Media Releases

Health Unit

The following information has been provided to MOECC staff who may receive inquiries relating to Wells:


After flooding, well owners should take actions to:

  • make their water supplies safe for consumption; and
  • protect the groundwater resource used as a source of drinking water.

When a water supply well has been affected by flood waters, the water within a well may be contaminated with waterborne pathogens (germs) that can cause serious illness in humans and pets. The water in the well can also be contaminated by debris, fuel oil or other chemical products released during the flood.

During flooding, the ground around the well may also erode, possibly creating unsafe conditions or a pathway for surface water and contaminants to enter the well.  In other cases, the electrical wires attached to the pump in a well may be damaged risking electrocution.  Therefore, well owners should exercise extreme caution approaching their wells, especially older, large diameter dug wells after a flood.

If a well owner believes that the well has been contaminated by flood water, the well owner should discontinue using the water in the well for drinking and cooking purposes and use potable water from another source.

Under the Wells Regulation [R.R.O. 1990, Regulation 903 (Wells) as amended made under the Ontario Water Resources Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. O. 40]:

  • the well owner must maintain the well to prevent the entry of surface water and other foreign materials. 
  • if laboratory analysis of water samples from the well show the well is producing water that is not potable, then the well owner must contact the local Medical Officer of Health (MOH) and follow his or her advice or immediately abandon the well.  As an alternative to contacting the MOH, the well owner could contact the Director appointed under the Wells Regulation at 1-888-396-9355 (WELL) for written consent not to abandon the well.

To bring a well back into service safely, a well owner should consider contacting:

  • a qualified registered professional (e.g. professional engineer or professional geoscientist) or a licensed well driller to evaluate and service a drilled well;
  • a qualified registered professional or a licensed well digger to evaluate and service a dug well;
  • a licensed pump installer and, if necessary a certified electrician, to evaluate and service the well pump. 

Note - A residential private well owner can work on and disinfect his or her own well.  However, there are some safety considerations when working on a well and many technical steps needed to properly clean and disinfect a well.  Therefore, the well owner should consider retaining the services of a qualified professional or qualified technician as noted above.

If the well structure, pump and surrounding ground surface have been repaired or are deemed sound, the water in the well should be pumped and disinfected by a licensed well technician as outlined in Chapter 8: Well Disinfection of the Water Supply Wells – Requirements and Best Management Practices manual published by the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, revised 2015. 

The Well Disinfection chapter of the manual provides the following steps to properly disinfect a well:

  • Initial steps which include:
    • following sanitary practices
    • removing any debris from a well
  • Thorough flushing of the well
  • Treatment with a properly prepared chlorine solution, i.e. “shock” chlorination
  • Discharge of heavily chlorinated water from the well and the plumbing
  • Collection and analysis of water samples for indicator bacterial parameters

The Well Disinfection chapter of the manual is available at the following website:

A synopsis of the Well Disinfection chapter for interested well owners is provided in the Wells Regulation – Well Disinfection 2011 technical bulletin and is available at the following website:

Information on proper well maintenance, and other well related topics, is available on the website at:


Rideau Valley Conservation Authority

Flood Warning Withdrawn for Lakes on Tay River

May 26, 2017 – Water levels are finally receding on Christie and Bobs Lakes both of which have had high water since the two bouts of heavy rain three weeks ago.

Bobs Lake levels were high from the spring runoff in April. The rain recorded at Bolingbroke, about 90 millimetres over the four days from May 4 through 7, was similar to what fell over much of the eastern parts of Ontario. The increase of Bobs lake levels made it necessary for Parks Canada staff to release water through the Bolingbroke Dam. Christie Lake has been the unfortunate recipient of the excess water from Bobs Lake. Residents around Christie Lake are again able to access their properties to begin the cleanup process.

The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority will maintain a Flood Watch into next week with rain forecast for several days beginning on Sunday. Levels can be expected to increase slightly but are not expected to return to flood stage in the Rideau watershed nor on the Ottawa River. On the Rideau Canal, scheduled to open for navigation last weekend, all locks on the Rideau except Narrows and Newboro on Upper Rideau Lake remain closed as of this writing.

Note that, despite flows and levels tending toward normal or the time of year, conditions around rivers and lakes continue to be hazardous with water temperatures still cold and water levels relatively high. Everyone, especially children, are advised to stay away.

The public is encouraged to tag us or share photos of water conditions in their area at RVCA Facebook (RideauValleyConservationAuthority) and Twitter (@RideauValleyCA).

Conservation Authority staff will continue to monitor conditions and will issue updates as warranted.

For water level and flow information in the Rideau system as well as the Ottawa River, visit the RVCA Streamflows and Water Levels webpage at .

For more information about conditions on the Ottawa River, check the webpage of the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board at .



About the Small Business Advisory Centre Smiths Falls/Lanark County:

The SBAC offers free information and advisory services for anyone interested in starting their own small business and for existing small business operators. The office offers a walk-in resource centre with business literature and advisory materials. The Centre is an initiative of the Ontario Government and partners with the Town of Smiths Falls and the County of Lanark.  A counselor is available (free) by appointment for one-on-one sessions. The Centre provides a number of business seminars throughout the year, check out our website at For more info call 613-283-7002 ext.108/109 or email