Committee seeks to eliminate risk to rural communal drinking water

Published on
May 5, 2022

The City’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee today approved an incentive program to encourage the replacement of fuel oil tanks near municipal wells.

Home heating oil fuel tanks in areas near municipal wells can pose a threat to rural communal drinking water. While existing policies do require annual inspections and maintenance to prevent spills, removing these tanks would eliminate the risk altogether.

With a budget of $260,000, the incentive program aims to encourage owners to replace existing tanks with an alternate heating source. Additional incentives would be offered through the Better Homes Ottawa Loan program to encourage replacement with a green energy option.

The Committee also approved an amendment to the by-law that regulates the operation of all-terrain, offroad and motorized snow vehicles in Ottawa. The amendment would more clearly spell out existing restrictions around using all-terrain vehicles in Marlborough Forest.

One of the most environmentally significant natural areas in Ottawa, Marlborough Forest is also the City’s only municipal natural area that permits recreational use of all-terrain vehicles – and only between September and December, when access gates are open. To avoid damaging this protected area, such vehicles must keep to access roads when in the Marlborough Forest. The amendment would add a detailed map of those roads.

The amendment does not change the status of snowmobile trails maintained by the Rideau Snowmobile Association in the Marlborough Forest.

Recommendations from today’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee meeting will rise to Council on Wednesday, May 11.