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Rural Clean Water Program

Since the 1990s, the Rural Clean Water Program has been improving water quality by partnering with agricultural and rural communities to reduce water contamination on agricultural and rural lands.

The Rural Clean Water Program provides financial and technical assistance to support the voluntary implementation of environmental and agricultural Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) on private lands.

Program Partners

Projects Eligible for Assistance

Projects eligible for assistance include the following Beneficial Management Practices (BMP) categories:

Eligible Item Grant Rate Grant Ceiling
Barnyard Runoff Control & Clean Water Diversion 50% $5,000
Buffer Strip Planting 75%-100%* $5,000
Chemical Storage 50% $2,000
Deadstock Composting 50% $3,000
Education & Training 100%** $500
Erosion Control Structures 50% $5,000
Fuel Storage (per tank) 50% $2,000
Integrated Pest Management 50% $3,000
Livestock Access Restriction 75%-100%*** $10,000
Manure Storage & Handling Systems 50% $15,000
Milkhouse Washwater Disposal 50% $5,000
Nutrient Management Plan 50%**** $1,000
Nutrient Management Strategy 50%**** $500
Private Well Upgrade 50% $1,000
Tree Planting 50% $5,000
Well Abandonment Offered through Region of Peel

* 100% grant rate will apply if combined with livestock access restriction
** Limited to once per year
*** 100% grant rate will apply if installed by landowner
**** Only available to farms not having to comply with current legislation

This list is not exclusive. If you have a project that is not on this list, you may still be eligible for financial and technical assistance.

An approved current Canada-Ontario Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) is required to be eligible for funding assistance.

Steps to Action

  • Identify your voluntary Beneficial Management Practice projects.
  • Book a free site visit with Rural Clean Water Program staff.
  • Receive an information package containing a Water Quality Improvement Plan.
  • Complete and submit your Water Quality Improvement Plan to program staff for anonymous committee approval.
  • Implement your project as outlined in the approved plan.
  • Book a site visit with Rural Clean Water Program staff to confirm your project is completed as approved.
  • Receive your grant.

The map below indicates the Rural Clean Water Program's approximate area eligibility for landowner participation.

york region in TRCA jurisdiction

Get Started

For more information and to arrange a site visit, please contact:
Nadine Abrams C.E.T.
Coordinator, Rural Clean Water Program
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
Office: (416) 661-6600 ext. 5349
Fax: (416) 667-6277

Successful Grants

Project Category Category Description Number of Projects Approved from 2000 to 2008 Total Project Cost Rural Clean Water Program Contribution Funding
Private Septic Systems Ensure the safe and environmentally responsible treatment and disposal of domestic sewage. 1 $13,000 $2,500
Well Upgrades Reduce the risk of contamination of well water by implementing proper construction and maintenance practices and safeguards for existing wells. 1 $2,672.50 $1,000
Well Decommissioning Reduce the risk of injury associated with open and unmarked wells. Protect ground water from contamination. 1 $1,500 $750
Barnyard Runoff Control Confine and reduce the amount of contaminated runoff from manure storages and barn yards to eliminate direct manure contamination of surface waters. 1 $30,000 $5,000
Reforestation Retirement of marginal and/or fragile farmland to reduce soil erosion, enhance surface water sources and increase wildlife corridors. 3 $10,000 $5,690
Riparian Buffer Establishment Reduce the amount of sediment which enters watercourses from fields and eroding stream banks through the re-establishment of adequate vegetated buffer strips; as well as to provide a buffer to overland runoff. 2 $6,770 $4,000
Clean Water Diversion Reduce the amount of contaminated runoff from manure storages and barn yards by diverting clean water away from sources of contamination to a satisfactory outlet. 1 $1,000 $500
Livestock Access Restriction Prevent livestock from defecating in watercourses, trampling stream banks, and directly polluting surface waters. 1 $7,600 $1,500
Manure Management Eliminate direct manure contamination of surface waters through environmentally responsible manure storage, handling and incorporation practices. 1 $50,540 $10,000
Total 12 $122,8125.5 $30,940


Click here Peel Rural Water Quality Program or Rural Clean Water Programs in the Region of Durham.