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The Best Maitland Valley Watershed Project Ever

December 17, 2010

How much do you actually know about your drinking water? And where does it come from?

The MVW stands for Maitland Valley Watershed, and covers land from Godrich, Ontario all the way to North Wellington, and has the bigger rivers (the Maitlands) meeting in Wingham. It includes minor watersheds like; Eighteen Mile Watershed; Nile Mile Watershed; South Maitland; Little Maitland; Middle Maitland; and the big watershed, the Maitland river.


A watershed, by the way, is an area where any form of precipitation soaks into and drains that back into rivers. This watershed is the drainage area of the rivers listed above. It collects this water and stores it some of it underground, where we get it for our well water, and sends some of it back to the rivers. It is protected and taken care of by the MVCA, or the Maitland Valley Conservation Authority. The Maitland Valley Conservation Authority started to help take care of this water supply in 1951 because they want to protect and enhance the local supply of water, and the quality of forests and soil.


For this project, there was three big questions that I needed to answer. Question 1: What do I think civilians can do to help the MVW? Question 2: Are there other organization like this (MVCA), and do these organizations work together? Question 3: Why does the MVW need to be kept clean?

What do I think civilians can do to help the MVW?;

Civilians can help the MVW by getting involved with water conservation organizations like the MVCA or the Maitland Conservation Foundation (below is a map of where the MVCA protects).


Helping to fundraise for projects, and volunteering at nature centres can also help keep the MVW clean. I also think that people can go to rivers and pick up garbage that is left lying around so the watershed doesn’t get polluted with old candy wrappers and water bottles. Doing this will help keep our drinking waters clean, and help wildlife live easier. Lastly, civilians can try to set up flood blockers in front of the rivers and plant buffer strips to help minimize the amount of runoff (street, filed, or just litter) that gets into the watershed.

Are there other organization like this (MVCA), and do these organizations work together?

Yes there are other organizations like the MVCA that work together. One organization that works with the MVCA is the Maitland Conservation Foundation, or MCF for short. These two organizations have been working together since 1975, raising funds for local projects. The MVCA also volunteers to help out at other organizations such as the Wawanosh Nature Centre, and  the Shoreline Working Group. Lastly, the MVCA has sent out workers to my school, and other areas for help on explaining things about the MVW (like the employee who came to my school), and for help when a water issue arises.

Why does the MVW need to be kept clean?

The MVW absolutely has to be kept clean, so the people who use wells in the MVW will not get sick from all the bacteria that gets into our watershed. It is also important to keep this water clean for the fish and other animals that live in the watershed. When the water is polluted, animals that live in the water can get sick and die from bacteria like nitrates and phosphorous, which in turn can get the water even more polluted for the humans drinking this water. Lastly, the MVW supplies all of the settlements between Goderich to North Wellington with water for their rivers and wells. If all of this water is polluted, thousands of humans can get sick and die from it.

Since all of the people living in this watershed drink this water, either from their own private wells or from a municipal water storage, I think that it is important to turn your attention to our well water quality.

Here is a brief description of this issue;

When a well is too shallow, it gets lots of chemicals and bacteria in it, such as e-coli and nitrates. These can cause serious illnesses to occur, or just make you feel sick. Bad well water can also be bad for your pets, if they drink that water too.

But how is this getting issue being addressed?

The MVCA has been working on this issue by having employees spread news to other organizations, and having them teach people about water quality. An example of this would be when classes go to the Wawanosh Nature Centre and get to go in to the creek and learn about the importance of water quality to living creatures. Normal people are also starting to realize the importance of this issue, and are taking action on their own. They might fundraise for organizations, or maybe just try to fix their own wells.

In my opinion, we can fix this issue by drilling deeper wells to reduce the risk of pollutants that seep into those shallow wells (0-100 feet). We can also put up buffer strips around the wells, or other water sources, (with a radius of about 3 metres or more) to help keep field runoff from getting into our wells, or street, sewage, and factory runoff if you live in a city or town (which will likely get their water from a lake, river, or several large ground water sources).

What do you think you can do to help keep your watershed clean?




Other research sources

My science notes

My own ideas

My own knowledge


From → Schoolwork

  1. Good work Trevor. You clearly understand what issues we’re facing in the MVW. To further answer your question about what civilians can do, check out the Community Projects tab in the MVCA site. It would be interesting to know if any of these projects have happened locally. There’s some interesting maps showing how the erosion line has changed over the last 100 years. That would also be an interesting next step to look into.

    • Thanks for the feedback, and I’m glad you liked it. I will be updating it sometime over the holidays. I will definitely consider those suggestions. Thanks for the sites and happy holidays to you.

  2. Great work converting .pdf files into .jpeg. I really loved how you kept at it and followed the instructions until you got it. A+ for perseverance! They look great and really add to your post.

    • Thanks Mrs. D. I’m really glad that I managed to get them in too. I’m surprised at how difficult I found it to change a pdf into a jpeg. Sometimes the simplest things really stump me. Anyways, I hope that you have a good New Years, and I’ll see you at school this Monday.

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