October 6, 2003

Three NB municipalities receive designations for protected wellfield areas

FREDERICTON, NB-As part of New Brunswick's wellfield protection program, the wellfields in the communities of Charlo, Grand Falls and Saint-Leonard have received designation under the Clean Water Act Wellfield Protected Area Designation Order, effective October 1, 2003. Since October 2000, when the designation order came into effect, 11 New Brunswick municipalities that rely on groundwater for their primary source of drinking water have received designation. The Wellfield Protected Area Designation Order limits or prohibits chemical storage and activities within wellfield recharge areas. The protection provisions vary according to levels of sensitivity in three zones: A, B and C, with Zone A being the most sensitive to contamination. The approach is based on the level of risk associated with different activities, and the nature of contaminants, which have different rates of movement and persistence in the environment. Extensive studies were conducted in all three municipalities to determine the origins of the groundwater supplies, and whether any contaminants could potentially affect the water source. The designation process included public consultation, and all three municipal councils passed motions requesting the Wellfield Protected Area Designation Order. New Brunswick is the first jurisdiction to introduce such comprehensive province-wide protection measures for municipal groundwater supplies. More information about the program is available on the provincial Web site, www.gnb.ca/0009/0371/0001/index.html.
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