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CAMPING IN ONTARIO’S NEWSLETTER

UPDATE

SEPTEMBER 2011

The summer may have started late, but the weather was fantastic and we hope you had a great season. As we head into Fall, many campgrounds are beginning their wind-down plans and winter getaways. But before you do, there is still lots happening at Camping In Ontario to help you grow your business. Most membership renewals are now in and we are pleased to welcome 9 new campground members to the association – 6 of those are in the North so clearly the Northern strategy is proving effective. It is important that when you renew that you provide us with a fairly accurate count of your sites as this information is also on the website and in the directory and helps people decide on whether your campground is the right size for them. I encourage you to look through the Awards of Excellence categories and consider entering or nominating a supplier. Awards are a great way to lend credibility and professionalism to your business and help draw new customers. As we look towards the Fall and Winter, I look forward to seeing many of you at Convention at Deerhurst in November. The program is exciting and we have added some optional credit courses on Sunday as well as a longer time for CampEx so that you can meet with suppliers and plan your purchasing for the next camping season. The men’s and ladies sessions promise to be unforgettable and with babysitting, doggy day care, youth convention and mini convention, there are no more excuses as to why you can’t attend. Networking and education sessions are an important member benefit and will help you grow your business and remove obstacles. Don’t forget to log into our Members’ section of the website; it contains great deal of helpful business and campground-related information and the answers to many of your questions are all right there. See you soon. ROBERT TRASK

PRESIDENT, CAMPING IN ONTARIO

INSIDE THIS ISSUE Executive Director’s Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 2011 Camp School Experiences . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Have a Legal Plan/article . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Member Benefit Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Accessibility Standards/article . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Selling Your Park/article . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10

Notice of Annual General Meeting . . . . . . . . . Proxy Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Convention 2011 Proposed Agenda . . . . . . . . . Convention Highlights. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CampEx Registration Form . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

12 13 14 16 18

Awards of Excellence 2010/11 . . . . . . . . . . . . . Awards of Excellence Entry Form . . . . . . . . . . Welcome New Members . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dates to Remember Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Happy Septic System/article . . . . . . . . . . .

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CAMPING IN ONTARIO UPDATE | 2

Alexandra Anderson

Executive Director Camping In Ontario

ONTARIO PRIVATE CAMPGROUND ASSOCIATION

305 Milner Ave., Suite 206, Toronto ON M1B 3V4 TOLL-FREE 1 877 672 2226 TEL 416 820 2714 FAX 877 905 2714 WEB www.campinginontario.ca EMAIL opca@campinginontario.ca PUBLISHER Guida Williamson ORIGINAL DESIGN Sandra Friesen Design www.sandrafriesen.com Published four times per year, Update is the newsletter for the campground owners, operators and suppliers who belong to the Ontario Private Campground Association (opca).

Campground Insurance • Competitive Rates • Custom Coverage • Experienced Broker Specializing in Campground Insurance

For Your Quote

Call Sue Gibson

1-877-463-5500 or Email

sue.gibson@meritgroup.ca

w ww.m er it g ro u p. c a • 7 59 H yd e Pa r k Ro a d , Lo n d o n , O N N 6 H 3S2 • ca m pgr o u nd s@meri tg r o up . ca

Aaah the summer of 2011 is over! What a summer it has been. May was the coldest ever, June was the wettest ever, July was the hottest ever, and August had lots of thunderstorms with a couple of devastating tornadoes. Our thoughts are with the residents of Goderich. The upcoming days between Labour Day and hunting season are perfect for completing outstanding paperwork. Whether it is your registration for convention, updating your listing for the directory, or reading this issue of Update. It is also a great time to fill in your occupancy report for the past summer. In talking to campground owners, we understand that July and August were solidly booked, but that the only way to make up for May and June will be a strong fall season. Let’s hope that September’s and October’s weather cooperates. Occupancy reports help us confirm the occupancy pattern and cycle. We hope you complete the excel spreadsheet that was sent to you some time ago and send it back to us. If you are not comfortable with that approach but have the information, please let us know. The goal is to have feedback from campgrounds in each region so that we can present occupancy numbers for the entire province. We need this information and so do you! In speaking with many of you over the summer, we realize you already have this information; now it’s time to share it with us. October 6, 2011 is election day in Ontario. Make sure your voice is heard by attending all candidate meetings and by encouraging everyone to vote. By voting, you can help ensure someone who supports tourism and small business is elected and aware of the tough issues that need to be tackled in our industry. I look forward to seeing all of you after paperwork season.

Campground Insurance • Business Insurance • Home/Auto • Mor tgage Insurance • Investments • RRSPs/GICs • Savings Account

