Recharge Areas

Significant groundwater recharge areas

The land area where the rain or snow seeps down into an aquifer is called a recharge area.

Recharge areas often have loose or permeable soil, such as sand or gravel, which allows the water to seep easily into the ground. Areas with shallow fractured bedrock are also often recharge areas.

A recharge area is considered significant when it helps maintain the water level in an aquifer that supplies a community with drinking water.

Do planning policies apply in this type of vulnerable area?

An image of a map showing recharge areas.
An image of a map showing recharge areas.

Source protection planning policies are only recommendations in highly vulnerable aquifers (HVAs) and significant groundwater recharge areas (SGRAs) of this region (Ausable Bayfield Maitland Valley Drinking Water Source Protection Region).

Policies do not have legal effect that requires property owners to comply in HVAs and SGRAs (except in a wellhead protection area Zone A, B, or C) as there are no assessed significant threats to drinking water in HVAs and SGRAs. However, municipalities, implementing bodies, and local people should have regard for these policies, developed locally and approved by the Province of Ontario.

Thank you for all you do to protect drinking water sources in all vulnerable areas. Take a look on this website at some of the ways you can protect drinking water sources with your positive actions at home and work.

For complete definitions, legislation, and regulations visit the Province of Ontario website.

For local source protection plans, assessment reports, maps, fact sheets, and explanatory document, visit this link: Ausable Bayfield Maitland Valley Source Protection Region.

Download a map of Maitland Valley Source Protection Area Significant Groundwater Recharge Areas at this link: Maitland Valley SGRAs

Download a map of Ausable Bayfield Source Protection Area Significant Groundwater Recharge Areas: Ausable Bayfield SGRAs

Site map for the Keeping Water Clean website: