Residents in Wellington County can apply for grants to properly decommission old wells and upgrade wells that are still in use.
Funds are provided by Wellington County through the Wellington Rural Water Quality Program (RWQP). The Grand River Conservation Authority (GRCA) administers the program and site visits are conducted by the local conservation authority. Over the past 19 years, the Wellington RWQP has provided funds to properly decommission 465 wells and upgrade 440 wells to protect groundwater.
Decommissioning old, unused wells and upgrading existing wells can help protect local water supplies. Keeping wells properly maintained can also help prevent contaminants from reaching groundwater sources. Water contaminants can come from everyday residential and farm activities including household, lawn and agricultural chemicals, livestock and pet waste, or automotive fluids. Old, unused wells are often found at the edge of cropped fields or around old farmsteads. These types of wells can also present a safety risk to animals and equipment that may fall into them. Properties that have recently connected to municipal water services should also consider decommissioning old wells.
The RWQP well program assists both farm and non-farm rural landowners with well projects. Rural non-farm and settlement area residents can receive 80 per cent funding (up to $1,000) for wells that are upgraded to meet current regulations and 100 per cent (up to $1,500) to hire a licensed contractor to properly decommission an unused well. Farmers can receive 80 per cent (up to $2,000) for well upgrades and 100 per cent (up to $2,500) to decommission an old well. An Environmental Farm Plan is required to be eligible for farm grants.
For more information about the well program or to apply for funding, please contact the GRCA or your local conservation authority. For residents in the Grand River watershed, please email [email protected] or call the GRCA at 519-621-2761 and ask to speak to a conservation specialist.
The GRCA also delivers funding programs to support proper decommission of wells on behalf of most watershed municipalities including Brant, Brantford, Waterloo Region, Dufferin, Halton, Hamilton, Haldimand and Oxford. Please contact the GRCA for individual grant rates and maximums.
To learn more about the broad range of services and grants that are available through the GRCA, including forestry and environmental programs, please visit www.grandriver.ca/ruralwater.