Executive Director’s Message


3 | SEPTEMBER 2011

Camping In Ontario Staff go to Camp School Experience is the best teacher and that is why the staff set out to work at campgrounds across the province this summer. We knew that private campground owners and managers worked hard but did we really know all that it entailed? Camp school taught us a lot about the private campground business and our individual adventures follow. Alexandra Anderson @ Fisherman’s Cove Having always been on the customer side of things I had always taken for granted the planning required and work that goes into keeping a place clean, the planned activities or simple garbage pickup when visiting a vacation destination. You are on vacation so these things just happen and you really do not give it much thought, or the only time you do think about it is when it doesn’t magically appear. Now, having seen what goes on behind the scenes, I have a new appreciation for the amount of work it takes to give the consumer the perfect vacation experience. For me, it all started with the check-in process. In order to provide the customer with fast and efficient check in service, a lot of work had to be done before the first guest arrived. All of the prep work allowed the staff to focus on answering questions and telling people about the park rather than focusing on the process of checking people in. I was put in charge of entering the license plates for the cars entering the park. I was also given the opportunity to use an actual computerized reservation system. My exposure to the operations side of running a campground was visiting one of the water treatment systems and the other was going on night patrol. I think most people would be quite shocked at the size and sophistication of the system that is providing them with drinking water. Night patrol was interesting - I am not sure if the hours would appeal to me; 1 – 2 a.m. is way past my bedtime. I would like to thank the MacArthur family for their time and for the lovely accommodations. Guida Williamson @ Flamboro Valley When I learned I would be going to work at a campground, I was delighted as I love all things nature and business and it seemed that campgrounds had the ideal mix. The weather was perfect as I set out on a Thursday morning and when I arrived at the campground, I was given a tour of the property. It struck me that it was vast and very clean. I began my day by checking and cleaning the cabins, one of which I got to stay in. I then set off with one of the owners to check on the bathrooms and give them a good clean. I was surprised at how often we stopped to pick up a stray small piece of garbage or cigarette butts which definitely seem to be a difficult problem. The owners took great pride in keeping their park clean. We found that one of the garbage bins had been used as a toilet and after much disinfectant; everything was as good as new. I loved riding around in the golf

cart (at the proper speed, of course) and saying hello to all the seasonal and transient campers. It quickly became clear that in campgrounds that have little or no staff, the owners do everything, from daylight to dark and have little time to eat if at all. One of the highlights of my experience was when one of our associate members stopped by to perform a service and I got to see them in action. I was in awe of all the work that had been done on the campground by the owners, from building their own splash pad to taking care of their beautiful gardens. On Friday, the phones got really busy and still they took time to personally and thoroughly inspect the firewood that was being brought in. As they were really busy, I took off to clean the bathrooms on my own. When I got back, it was well past lunch and the ladies still had not had time to eat so I made some lunch and brought it up front. After stocking some items in the store, it was almost time to head out. I loved my camp school time and look forward to next year. I am grateful to everyone at Flamboro Valley for taking me in as one of their own and showing me around. Jocelyn Ball @ Sandaraska Park This July, I had the pleasure of visiting Sandaraska Park in Pontypool for a couple of days. Being a shy person in general, I was a bit nervous about going in as a “staff for the day” visitor. However, once I was there, all my shyness fell to the wayside. I hoped to see some campers with their horses, my favourite animal since childhood. I went there thinking maybe I’d get a task to do, like scrub the washrooms or pump out septic’s – you know, tasks I could busy myself with alone all day. Instead, I spent part of the day with a staff member wrapping and watering the baby maple and pine tree saplings that had been recently planted. I learned that the chipmunks were eating the bark and that the little maple trees were at risk of not surviving. The saplings were spread out all over the park so I got to travel by golf cart. Before we set out, I was given a tour of the park. It was fascinating to see the variety of camping experiences; with a seasonal horse owner area, a regular camper area, overnight with and without horse areas, and an ATV and a dirt bike area. The campground backs onto the Ganaraska Forest and I learned that you need to purchase a pass to enter the forest. I also was thrilled to experience the park trails myself, riding a staff member’s horse on a short trail ride. On my ride, I saw how peaceful and cooling the forest


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is and a small clearing where a wedding on horseback had taken place a few years back. I was at the park the week in July that we experienced the hottest temperatures of the season; so much of the work that would normally have gotten done was halted due to the weather conditions. Therefore, I spent some time getting to know the staff and some of the seasonal campers. I also spent time in the office, witnessing the administration side of things and seeing the interaction between guests checking in and the staff. People inquired about moving to different seasonal sites, children came in for their $1 for candy purchases, and a variety of visitors – with and without horses, all stopped in. They ranged from a family in a huge 45’ RV luxury coach to a single guy in a pickup truck with his beloved pet Chihuahua, the type of guy who on first glance looked like he should be walking a Doberman instead. I was able to experience the ATV trails that go into the Ganaraska forest and what it is like to drive a skid steer. In the end, my shyness melted away and I left with great memories of an experience that was a combination of learning, wonderful interactions, tasting the palatable atmosphere of family and community that occurs in a campground. I tried new and challenging things and even got some much appreciated fun and relaxation.

Erin Cacciapuoti @ Grangeways RV Park and Family Campground When I found out that the association was going to have us work in a campground for a few days, I was very excited! Poke fun if you want but the day before I was scheduled to go to camp school, I phoned in and asked what I should wear. That’s a legitimate question, isn’t it? I attended the park during their “calm before the storm”. It was quiet, but everyone was still very hard at work. Staff members were busy working the grounds and being trained in the office. I was taken on a campground tour, which I loved, and I was pleasantly surprised at how large and beautiful the park was. Everyone was very friendly and I really enjoyed the “small community” feel. I learned how to take and record water readings, as well as meter readings. I was brought to the scary basement where I was shown the very complex water system, which I completely did not understand. In the office I learned how to take reservations over the phone, process payments and check people in. It was very rewarding to see the campground from a different perspective. At the office we can leave work in the evening; campground owners do not have that luxury - instead they have gate intercoms in their bedrooms! The thought has crossed my mind that I would love to own a campground, however I have yet to experience the actual ‘storm’, which I am sure could have a huge impact on my decision. I was also spared the honour of joining the Sewer Rats in their bright fuchsia t-shirts, maybe next time! At the end of my two days I was very happy to have been given such an opportunity. I would like to thank Tania, Mike, their beautiful family and their wonderful staff. They were very welcoming and made me feel like I was part of the team. If Grangeways RV Park and Family Campground should

ever need a staff person to give tours of your park, please keep me in mind! I have given two very good tours since mine!

