alton-grange-pics-as-of-sep-2016-7What is water health?

Why is it important?

The Credit River watershed, is experiencing continued pressures from increased settlement,

urban development, aggregate extraction and passive and active recreation activities, climate change and invasive species.  In turn, these activities create pressures on the availability of good quality water, sewage treatment and storm water management capacity, and the climate change, and the watershed’s natural heritage, biodiversity and ecological integrity.

Orangeville, at the top of Sub-watershed 19, is continuing to build out and is expanding its sewage treatment plant by 20%.  Urban development continues to the west of Orangeville, adjacent to the wetlands that surround Caledon Lake, the beginning of Shaws Creek (Sub-watershed 17).

Under Ontario’s Source Water Protection process, a Tier 3 water budget assessment defines an area of vulnerability called the “Local Area”.  Such a water budget was completed for the Town of Orangeville  as part of the plan for the Credit River Source Water Protection Area.  Analyses undertaken for the Village of Alton (Sub-Watershed #17) planning study suggest inadequate water resources exist in the adjacent area to support further development, even though municipal planners are still debating the “build out” population figures for the Village. Moreover, the local municipality has designated the Village as a tourist destination.  The impact of these visitors on water resources and for sewage treatment has not been made public.

CVC research and monitoring indicates that currently the upper portion of the watershed is holding its own but is advocating for low impact development (LID) practices.  Diagram 1 shows what is forecast to happen if LID practices are not adopted and Diagram 2 indicates what is expected if such practices are adopted.

Starting in December 2018 we have started a small monitoring program testing water quality at two sites.  We’ll keep updating this table on a regular basis.  Overall, conditions in these waters are in ranges that suggest a healthy stream environment for most aquatic species.


Date & Time sampled Measurement Shaw’s Creek at the Bridge closest to the Station St. entrance Shaw’s Creek by the Queen St. Bridge
9 December, 2018

11-11:30 am

°C 0.3 0.2
% dissolved oxygen 101.7 99.4
Dissolved oxygen (mg/L) 14.66 14.37
Conductivity (µS/cm) 302.3 301.4
pH 8.6 8.6
Oxidative-reductive potential 208.4 200
Turbidity (NTU) 29.98 95.7
Chlorophyll-a (mg/L) 159.8 258.7