Water News


Ancaster, Ontario


The people of Ancaster and Dundas area have drawn from local artesian water wells for generations.  The farmer who owned the “Ancaster Wells” aka “Sulphur Springs” property sold it to the Town of Ancaster with caveats that the property remains open to the public.  The Town of Ancaster sold the property to the Hamilton Region Conservation Authority (HRCA) in 1998 with the same conditions.  However, today (January, 2019) the property is fenced off from the public with swipe card access to members only (pay $10 once, sign waiver to use at own risk). 


There are concerns that free public access as traditional and as intended in the transfer of deed is no longer available.  There are fears that the water is becoming/has become a commodity and therefore sale of the resource will become priority.  As such local grassroots groups are fighting for the springs to be returned to public use and want access to the springs preserved for free public access as traditional and intended for future generations. 


Grassroots Groups:


PAWS Rate Payers (


SOS Save Our Springs (


GoFundMe – Protect Ancaster Wells





On June 6, 2014, farmer William Arthur Kennedy passed away.  Before he died, he passed title to the Ancaster Wells property to the Town of Ancaster.

On October 13,1998, the Town of Ancaster transferred title to the Ancaster wells property to the Hamilton Region Conservation Authority (HRCA) for $55,000 with the restrictive covenants allowing for free public access to the well (number 8) and committing to responsibility and liability for the water produced by that well.  The purchase consisted of 0.8 ha (2 ac) parcel of land with two existing buildings and nine artesian wells.  Two of the nine wells used to be a source of regional water but at the time only Well #8 was used for drinking water for local residents.  Well #8 is located immediately adjacent to Sulphur Springs Road. (deed)

At the end of 1998 Hamilton Region Conservation Authority (HRCA) then pursued $60,000 in funding for the Ancaster Well to establish a short access road, small parking area (6 vehicles), water taking area for public use and to replace public access to Well #8 with access to water from Well #9, which was deemed better drinking water.

$20,000 Application for Niagara Escarpment Grant:  Hamilton Region Conservation Authority Dundas Valley Conservation Area – Ancaster Well Site Request for Funding (December 1, 1998) (source)

$40,000 Application for Natural Areas Protection Program Capital Grants (January 29, 1999) (source) [implications of Ontario Heritage Fund grant?]

Yet despite grant stipulations, HRCA was already investigating the possibility of commercial water taking from the Sulphur Springs Property “Ancaster Pumping Station Development Proposal” and always intended to sell the water from the property to help fund its programs. (source) (source)

In 2007 changes to the Health Protection and Promotion Act, 1990


On January 1, 2018 new Ontario regulations for drinking water quality standards went into effect. The current manner of operations of the Ancaster Wells suggested that it was considered a small drinking water system subject to the new regulations and as such considered so by Hamilton Public Health Services.  In regard to arsenic concentrations where the maximum legal limit for arsenic in drinking water wells, as established by the Ontario Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, were reduced to 0.010mg/L.  Since the concentration of arsenic in the water at the Ancaster Well consistently measured between 0.017mg/L and 0.023mg/L over the previous 5 years (always below the existing legal limit of 0.025mg/L), it failed to meet the new standard.


To avoid the responsibility and liability issues newly applied to small public drinking water systems, the Hamilton Conservation Authority restricted access to swipe-card ($10 one-time fee) membership with appropriate signage and waiver. (source)


Water Bottling Industry


Arsenic – it has been noted that while the legal limit of arsenic for a small drinking water system subject to the new regulations is 0.010mg/L, the limit is higher for bottled water and falls within the range of the Ancaster wells (source?). 



Why is SOS holding on to the idea of Free Access to the Ancaster Well?



NEWS (reverse chronological order)







SOS Save Our Spring

Why is SOS holding on to the idea of Free Access to the Ancaster Well?

Grassroots groups splintered into two:  SOS & PAWS

- “Lock of Love”


Youtube / Save Our Spring

SOS – Save Our Spring – Ancaster – introductions – June 22nd 2017 (2 mins)



Youtube / jow69

Ancaster Artesian Well – Natural Spring Water in Ancaster Ontario (6 mins)

1109 Sulphur Springs Rd. 

Ancaster, Ontario L8S4K2


Youtube / jow69

Sulphur Springs Fountain – Natural Spring Water in Ancaster Ontario (5 mins)

820 Sulphur Springs Rd.

- “discovered” 1820

- natural mineral spring “salt well”

- sulphur smells like rotten eggs

- therapeutic but not good tasting


Google Play e-book

“The Mineral and Thermal Springs of the United States and Canada” by John Bell, M.D.




More Information:


Hamilton Conservation Authority (




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Disclaimer: This information has been compiled through private amateur research for the purpose of allowing the reader to make an informed and educated decision.  However, while the information is believed to be reliable, accuracy cannot be guaranteed.