We all learned a lot at Camp School and it is our intention that by learning more about your business we can do a better job of serving you the member. A special thank you to our host campgrounds: Fishermans Cove, Flamboro Valley, Sandaraska and Grangeways. We are already looking forward to next year as the intention is that we will do this every year as each campground is so different and we want to experience the diversity of our group. Thanks again.

Have a Legal Plan – It Will Pay for Itself When you’re being treated unfairly and wondering what you can do, if you suspect one of your employees of doing something wrong or a camper threatens you, or just general personal circumstances happen and you need legal advice, do you have someone qualified that you can turn to? A legal plan is a critical expense that will help keep your business running in trying times and save you money in the long run. When you seek legal advice from someone that is not qualified, you may end up getting into deeper trouble. It is important to know what your rights are and what is within your legal power to do in all situations. The Association knows that this is an important and worthwhile aspect of your business and sourced a legal service that is both affordable and versatile. Pre-paid Legal Services is a subscription legal service that can bring you peace of mind in troubling times for as little as $26 a month. When something comes up, either personal or businessrelated, simply call and ask for good solid advice and find out what the options are. They will be able to flex the legal muscles you are not able to. The service also includes contact with lawyers that can provide “motivational” letters, asking that the other party act, not according to their own policy or time-line, but according to the law. That can be powerful when someone is holding back money, services or equipment you need to operate your campground efficiently! Other benefits include lawyers that can also review your contracts and advise you before you sign. Your business is 24 hours, 7 days a week so imagine being able to call a lawyers at 2 AM on a Saturday. For the cost of 4 hours with an average lawyer, you can protect your family and your assets, for a full year, with top-rated law firms and a team of business consultants. There are many reasons why a Pre-Paid Legal Plan should be included in your annual budget... the top 3 being low COST, high QUALITY and no long-term CONTRACT. Whether you decide to proceed with PPL is your choice but you should definitely consider a legal plan that can assist you in times of great need. When you are armed with legal advice and tools, you are operating from a position of strength. Protect yourself, your business and your family.


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It’s To Your Benefit… To Have The Proper Tools.

If you have ever… . . . . bought or sold a recreational vehicle. . . . . had an income tax question. . . . . needed advice on property bylaws. . . . . been ignored by the manufacturer of a defective piece of equipment. . . . . paid a bill you knew was unfair. . . . . been involved in a property dispute. . . . . been named in a civil lawsuit. . . . . signed a legally binding document and been sorry later. . . . . wanted advice on an eviction matter. . . . . worried about being audited by the CRA. . . . . had difficulty collecting an insurance claim. . . . . signed a contract you’d like to change. . . . . needed assistance in dealing with the purchase of a vehicle. . . . . had questions about the legality of tax shelters. . . . . had a question about your rights. . . . . traveled to the United States.

There is a solution!

If you answer “YES” to two or more of these questions, you can benefit from a Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. membership! Check us out on the Camping in Ontario member website or Contact us today > 1-877-542-4425

"Justice For All"


CAMPING IN ONTARIO UPDATE | 6

member benefit program These companies offer you special incentives and discounts on many products and services. See Member Benefits Program on the member side of the website, for further information www.campinginontario.ca

business forms Nebs Business Products Ltd. 800-461-7572 www.nebs.ca

campground reservation system

John Deere 905-945-9281

legal care Pre-Paid Legal 705-739-1561

credit card program

merchant payment processing service

energy savings Superior Energy Mark Ince: 416-999-4964 mark_ince@superiorenergy.ca

fuels safety training Fuels Safety Online Inc. www.fuelssafety.ca/ Login, New User, Camping In Ontario affiliation from tab.

golf cars & utility vehicles Bennett Golf Cars & Utility Vehicles Ryan McCutcheon 866-552-2787 ryan@bennettgolfcars.ca

subscription legal service Prepaid Legal 705-739-1561

ZielkeGaryW@JohnDeere.com

Camping In Ontario 416-820-2714

Petro Canada 800-668-0220 Lorne Hall lhall@petro-canada.ca

NEW

lawn/grounds care and products

Global Payments Canada GP www.globalpaymentsinc.com/ canada

park model supplier General Coach Canada Roger Faulkner: rfaulkner@tcc.on.ca Chris Faulkner: cfaulkner@tcc.on.ca 519-262-2600

rv shows ORVDA Shannon O'Callaghan 888-331-8885 www.ontariorvda.ca

water management & treatment Team Aquatic Dean DeJong 800-704-4188 teamaquatics@on.aibn.com

work wear Imagewear - a Division of Marks’ Work Wearhouse 800-663-6275 www.marks.com

www.generalcoachcanada.com

pool/lake/cottage recreational products At The Lake Distributing Mark Embury 705-896-5585 mark@atldistributing.ca

waterless toilets Separett Waterless Toilets -Canadian ECO Products Peter Lehman 855-402-9735 separett@rogers.com www.separett.ca


7 | SEPTEMBER 2011

It’s The Law: Ontario is Now Enforcing Accessibility Standards By: Frances Jewett, B.A.Sc., P. Eng. The Government of Ontario Government is introducing five sets of mandatory standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). These standards require public and private sector organizations to remove and prevent barriers to accessibility for customers and employees with disabilities. The legislation is part of the Ministry of Community and Social Services’ (MCSS) plan to ensure that, by 2025, people with disabilities are able to participate in and enjoy opportunities available to people without disabilities. The AODA employs the Ontario Human Rights Code’s definition of disability, which includes physical, mental health, developmental and learning disabilities that can be either visible or unseen. A barrier is anything that keeps someone with a disability from participating fully in society because of his or her disability. These can be physical obstacles, such as stairs without accompanying ramps, but even bigger challenges resulting from service-related, attitudinal barriers, such as inadequate support and insensitivity to people with different needs. As part of that legislation, every business in Ontario that provides goods or services to the public and has at least one employee will have to comply with Accessibility Standards for Customer Service by January 1, 2012. Non-compliance could mean missed business opportunities and hefty fines. Additional standards to address the built environment, employment, information and communication, and transportation will be phased in over the coming years. The Customer Service Standard requires that organizations

develop policies, procedures

and practices and train staff on how to serve and communicate with people with disabilities. This must be achieved within 2011 to comply with the deadline of January 1, 2012. See the summary of the requirements at the end of this article for more details.

