Tributary Outlet Sampling

Work is being conducted to determine the discharge rates of nutrients, E. coli and suspended sediments from tributaries to Lake St. Francis by establishing stream gauges and conducting measurements of water quality in each tributary.  Temperature, specific conductivity, dissolved oxygen are being collected in the field.  Samples are being collected and analysed for TP, TDP and all forms of nitrogen in tributary samples in addition to E. coli and TSS.  Samples are being collected for chlorophyll a analysis and for screening for deleterious algae, including toxic forms of cyanobacteria, to help establish whether these algae are being transported to the nearshore environment of the St. Lawrence River directly from the tributaries.

Provincial Water Quality Monitoring Network (PWQMN)

The PWQMN has as its mandate to collect surface water quality information from strategic stream and river locations across Ontario. Sustained monitoring is important to assess long-term changes in water quality. The Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA) has been a participant in the Network since 1976.  Monthly sampling is conducted at 9 locations on the Raisin, Beaudette, Delisle and Garry Rivers.

Cornwall Sediment Strategy

There is mercury contaminated sediment in the St. Lawrence River along the Cornwall waterfront. Administrative controls are in place to manage activities in the vicinity of these contaminated zones.  If you are a landowner in this designated area, call before building any structure, including docks, in the water around the contaminated sediments.  The Raisin Region Conservation Authority will ensure a timely review of your plans with Environment Canada, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Mohawk Council of Akwesasne and the City of Cornwall.  The Raisin Region Conservation Authority will provide you with feedback from the agencies on whether your plan is adequate to ensure protection of the sediment and the approval processes required for your proposal.  The benefit to you is a streamlined, harmonized review process for your application.

The contamination is from more than 70 years of discharges from three historic local industries that operated at a time when there were minimal environmental regulations. Over time, cleaner sediment has been settling over the three areas sediment contamination and appears to be creating a natural cap.  It is very important not to disturb this natural cap as it may expose the more contaminated sediment.