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Lake Erie North Shore Watershed Plan - Niagara Peninsula ...

Lake Erie North Shore Watershed Plan - Niagara Peninsula ...

LAKE ERIE NORTH SHORE

LAKE ERIE NORTH SHORE WATERSHED PLAN Groundwater Resources All Ontarians have the right to clean water, not only for recreational purposes but also for bathing, drinking and cooking. In Ontario, the provincial government launched a Source Water Protection program to address the need for better protection of water resources from contamination or overuse. In 2005, a Groundwater Study [Waterloo Hydrogeologic Inc.(WHI) 2005] was completed for the land area within the jurisdiction of the NPCA. This study was a key component for planning and implementing measures to protect the sources of water for the use by the residents of the Niagara Peninsula. The Groundwater Study provides baseline data that outlines threats, potential threats and impacts to the areas groundwater resources. The study includes a series of maps illustrating recharge/discharge areas, well locations, overburden thickness, bedrock types, groundwater use, contaminant sources, and groundwater susceptibility to contamination. Potential groundwater recharge and discharge areas are identified on Figures 16a and 16b. Discharge areas are locations where groundwater leaves the aquifer and flows to the surface. Groundwater discharge occurs where the water table (or potentiometric surface) intersects the land surface. Potential discharge areas have been identified in areas north of the Onondaga Escarpment and in the Wainfleet Wetlands and surrounding lowlands. The potential height of the water table ranges between 0 and 30 metres below the ground surface at these sites. Groundwater recharge areas are locations where water is transmitted downward to an aquifer. The amount of water that infiltrates to the water table depends on, for example, vegetation cover, slope, soil composition, surficial geology, and depth to the water table. In the Lake Erie North Shore watershed, potential recharge areas are located along the Onondaga Escarpment and several bedrock outcrops that are scattered between the shoreline and the Onondaga Escarpment. Water that infiltrates to the water table may carry contaminants with it. Therefore, these areas are considered groundwater sensitive. Figures 16a and 16b illustrate areas with high, medium and low shallow intrinsic susceptibility. The Lake Erie North Shore study area has been delineated as having a predominately high intrinsic susceptibility. Areas along the Onondaga Escarpment and areas where there are bedrock outcrops have been delineated as having a high shallow intrinsic susceptibility because the openings in fractured bedrock allow for the direct passage of surface water and contaminants to groundwater resources. In addition, most of the area south of the Onondaga Escarpment to the lakeshore also has a high intrinsic susceptibility due to the thin overburden and the porous limestone of the Onondaga Formation. Areas of medium intrinsic susceptibility are found north and west of the Onondaga Escarpment where the Onondaga Formation is overlain with less permeable clay and the overburden reaches a thickness value of up to 25 meters above the bedrock. The yellow and green areas illustrated on Figures 17a and 17b are considered vulnerable to groundwater contamination due to the presence of permeable soils and/or the shallow depth of the groundwater table. Under the Clean Water Act (MOE 2006b), vulnerable groundwater areas that fall within an Intake Protection Zone will be protected under the Source Protection Plan. 94

LAKE ERIE NORTH SHORE WATERSHED PLAN Figure 17a: Shallow Intrinsic Susceptibility-West 95

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