Do you have to comply? Simply put, if your organization has at least one employee with a phone at their desk, or who interacts with people who don’t work for your organization, you must comply. “Of the 360,000 businesses in Ontario, some are making progress in implementing changes, but many don’t even know where to begin,” observes Gail Mores, Director and Accessibility Specialist at March of Dimes and AccessAbility Advantage. “We help organizations get started by providing practical advice, recommendations and training.” Two Most Common Misunderstandings: Wrong The ADOA primarily addresses the built environment (buildings).

Right The built environment is one of the areas that require a higher level of accessibility and will


CAMPING IN ONTARIO UPDATE | 8

likely be the last to be introduced. The current proposed Built Environment Standard only addresses new construction and renovation. Organizations are only required to comply with the Customer Service Standard (January 1, 2012 deadline) if they have staff in customer service roles.

Every campground will have to comply with this regulation. All employees that interact in any way with people from outside of the organization should be trained.

Two Main Challenges with AODA Compliance:

1 Staff Training Staff training is the most challenging of the Customer Service Standard requirements. Training can be delivered in a number of ways and each organization must select the option that is right for them. Important factors to consider include:  Commitment to accessibility (highest quality training is provided through in-person training);  Budget (e-learning is the lowest cost option);  Staff location and availability to participate in training; and  Organizational approach to training. Some organizations are finding that in-person training, using an accessibility training professional or properly trained in-house trainer, meets their needs for the initial 2011 program. For ongoing new hires, e-learning works well as it is cost-effective, can be tracked and is available on demand. An important component of all training is a practical, experiential approach that improves awareness and ability to communicate with people with disabilities.

2 Practical Application After developing Accessible Customer Service policies many organizations are left wondering how to implement them. For example, should you have any assistive devices available at your campground for visitors? Do your washrooms have to be accessible to someone in a wheelchair? How do you take bookings from someone who is deaf and doesn’t use a standard telephone? The answer to these questions depends on your organization’s approach and commitment to accessibility. Look for an expert who can work with you to advise you on practical and appropriate approaches that are good fit for your organization. Accessibility Standards for Customer Service Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) The following is a summary of requirements: 1

Establish policies, practices and procedures on providing goods or services to people with disabilities.


9 | SEPTEMBER 2011

2

Use reasonable efforts to ensure that your policies, practices and procedures are consistent with the core principles of independence, dignity, integration and equality of opportunity.

3

Set a policy on allowing people to use their own personal assistive devices to access your goods and use your services and on any other measures your organization offers (assistive devices, services, or methods) which enables them to access your goods and use your services.

4

Communicate with a person with a disability in a manner that takes into account his or her disability.

5

Allow people with disabilities to be accompanied by their guide dog or service animal in areas of the premises you own or operate that are open to the public, unless the animal is not permitted on the premises as mandated by another law. In this situation, use other measures to provide services to the person with a disability.

6

Permit people with disabilities who use a support person to be accompanied by that person while accessing goods or services in premises open to the public or third parties.

7

Where admission fees are charged, provide notice ahead of time on what admission, if any, would be charged for a support person of a person with a disability.

8

Provide notice when facilities or services that people with disabilities rely on to access or use your goods or services are temporarily disrupted.

9

Train staff, volunteers, contractors and any other people who interact with the public or other third parties on your behalf on a number of topics as outlined in the Customer Service Standard.

10 Train staff, volunteers, contractors and any other people who are involved in developing your policies, practices and procedures on the provision of goods or services on a number of topics as outlined in the Customer Service Standard. 11 Establish a process for people to give feedback on how you provide goods or services to people with disabilities and how you will respond to any feedback and take action on any complaints. Make the information about your feedback process readily available to the public. For organizations with 20 or more employees: 

Document in writing all policies, practices and procedures for providing accessible customer service and ensure that these documents are available in an accessible format upon request.

Notify customers that documents that pertain to the Customer Service Standard are available upon request.

When providing these documents, take into consideration the person’s disability and ensure that the documents are provided in the appropriate format.

AccessAbility Advantage is a joint venture between March of Dimes Canada and Quadrangle Architects Limited. We offer one-stop-shop consulting to support organizations in complying with the AODA. This includes training and audits across all of the Standards.

