What Category Will Your PTTW Application Fall Under?

Posted: December 1, 2014
Category: Groundwater
Tags: categories for PTTW, Permit to Take Water Categories

If you are planning to access water in the Ontario area, you should be aware of the rules and regulations that the province’s Ministry has set out in order to protect its water resources. The PTTW permit is intended for persons or organizations whose daily water intake, regardless of its use, exceeds 50,000 liters. There are a number of industries that use great amounts of water, and who may need to apply for a PTTW, including:

  • Construction
  • Dewatering
  • Institutional
  • Recreational
  • Remediation
  • Water supply
  • Commercial
  • Industrial
  • Agricultural

Evaluating your proposal: why the Ministry’s review needs to be thorough

When interested applicants seek approval of their PTTW submission, their proposal falls into one of three different categorical classifications. According to the Ministry, proposals for water taking are classified based on their anticipated risk to the environment; thus the greater the anticipated risk, the more evaluation required by Ministry staff. Let’s take a quick look at these three categories, and what they mean in terms of their relationship with a permit application submission.

  • In Category 1, applications are deemed an unlikely threat and are approved based on the water taking purposes does not pose any adverse or negative impacts on the environment.

o If submitting a renewal proposal to use groundwater: Example of a proposal falling under Category 1

  • No scientific study is needed if the renewed application remains the exact same as the previous proposal (i.e. the amount of daily water taking will either remain the same or be lower, the use for the water does not change, the location and source of water taking remains unchanged, and there were no previous negative environmental impacts recorded).
  • In Category 2, if the proposed submission poses or has the potential to pose an undetermined adverse affect on the environment, a broader scope assessment is required. In this case, you will need to hire a qualified professional to conduct a technical review of the proposed water taking.
  • In Category 3, proposals needing greater review time are moved to this category in order to assess, in detail, its greater impact. This category also carries out a list of studies conducted—including ecological, hydrological, and hydro-geological—as a means to establish the implications involved if the applicant’s proposal is granted.

o It’s important to note that any submission that does not fall under the first two categories is placed immediately in Category 3. If placed in the third category, you must provide a study prepared by a qualified professional to support your application. When a professional is needed to carry out the necessary studies needed for your PTTW application, remember to choose individuals based on relevant and up-to-date credentials. Here are some examples in categories 2 and 3 where a qualified specialist will be needed: Ground water studies:

  • A licensed professional geoscientist or accepted professional engineer

Surface water studies:

  • A professional engineer or a person with a degree in environmental science with specialization in hydrology, aquatic ecology, limnology, biology, physical geography and/or water resource management

This is a condensed version of the government documents available on the Ministry of the Environment website. You can find out more there. Or you can navigate over to find out more about the in-demand Skinny Dipper, one of the most sought after water level meters on the market.

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