Source Protection Plan

The Source Protection Plan (SPP) was developed by the Source Protection Committee together with the Essex Region Source Protection Authority (ERSPA), municipalities, and other stakeholders. It contains 50 policies that use a variety of tools to ensure that identified potential threats that might be a risk to drinking water sources are managed or eliminated. The SPP is accompanied by an Explanatory Document that provides the rationale for policy decisions. Following an extensive process that included broad public consultation, the Essex Region SPP was approved on April 15, 2015, and came into effect on October 1, 2015.


On December 12, 2019, four polices in the Essex Region Source Protection Plan related to the storage and application of Non-agricultural source material (NASM) were updated under S.51(1)(6) of Ontario Regulation 287/07.  These updates correct an error that was hindering implementation, but do not change the intent of the policies.

On April 14, 2016, all policies in the Essex Region Source Protection Plan related to the handling and storage of fuel were updated to clarify the intent to address all types of fuel and not just those containing 2% benzene or more. This update was made under S. 51(1)(6) of Ontario Regulation 287/07.

In June 2019, several minor corrections were made to the Essex Region Source Protection Plan, Assessment Report and policies under various subsections of s.51(1) of Ontario Regulation 287/07.

Assessment Reports

The Assessment Report (AR) is a technical document that describes the local watershed, assesses the quantity and quality of the available water supply, maps out the vulnerable areas, and identifies any threats in these areas that may be a risk to drinking water sources. The AR is based on the completion of detailed technical studies that underwent rigorous peer review. The AR was approved in March 2015; however, it is a ‘living document’ and will be updated and amended as new information becomes available.

Date Assessment Report Size
6/11/19 Executive Summary 180 KB 4/21/15 Chapter 1 – Introduction 703.9 KB 4/21/15 Chapter 2 – Watershed Characterization 1 MB 4/21/15 Chapter 3 – Water Quantity Risk Assessment 656.2 KB 6/11/19 Chapter 4 – Water Quality Risk Assessment 3 MB 6/11/19 Chapter 4 – Maps 52 MB 4/21/15 Chapter 5 – Great Lakes Considerations 341.5 KB 4/21/15 Chapter 6 – State of Climate Change Research in the Great Lakes Region 224.8.5 KB 4/21/15 Assessment Report Glossary 415.8 KB 4/21/15 List of Appendices* 105 KB

*Appendices to the Assessment Report are available upon request.

Annual Reporting

Annual Progress Reports use a Provincially approved template to summarize the progress made toward implementing the 50 policies contained in the Essex Region Source Protection Plan (SPP) each year. Risk Management Services Annual Reports provide more detail to summarize the actions taken by ERCA’s Risk Management Office to implement polices that use Part IV of the Clean Water Act during the same time period.

Technical Reports

Source Protection Plans and Assessment Reports must be comprehensively reviewed and updated per Section 36 (S. 36) of the Clean Water Act in order to ensure sustained protection of the municipal drinking water sources. A S. 36 workplan containing 15 proposed updates to the Essex Region Source Protection Plan and/or Assessment Report was completed and submitted to the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks on November 30, 2018. Completion of these updates is dependent on approval of the workplan and financial support.