For more information visit: www.AccessAbilityAdvantage.ca or www.AccessON.ca


CAMPING IN ONTARIO UPDATE | 10

Cashing Out? ..... There’s An “App” For That! Selling your park is always on the radar. I know .... having owned a Campground with my family for 37 years and having just sold it in April of this year (the same month my parents bought it in 1976). It may be on your mind when you purchase, thinking of the resale value and the investment you are making in your future or for future generations. It may come to mind about this time of year, when you ask yourself “How will I ever make it through another season?” Or it may be thrust upon you because of economic or personal reasons. Whatever the reason, it is important to know in these changing times, there are outside forces that are planning for your sale as well ... and if you aren’t prepared they will blind side you and start to direct your well laid out plans for your future. Sharing my experience and the experiences I now have as a Realtor I hope will leave you well prepared to get in the driver’s seat and stay there (I drive a race car, and the driver’s seat is the only one in the car ..... it’s important to be in control, be prepared, and not to ignore what’s going on around you. IT MATTERS!). Some of the issues I experienced during our selling process you will be well aware of. Others though, I hope to enlighten you on so that you will start taking notice, and realize that the time to prepare is not when you decide to sell, but when you decide to buy. The decision to sell, the method of selling, what you are selling, legislation, potential buyers, perceived value, actual value, and the impact of what I call the 3R’s (Risk, Records, Realtor) all play a part in this journey.......and believe you me.....it is a journey, so don’t just hold on for the ride, this one takes stamina! However you arrive there, the minute the decision is made to sell, your world changes. Both personally and professionally. Your self professed (and earned) pride sees value everywhere. What you built, how you’ve nurtured the business, and let’s not forget the blood, sweat and tears that are embedded in the baby that you would be leaving behind. Typically it is then that you begin to look at your park with a critical eye, and often with the thought that “we have a gold mine here!”....and you might! What determines that though often has less to do with what you see, and more to do with what you don’t. It is a bitter pill to swallow. As we all know, our customers are on our land, and their "business" is beneath it. The MOE and other agencies are very interested in this “business” too. A savvy buyer joins the curious, and now our “buried treasure” is the centre attraction. Septics - Nobody likes to think about it, nobody likes to spend too much time worrying about it ..... unless we smell it, but it’s the fly in the soup when you want to sell it. Are you prepared? If you don’t know the legislation surrounding your septic system, how it will affect you when selling, or what to do if you don’t currently comply, you need to make it YOUR business.

Not all is lost if you fall into any of these categories, and I, or another Realtor you trust, can help guide you. But in this case, you NEED to stick your head in the sand, and open your eyes! Address these issues now, get guidance, be aware, be knowledgeable about your situation AND your options. Rarely will “I’ve never had a problem” satisfy a buyer or their lawyer. I’m not preaching, I’m sharing ..... I was in these categories, and it almost cost me the sale. I got smart, proactive and knowledgeable, and was able to be successful. Now it’s your turn. Septics are one facet of the legislation which governs what you can do on your property. Water, zoning, waterways, easements, right of ways, protected lands....and the list goes on all play a part in what you can do and how you can do it, and it will govern the buyer too! Realtors, good realtors, can help guide you through the maze. Unfortunately (or fortunately) what is happening AROUND your property has a big impact on the value of your property as well. Do you go to regular council meetings? Are you aware of the town’s short term and long term development plans? Lands targeted for protection by the Government? Do you have a voice? I stayed silent and vaguely read the papers as the Government put our property in the Core of Oak Ridge’s Moraine. I was too busy running the business, basking in the future value of our land. I may or may not have been heard had I been on top of the goings on, but now I will never know ..... and my family paid for it ..... DEARLY. I’m bitter, but who can I really blame? Be AWARE ..... it MATTERS! Buyers are changing and they are being proactive. They are getting Realtors to represent them for the PURCHASE of your park. I know, I have been that Realtor. If they have the right Realtor, they have the guidance to address all of the issues I mention, and more. Why oh why would you not want that same consideration. This brings me to the 3R’s that also influence your successful sale; Risk, Records, and Realtor. When selling, all we can think about is what we are giving to the Buyer. We can rhyme off the hours, days, weeks, months and years it took us to get our business’s to where they are today. No amount of money really ever compensates. It’s part of us. It’s personal. To the Buyer ..... it’s business. For those park owners who were like my family, 37 years of dedication, just hoping to make it out alive ..... this is the MOST difficult aspect of the journey of selling to overcome. It’s been 5 months, and I am great in the daylight hours, but as I dream, I’m still snaking sewers. My dad often calls to ask how many seasonals the new owner has for next season, then realizes “I guess I don’t need to know that anymore”. It’s part of our fabric. What it is for the Buyer, again, is a business transaction. They are preparing themselves, and if they are smart they have a leader, a Realtor who knows the product, who knows what is required, and who also knows that if there are no answers for the difficult questions, there is RISK on the Buyer’s behalf. RISK on the Buyer’s behalf, should they move forward, costs YOU, the seller, every time. In the grand scales of


11 | SEPTEMBER 2011

justice, as their RISK increases, your actual value decreases. Take stock of what risks you are passing on to the buyer. Be honest with yourself. If you are unsure what would constitute a RISK in the buyers eye, get a knowledgeable Realtor to help guide you. Be Aware. Risks are multiple, and I have run into people selling who refuse to acknowledge them. Pride gets in the way, and I understand that ..... I’ve been there. Risks may have to do with something as tangible as infrastructure. Risks also may have to do with the 2nd “R”, RECORDS. As Campground and Resort owners, we have been inundated over the years with the responsibilities of record keeping. Water testing, flow rates in, flow rates out, measuring, recording, and recording again. I came from the school of “We’ve never had a problem, I know my water is good”, and as for flow rates? “We never run out of water, and the septics work just fine thank you very much”. When selling, these RECORDS can change a sale from smooth to rocky with one condition. “ Show me the records from the last year (or two)”. Do you have yours? I’ve saved the most important record keeping until the end. The most sensitive issue out there and the most contentious for both Buyers and Sellers. Books. I cannot stress enough how important a factor this is when determining value. A phrase I have liked to adopt is that “Pigs get fat and Hogs get slaughtered”. Graphic, crude, in your face ..... and true. Enough said. Accurate RECORDS showing true Profit and Loss create the picture of value of your business. Again, be prepared. The year you decide to sell is too late. Financial Statements will be requested. And they will be requested for multiple years. Diminish the RISK for the buyer. From a Seller’s perspective, we expect the Buyer to be able to appreciate all of the “toys” we have and translate that into value of our business. From the Buyer’s perspective it’s about “seeing is believing”. If your financial RECORDS are not accurate and clean, the Buyer begins to question not only the value, but the viability of the business. Those “toys” could have come from an inheritance, another job, any number of sources, and the RISK the Buyer is taking, should they even want to proceed, just skyrocketed. Pay now or pay later, but be aware. The last “R”is for Realtor. My journey was a three year journey. I began “secretly” advertising our park on obscure websites. No Real Estate training. An owner doing it alone. If there is one thing I’ve learned since becoming a professional Real Estate Agent, is that like owning a Campground, you have to be committed. It is a full time job, requiring expertise, knowledge, perseverance and skill. It requires heart. Running a business, and trying to sell that same business was not working for me. Forget about the emotional hang ups, simply time was an issue. And I hadn’t thought about any of the things I have shared with you here. I found a Realtor, the first one I inquired with, and waited ..... a year until our contract expired. I didn’t ask any of the questions

