Regrettably the Ministry of Environment budget cuts have affected the Well Aware program and we are no longer able to do home consultations.
However, if you are a well or septic system owner, we would be happy to provide general information or advice specific to your situation. Just let us know.
The goal of the Well Aware Program is to protect and preserve groundwater through education in well stewardship, water conservation, best management practices, and contaminant reduction to ground and surface water.
Did you know…
People who live in the country and have their own wells are completely responsible for the safety of their own water supplies. If you own a well it is your responsibility to test it for bacteria and other contaminants to make sure it is safe to drink. It is also your responsibility to maintain your well and protect your water supply.
Many Wells in LL & G are Unsafe
Too many residents of Lanark, Leeds and Grenville counties are dealing with contaminated water–or may be if they don’t take care of their wells.
About 22% of well test samples in Leeds and Grenville tested unsafe for total coliforms and 16% tested unsafe for E. coli, according to Health Unit results reported in the Leeds and Grenville Groundwater Management Study. These results match provincial averages and show an increasing trend in well contamination.
The Well Aware Program
Through REAL and Well Aware, residents can get information on how to protect their water, their wells and our groundwater, through Well Aware Visits, Well Aware Kits, Well Aware Videos and DVDs, Community Forums and guest speakers.
Well Aware Visit
Free Well Aware home visits give the rural well owner the opportunity to really get to know their well. It shows them how to spot potential problems and how to avoid them, how to do their own annual well walk-about, how to maintain a healthy well and septic system, and how to minimize other sources of contamination.
Recommendations are given on well maintenance and upgrading, proper sealing of unused wells, water conservation and yard naturalization. Information is also available on grants that may be available to help them upgrade or decommission their wells.
The visits generally take two hours.
People who have the visits report that: a) they now understand the water cycle on their own properties (and now know how to protect their drinking water) and b) they are very pleased that we are a third-party. Being an environmental organization, we are not directly affiliated with regulation. Therefore, the data we collect is confidential; it does not get reported to a regulatory agency.
Through the program, Green Communities of Canada would award REAL a contract do deliver a specified number of visits in Lanark, Leeds and Grenville
Well Aware Kits
Well Aware information kits, which are given to the well owner during a Well Aware visit, are also available to any resident of Lanark, Leeds and Grenville. They are available at the municipal offices of rural municipalities, at Health Unit offices, at other partner locations and at our REAL Deal Store.
Well Aware Videos and DVDs
Well Aware videos and DVDs can be borrowed from your local library.
REAL has offered community forums for rural residents to learn how to keep their water, wells and septics safe. Guest speakers have included well drillers and pump installers, a hydrogeologist, a Health Unit inspector and other partners. The question and answer sessions following the presentations have been particularly well-received.
REAL will also provide guest speakers for events and clubs within our community. If you are interested in booking a Well Aware speaker for your club or event, please call (613) 283-9500.
The Development of Well Aware
REAL/LLGreen began addressing rural water issues, particularly wells and septics in 2001 with a series of eight “Protecting Our Water” workshops delivered in partnership with the Rideau Roundtable.
The materials REAL/LLGreen produced for that program went to the Green Communities Canada where they were further developed into Rural Water Stewardship kits. This was then taken to the Ministry of Environment which was seeking a program to address private well owners in Ontario at the time. The result was Well Aware.
Well Aware is a project of the Green Communities Canada in partnership with the Ontario Ground Water Association. Funding support is provided by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment. Well Aware is endorsed by the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, Conservation Ontario, and the Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors (Ontario branch).
Clearly it’s necessary – our results show so far that only 12% of wells meet the new standards. The program has been a huge success in Lanark, Leeds and Grenville.
For More Information
Click here to learn more about your well and the Well Aware program.