Analysts with the Essex Region Conservation Authority are generally pleased with a report card on water quality.

All groundwater wells were given an A grade. Most of the wells tested are naturally protected by a thick clay soil layer that covers most of our region.

“The information is intended to provide our community with information needed to protect, enhance and improve the natural resources of our watershed,” says Richard Wyma, ERCA general manager.

The Puce and Cedar Creek watersheds were both given C’s. Surface water quality grades of most Essex region sub-watersheds were given D’s. These grades are based on two indicators: phosphorus and E. Coli.

The grading system is a provincial initiative measuring the health of our waterways.

For forest coverage, half the region was given a D and the other half an F. Despite an increase in overall natural areas coverage, the grades are lower than in ERCA’s previous report card due to changes in the province-wide grading system.

Even if regionally, the area reaches the desired 12 per cent natural areas coverage, based on the existing grading system, it would still only reach a grade of D. “However, continuing to protect and restore our forested areas is critical to improving watershed health in our region,” Wyma says.