I should have, received no real guidance in the process, and less communication. When that failed, I received a mail out card from a different Realtor and signed up again. I was a little smarter, asked the questions I needed too, was very involved, and received communication. But there was still a disconnect. The Realtor was frustrated I’m sure with me (or that’s how I felt), and I felt that I wasn’t being heard. What resulted was some very progressive showings which I was happy about, and a dead offer. We were at a stalemate. We didn’t understand each other. Months went by, the contract expired, and my licence was earned to trade in Real Estate. This was painstakingly earned while working the Campground as protection against working myself out of a job. What came next and the path I now am on was not on my radar. I knew my Campground business inside and out. I was licensed to Trade Real Estate, who better to sell the business than me. It is because of this emotional, stressful, rollercoaster ride of being personally attached to the product I sold, that I urge you to find a Realtor who understands your needs, is knowledgeable in your product, and you have a true connection with to represent you. We all have different personalities, and different ways we run our business. Find the right one for you, and deem yourself worthy of Professional Representation. I’ve learned a lot about the Culture of Real Estate and the business of buying and selling. What I want to emphatically say to you though, is that the foundation of a partnership (and that is exactly what it should be between you and your Realtor) has not changed. You have to trust each other, you BOTH have to lay out your expectations, and you MUST have communication. I’d like to thank the OPCA for allowing me to share my experience with you. I joined OPCA as an Associate Member because I believe that the information they can provide you is essential. Having been a member for almost as many years as we owned the park, I see the value in membership, strength in numbers and knowledge. Having been a director on the board for many years, and Past President, I know full well the effort that is involved in sourcing out information, lobbying and the work that your Board and Staff do to always have your best interests in mind. Take advantage of the information they share. If you can carve out even a couple of hours a week to dedicate to empowering yourself with knowledge on the issues I mention here, it will be time well spent. Learn from my journey, and by all means, start talking to Realtors who specialize in Campgrounds, and create that foundation now. I’m excited to be back in the folds of your Association, and look forward to reconnecting, and meeting many of you for the first time. I will always have time for your questions. You made it another season, take time with the ones you love and be proud, you’ve earned it! With Your Needs in Mind, Melissa Cline B.A. Royal Lepage York North Realty, Brokerage


CAMPING IN ONTARIO UPDATE | 12

Notice of Annual General Meeting

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Annual General Meeting for the Membership of the Ontario Private Campground Association will be held on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 at Deerhurst Resort, Huntsville, ON . The Annual General Meeting will begin at 1:30 pm and end at 3:30 pm and will be held for the following purposes: 1.

2. 3. 4.

To receive and consider: a) the Minutes of the 2010 Annual General Meeting; b) the financial statements of the Association for the fiscal year which ended May 31st, 2011; and c) the reports of the auditors therein. To elect Directors To appoint the auditors of the association; and To transact such further and other business as may properly come before the said meeting or any adjournments thereof.

Dated at Toronto, this 15th day of September, 2011.

BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF THE ONTARIO PRIVATE CAMPGROUND ASSOCIATION

Per: Robert Trask, President


13 | SEPTEMBER 2011


CAMPING IN ONTARIO UPDATE | 14

CONVENTION AND CAMPEX 2011 Theme: Show Me The Money!

Proposed Agenda Sunday, November 20, 2011

Workshop 1

Campground Tour or Certificate Workshops Pre-registration required for campground tour and workshops. Workshops will only run if sufficient registrations are received. Accessibility Training

Workshop 2

First Aid Training

3 PM 3:30-4:30 PM 5:00 PM

Registration Optional Social Activities (Hiking, swimming, lobby bar) Supplier Council

5:00 PM

Membership 101

6:00 PM 6:30 PM 7:30 PM

CampEx Opens Supplier and Campground Reception - Smores and food stations Cracker Barrel

8 AM

Opening Remarks and Welcome(on CampEx Floor) Larry Boyd and Roger Faulkner, ORVDA and CRVA Accessibility Update and Awards, March of Dimes Canada CampEx (mini Convention begins here) Lunch on CampEx Floor Ambassador Update - John Bingeman Exhibitor tear-down - Concurrent Sessions Begin Hands-on Facebook Workshop - Getting You Up and Running (pre-registration and laptop required – limited availability) John O'Brien, Sherkston Shores Everyday Hazards that Could Cost You Time and Money Bill Godkin, CE Safety Office Organization - Save Time, Save Money Karen Challinor, Red Eagle Break Concurrent Sessions Recreation Programs on a Budget

