Hydrology / hydrogeology

Water Quantity and Flow Systems:

  • Watershed studies: watershed and subwatershed studies funded by the Ministry of the Environment may not have been completed for the area
  • Recharge and discharge areas: proposed pit site is located in a major groundwater recharge and/or surface water discharge area
  • Drainage: drainage, drainage facilities, stormwater management may be of concern
  • Loss of water: water budget calculations may mean loss of water is higher than recharge rates
  • Hydrology functions: impacts on infiltration, permeability, conductivity, hydraulic functions
  • Rate of evaporation: increased rate of evaporation and continual loss of water to the atmosphere from a pit/quarry lake
  • Transpiration rate: changes in transpiration rates/volumes (moisture release and absorption by vegetation)
  • Water table levels: pumping and de-watering operations that can negatively affect water table levels
  • Lack of regulations during low water times: no regulations to cease operations during extreme seasonal low water levels due to climatic weather conditions
  • Groundwater divide: presence of a groundwater divide (water flowing to at least two separate water systems)
  • Buried bedrock valley: presence of a buried bedrock valley, buried bedrock valleys, or their convergence in the area
  • Lack of monitoring: lack of adherence to original monitoring program, reporting protocol, contingency plans and mitigation or lack of regular monitoring programs
  • Land subsidence conditions: irreversible collapse of subsurface bedrock formations caused by large-scale pumping and movement of water through the ground
  • Permit to Take Water:
    • a Permit to Take Water application from MOE may be required (e.g. in July, 2003, one licencee filed a Permit To Take Water application to pump 14,400,000 litres per day, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year)
    • Irregular or no compliance audits and enforcement by the Ministry of the Environment for Permits to Take Water is a concern
  • Cumulative effects: cumulative effects caused by water being pumped by otherpit/quarry extractive operations in the area
  • Moraines: changes to features and functions of moraines (e.g. permeability,
    absorption of precipitation, storage capacity)
  • Surface water bodies: adverse impacts to wetlands, streams, rivers, ponds and
    lakes from pumping, de-watering, re-channeling of watercourses, interference with
    flows and other activities

Water Quality:

  • Contaminant movement: groundwater and contaminant movement through granular soils and gravel is potentially rapid
  • Surface water contaminants: contamination of creeks, streams, rivers, wetlands, ponds and flood plains as contaminants can rapidly disperse in surface water
  • Well-head and source water protection areas: no extraction should occur in well-head and source water protection areas
  • Drinking water quality: quality of potable (drinking) water may be affected
  • Fill: possible importation and storage of fill and other materials such as recycled concrete and asphalt on the pit site
  • Watershed studies: watershed and subwatershed studies funded by the Ministry of the Environment may not have been completed for the area
  • Mineral and metal deposits: disturbance of naturally-occurring deposits of minerals and metals on site (e.g. aluminum, lead) that has the potential to contaminate groundwater and surface water.

Taken from the Information Guide For Citizens produced by Gravel Watch Ontario

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