In Ontario, a permit to take water must be obtained from the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change if you will be taking in excess of 50,000 litres of water per day from the environment. It does not matter whether you will take this water from surface water or groundwater, a permit is still required. The purpose of this program is to ensure the conservation, protection, and management of the province’s water and to ensure that the existing users of the environment are not adversely affected.
There are 3 classifications of permit:
- Low risk where there is no history of complaints
- Water takings with a greater potential to cause adverse environmental impact
- Water takings considered high risk
If taking water from more than one source or for more than one purpose, your activity will be classified based on the total water taken and the most sensitive source. A permit will not be issued if your proposed activity would negatively affect either existing users or the environment or if it would remove water from a watershed that already has a high level of use.
If you are merely temporarily diverting a watercourse to facilitate an in-water construction activity, a permit to take water is not required as long as no water is removed and both the water level and water quality, upstream and downstream are unaffected.
There are also permitting exceptions for water taken for domestic purposes, firefighting or emergency response, livestock or poultry and the creation or maintenance of wetlands. If your water is supplied by someone with a valid Permit to Take Water, you are not required to apply for your own. Although a Permit to Take Water is still required If you take water for agricultural or aquacultural purposes, there are no applicable fees for this category of use.
Recently, there has been a lot of discussion surrounding water bottling facilities and the amount of groundwater they are taking. On August 1, the Ontario government implemented new fees for water bottlers of $503.71 for every million litres of groundwater taken. This fee is in addition to any Permit to Take Water fee. They have also declared a two-year moratorium on new or expanded water takings by bottling companies which will be in place until January 1, 2019.
With any application for a permit to take water a hydrogeological or surface water study is usually required to illustrate any long or short term impacts to the local water table. If the PTTW is granted, the government may request on-going monitoring and reporting of local water levels. Heron Instruments offers a full line of equipment to help you to meet all these regulatory requirements. With our wide range of Water Level Meters for determining static water levels we are sure to have the optimum tool for your purpose. Our interface meters will even measure any free product which may have accidentally entered the water table.
Pumping tests, sometimes referred to as a drawdown and recovery tests, and slug tests, both evaluating the well performance and estimating the hydraulic properties of an aquifer, are often a requirement when applying for the PTTW. Heron instruments family of products are the ideal choice for acquiring the accurate data needed for optimal results. Our dipperLog software can provide a graph of recharge rates, useful in constant-rate tests, step-drawdown tests and recovery tests.
For long term monitoring of water level changes, we offer our dipperLog family, available in vented, non-vented or 4-20 mA versions. These can be used as stand-alone monitors or quickly and easily integrated into existing monitoring systems. Our simple to use software generates both Excel spread sheets displaying your water levels as well as graphical representations of water level fluctuations. Data can be collected from 1 second intervals to every few days, whichever best meets your regulatory requirements.
Whether for surface water or groundwater studies, Heron Instruments can provide all the high quality, high accuracy, measuring and monitoring equipment you will ever need.