10 AM

Monday, November 21, 2011

9:30 AM 12 PM 2 PM Session 1 Session 2 Session 3 3:15 PM 3:45 PM Session 4


2 PM Session 1 Session 2 Session 3 3:15 PM 3:45 PM Session 4 Session 5 Session 6 5 PM 6:30 PM 7 PM

Exhibitor tear-down - Concurrent Sessions Begin Hands-on Facebook Workshop - Getting You Up and Running (pre-registration and laptop required – limited availability) John O'Brien, Sherkston Shores 15 | SEPTEMBER Everyday Hazards that Could Cost You Time and Money Bill Godkin, CE Safety Office Organization - Save Time, Save Money Karen Challinor, Red Eagle Break Concurrent Sessions Recreation Programs on a Budget Sue Moelker, Pine Valley Park; Ronda McArthur, Fisherman’s Cove; Lisa Veritis, Cedar Trees Hands-on Facebook Workshop – You Have a Page, Now What? (pre-registration and laptop required – limited availability) John O'Brien, Sherkston Shores How to Finance an Expansion John Bingeman, Ambassador; John Moelker, Pine Valley Park; Eddie Miklavcic - Bissel's Hideaway Social Time Reception, Awards and Entertainment Dinner (Alex and Wilda - celebration of membership)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 8 AM 9:30 AM 10:30 AM 11:00 AM Session 7

12:15 PM

Keynote Speaker and Breakfast Region Meetings Break Concurrent Sessions Design Tips for Effective Marketing to Make and Save You Money Sandra Friesen, Sandra Friesen Design Park Rule Enforcement – Save Headaches, Save Money To be confirmed PCI Compliance – What You Need to Know To be confirmed Buying and Selling a Campground (pre-registration required) Anyone interested in buying or selling their campground is encouraged to attend. Have candid discussions about what you are looking for in a purchase or what you need to do to get ready to sell and get advice from several real estate agents that understand the private campground industry. Lunch and Cracker Barrel

1:15 PM 3:30 PM

Difficult People that Cost You Money Kyle Jenkin, Cedar Beach; Mark Lowell, Log Chateau AGM (mini convention ends after AGM) Men's and Women's only Sessions

Session 8 Session 9 Private Session

5:00 PM 6:30 PM 7:00 PM

Men's Session – Moderated by: Bruce Dressel, Rick McArthur, Peter Bingeman Women's Session – Moderated by: Karen Challinor, Lisa Veritis, Lisa Gow Social Time Reception Dinner and Auction Defib or not to Defib? A skit by Mark Lowell, Log Chateau

Wednesday, November 23, 2011 9 AM 11 AM

Breakfast and Closing Keynote Speaker Convention Ends

Thank You 2011 Convention Sponsors!

2011


CAMPING IN ONTARIO UPDATE | 16

Convention 2011 Highlights DEERHURST RESORT, HUNTSVILLE, ONTARIO

- NOVEMBER 20 TO 23

Show Me the Money! Everything at Convention is about helping you to make or save money! session topics: • • • • • • • • • • •

Men’s Only Session in the Bar with Beer Tasting* Ladies’ Only Session with Mini Massages and Martinis* Surprise Session Prizes Longer CampEx Hours Certificate Training Programs Mini Convention Available More Cracker Barrel Discussions Dog Sitting Service Available** http://www.happytails.on.ca Babysitting Service Available** Youth Convention New Lower Campground Attendee Price!!!!

* Extra fees apply ** Full Convention only

• Hands-on Social Media Workshop (bring your laptop and walk out with a finished page) • Office Organization – Save Time, Save Money • How to Finance an Expansion • Payment Card Industry Compliance – What you Need to Know to Save Money and Stay Operational • Recreation Programs on a Budget • Buying and Selling your Campground – Prepare Now for the Future


17 | SEPTEMBER 2011

2011 Convention & CampEx November 20th to 23rd Deerhurst Resort Huntsville

Campground Name: _______________________________________________ Delegate #1 _________________________________________________________

Delegate #3 _________________________________________________________

Regular Rate: $405 After Oct. 27: $455 Youth Convention: (18 yrs and under) $335

Delegate #4 _________________________________________________________

*Mini Convention: $250

Delegate #2 _________________________________________________________

Address: _____________________________________________________________ City: ________________________ Postal Code: ________________________ Phone: ___________________________________________________ Email: ________________________________________________________________

Payment Info Delegates ______ x $405 = _______________ Youth ____________ x $335 = _______________ Mini Conv. ______ x $250 = _______________

Please indicate the number of delegates that will be attending the Campground Tour on Sunday. The tour is FREE but we do need to know the # for transportation and lunch, # __________

Subtotal: = _______________ HST 13% = ______________ Total = _______________

Payment Method VISA _____ MC _____

# ________________________________________________________________ Exp: ____________ Please call in credit card payments to Jocelyn at 1-877-672-2226

CHQ ______ Cheques must be made payable to: Ontario Private Campground Association. If paying by cheque, you may deduct 2% from your sub total before the HST.

* Mini Convention Camping In Ontario is introducing a new package for this year’s Annual Convention. Mini

Convention consists of the following: lunch Monday, dinner Monday, breakfast Tuesday, lunch Tuesday. Your two days would include the daily sessions and CampEx on Monday.

Camping In Ontario

206 - 305 Milner Ave., Toronto ON, M1B 3V4

1-877-672-2226


CAMPING IN ONTARIO UPDATE | 18

CampEx 2011 Name (first badge and primary contact):

Trade Show – CampEx 2009

Company/Advertiser Name:

Celebrating 40 Years!

