tel: 905-525-2181

Ancaster Well Access Frequently Asked Questions

Ancaster Well fence and gateWhy have the well taps been fenced off with a swipe card gate access?
New regulations for drinking water quality standards in Ontario are coming into effect January 1, 2018, specifically related to arsenic concentrations, which will put the well above the new prescribed standard.

Ontario drinking water quality standards apply to small drinking water systems and the well is considered such by Hamilton Public Health Services. The alternative to closing the well is to change its operation, and this includes adding fencing, issuing swipe cards, putting up signage and requiring users to sign a waiver.

How will well users be able to access the area?
A new gate and fence has been installed around the well taps and access will be granted through a swipe card. The gate will be left unlocked until December 31, 2017.

How does the gate system work?

When does the access to the well change?
Effective January 1, 2018, access will only be permitted to those who have obtained a swipe card from the Hamilton Conservation Authority main office.

How can I get an access card?
Swipe cards will be available from the Hamilton Conservation Authority’s (HCA) main office at 838 Mineral Springs Road, Ancaster for a one-time $10 fee, which helps towards maintenance and administration costs. Card holders will also be required to sign a waiver of liability. Cards will be available beginning on Monday December 11, 2017.

Can I pick up a card for someone else?
No, each card holder must sign the waiver in person before being issued a swipe card. Cards are non-transferable.

When is the HCA’s main office open?
Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM. HCA has scheduled:

  • Thursday, December 14, 2017 from 4:30 PM to 8 PM and
  • Saturday, December 16, 2017 from 10 AM to 1 PM for anyone who cannot come during our regular office hours.

Staff will also be available during these time periods to answer any questions you may have about the swipe cards and the access system.

This schedule will be posted to www.conservationhamilton.ca, and onsite signage posted at the well site to share with the local community.

NOTE: HCA’s office closes for the holidays at noon on Friday, December 22 and will not reopen until Tuesday, January 2 at 8:30 AM.

What if my card stops working?
If your card is damaged or stops working, a replacement card will be issued at no cost. Please bring your original card to the main office for replacement.

What if I lose my card?
If you lose your swipe card, you will need to come into the office to get a replacement.
An administration fee of $5 will apply for lost cards to cover replacement and administration costs. Lost cards will be cancelled by the system administrator.

When does my access card expire?
Your swipe card is valid for one year from date of activation.

  • Cards activated during December 2017 will have an expiry date of January 1, 2019
  • Cards activated after January 1, 2018 will be valid for a year from that date.

What happens when my card expires?
After the expiry date, you will need to come into the HCA office and sign a new waiver. Your card will be reactivated for another one-year period at no cost.

Can I come in before my one-year expiration?
Yes, you can come into the HCA office and sign a new waiver up to 60 days before your card expires and it will be reactivated for another one-year period at no cost.

Does an HCA Membership card give me access to the well?
No, the HCA annual membership card will not work at the well. The well swipe card is a separate card and system.

What happens if the access system is damaged, (i.e. gate malfunctions or fencing is compromised)?
If for any reason the well swipe card system isn’t working, and access to the well cannot be controlled, access will be disrupted (closed) until the access system is repaired. If you have a well card and have given us your email address, you’ll get an email message from HCA about the service disruption – and also once the access is working again. An alert will also be posted to www.conservationhamilton.ca and signage placed on-site.

Will HCA staff be inspecting the access system?
HCA staff will monitor and inspect the well access system daily to ensure the system is intact and working. A surveillance system has also been added for security purposes.

Are there hours of operation for the access system?
The swipe card gate around the well taps will be active 24 hours a day. Card holders will be able to open the gate at any time.

Will the water be tested?
The water from the well will not be tested after January 1, 2018.

Can I drink or cook with the water from the well?
No, the water is not for human consumption.

What if I have a question that is not covered here?
Please contact the Hamilton Conservation Authority at 905-525-2181 or nature@conservationhamilton.ca.