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We all live upstream: Campaign highlights water source protection

Part of a campaign to highlight safety around water sources
New source water protection signs in Wahnapitae, Dowling and Levack complement existing signs in Garson, Valley East and Ramsey Lake. File photo

You might have noticed road signs popping up along highways in and around Greater Sudbury.

The bilingual “Drinking Water Protection Zones” road signs — there are seven in total slated to go up —are being installed in Wahnapitae, Dowling and Levack to mark locations where provincial highways cross into areas where municipal drinking water sources are the most vulnerable to contamination.
It’s part of a campaign under the Sudbury Source Protection Program both to protect drinking water sources and to raise awareness that certain activities in areas near groundwater wells and surface water intakes can impact the city’s water supply.

The province is responsible for signage on provincial highways and the municipalities are responsible on their roadways. In Greater Sudbury, source protection signs have been installed for years in areas around Garson, Valley East and Ramsey Lake. 

“The signs are a positive step in reinforcing the need to protect watersheds and we are happy that the province responded to that policy requirement,” ”, said Nels Conroy, chair of Sudbury’s Source Protection Committee. “We all live upstream.” 

So what should you do if a spill occurs in a vulnerable area (and the seven signs tell you where those are), call the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change’s Spills Action Centre at 1-800-268-6060 and indicate that the spill is within a drinking water vulnerable area.
If you would like a full copy of the region’s Source Protection Plan or maps of the vulnerable areas, visit