A water intake sanitary protection zone is the land or water area surrounding the place where drinking water is taken, an area where limits are placed on activities and movement to prevent the degradation of water properties and protect water intake facilities.
The extent of a water intake protection zone is generally:
1. 50 meters from a bored well, if water is being extracted from an aquifer using a single bored well:
2. 50 meters to either side of the axis of a row of bored wells, 50 meters from the outermost bored wells of the row, and a 50 meter distance between bored wells in a row of bored wells, if water is being extracted from the aquifer using two or more bored wells;
3. 200 meters upstream from the water extraction point, 50 meters downstream, and 50 meters to either side of the water extraction point along a line perpendicular to the banks of the body of water and passing through the water extraction point, if water is extracted from a watercourse;
4. the water area of a water body together with a 90 meter wide riparian zone, if water is being extracted from a body of standing water.
A sanitary protection zone is not established if less than 10 cubic meters of water per day is being extracted from the aquifer to meet the needs of a single property. Maintenance requirements for this kind of water extraction point to ensure the protection of groundwater are established by the Minister of the Environment.
The Environmental Board may set the extent of the water intake sanitary protection zone to be:
1) 10 meters from a bored well if less than 10 cubic meters of water per day is being extracted from the aquifer and is being used to cover the needs of up to 50 people;
2) 30 meters from a bored well if more than 10 cubic meters of water per day is being extracted from the aquifer and the aquifer is well-protected;
3) 10 meters from a bored well if under 50 cubic meters of water per day is being extracted from the aquifer, the aquifer is well-protected according to an expert evaluation of the state of the water intake and groundwater drawn up by a person holding a license to carry out hydrogeological studies, and the written consent of the Health Board has been obtained to reduce the extent of the sanitary protection zone.
Reduction of the extent of a sanitary protection zone requires the submission of a free-form application to the Environmental Board. If the applicant is not the owner, a letter of authorization also needs to be attached to the application. An decision as to whether or not the reduction will be permitted will be sent to the applicant.