GROUNDWATER MONITORING

Person taking notes

Provincial Groundwater Monitoring Network

Groundwater is an important part of our watershed.  It maintains the flow in rivers and streams, in addition to supplying water to wells.  Groundwater quality is determined by natural conditions. However, changes in groundwater quality may indicate human impacts.

In an effort to better understand Ontario’s groundwater resources, the Provincial Groundwater Monitoring Network (PGMN) was established in 2001.  The PGMN is designed to provide reliable information on the state of the province's groundwater and to act as an early warning system for changes in water levels and water quality. This network is a partnership program between the Ministry of the Environment and Ontario’s 36 Conservation Authorities.

Within the Long Point Region watershed, there are 11 PGMN wells that collect ambient (baseline) groundwater level and quality information from 8 aquifers.  Quarterly, groundwater level data are downloaded from the wells and processed for analysis.  Water samples are collected each fall, at three of the wells, and are tested for a variety of parameters including nutrients, metals and bacteria.

These data help to develop long-term trends in groundwater conditions.  Changes in water levels, for example, may be due to drought or wet weather conditions.  It may also be due to changes made on the landscape. Collecting this information will help groundwater experts better understand and predict changes in the future.