Phone Number:

Email Address: 2nd person Email:

Name (second badge, if required/applicable):

2011 CampEx Exhibit Space Application/Contract Booth Selections: Please note that display locations will be assigned to sponsors first, then on a first come first served basis. Floor plan design will be based on date registered and number of booths. Please do NOT locate me adjacent to : If this application is accepted, The Exhibitor agrees to be bound by the terms and conditions on the reverse side of this Application and by those set forth in the CampEx 2011 manual. The undersigned is fully authorized to commit the Exhibitor to all terms and conditions of this contract. An unsigned contract will be returned Signature:______________________________________________Print _________________________________ Name:____________________________________________Date:______________________ Rates

Regular Rate

# of Booths

Member Rate

$550

Non Member Rate

$700

Booth & 1 Convention Registration (members only)

$895

Table Top Display (for Members Only)

$315

Total Cost

Booth Fees Total Deduct 2% if paying by cheque Subtotal

#R107800187

HST 13% Total

 Cheque (Ontario Private Campground Association) Cardholder Name:

Signature:

 Visa

 MasterCard

 Please Invoice

Expiry Date:

Please only make credit card payments by phone to Jocelyn at 1-877-672-2226

Card Number:

Please fax to 1-877-905-2714 or via email to Guida at gwilliamson@campinginontario.ca

Ontario Private Campground Association, 305 Milner Ave., Suite 206, Toronto, ON M1B 3V4


19 | SEPTEMBER 2011

Consider Entering the 2010/2011 Awards of Excellence brochure of the year

Entries are judged on: • Appearance & content • Visibility • Readability • Appealing cover • Use of colour (if applicable) • Effective promotion of the campground and area activities • Ability to easily contact the campground • Use of maps or directional aids Fill out the Entry Form and submit it along with five (5) copies of your brochure. Judges will evaluate each entry.

website of the year

Fill out the Entry Form and submit it along with one printed copy of the home page of the website to be used for display purposes at Convention. Judges will logon to the website and evaluate each entry separately on the following criteria: • Promotion of the campground • Quality of content • Navigation functionality & clarity • Visual appeal • General site layout • Professional appearance • User friendliness • Clear means to contact the campground • Current information – updated recently • Does site visually depict the campground? • Are links useful to consumer: includes links to Camping in Ontario site, www.campinginontario.ca, www.campontario.ca (online reservation system) and links to other industry related sites.

campground of the year

One award is given in three park size categories small (less than 50 sites), medium (51 to 300 sites), large (301 or more sites). The award is judged on: • Operations excellence • Community service • Association involvement • Campground promotions • Management skills • Education • Employee training techniques • Customer service To enter, complete the enclosed entry form on the next page and submit it with one (1) copy of supporting documentation. You may incorporate the entry form sections into your overall entry as long as each response is in text format with supporting documentation. Supporting documentation may include, but not be limited to, photos, clippings, letters of recommendation or commendation, etc.

supplier of the year

One award is presented to an industry supplier that exemplifies excellence in product, customer service and support. The nominee should be a supplier that goes that extra mile for its customers and the industry. To enter, submit a letter of nomination, which is cosigned by two other Camping In Ontario members, that documents the reasons for the nomination. Include clippings, photos, examples of excellence and/or supporting documentation. The supplier should be an Associate Member of Camping In Ontario.

enter your brochure, website, campground or favourite supplier now. entering is as easy as 1 2 3 Why enter? Awards are great marketing tools. To be able to promote the fact that you were Campground of the Year on your website will carry a lot of weight with potential customers. It also allows our industry to recognize the best and brightest from within. Select the categories you want to enter and follow the entry instructions. All entries must be postmarked and mailed to: Camping In Ontario, 305 Milner Ave, Suite 206, Toronto, ON M1B 3V4 no later than October 1st, 2011. Register and attend the 2011 Convention. This year’s convention takes place at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville, and promises to be a great event. Attend the Gala Awards Dinner on Monday, November 21st to see if you have won!


CAMPING IN ONTARIO UPDATE | 20


21 | SEPTEMBER 2011


CAMPING IN ONTARIO UPDATE | 22

d r aW i n g o n e x p e r i e n c e ...

• groundwater and Surface Water resources • hydrogeology and Water Supply • Wastewater treatment • Water treatment • ecological Services MTE Consultants Inc. Kitchener 519-743-6500 Guelph 519-766-1000 Burlington 905-639-2552 Stratford 519-271-7952

www.mte85.com ...B u i l d i n g o n St r e n gt h MTE Consultants Inc. Publication: Camping in Ontario Size: 8.5" x 11"


23 | SEPTEMBER 2011 Camping In Ontario 206 - 305 Milner Ave. Toronto, ON M1B 3V4

Welcome new members

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CAMPING IN ONTARIO UPDATE | 24

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Board meetings are held in the spring and fall. If you have feedback to provide, please contact your board representative.


25 | SEPTEMBER 2011

ATTENTION! CAMPGROUND OWNERS AND MANAGERS SITE OPERATOR TRAINING COURSE STATION ATTENDANT TRAINING COURSE Now available on-line at www.fuelssafety.ca For more information email: admin@fuelssafety.ca The Site Operator Training Course is intended for owners, supervisors and managers. It is designed to ensure the safe operation of fuel handling facilities to protect workers, the public and the environment. Certification as a Site Operator is regulated by Ontario’s Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA). The Station Attendant Training Course is intended for all other persons handling/dispensing fuel unsupervised. This course fulfills TSSA’s legal requirement that every person who handles/dispenses fuel “is trained in the use of all equipment, and trained to take action in the event of a spill or leak of product, or any emergency condition”.

Welcome new members

TSSA requires employers to ensure due diligence when selecting trainers for the above courses. Fuels Safety On-line Inc. is accredited by TSSA as a Training Provider.

Cost, Camping In Ontario discounted prices:

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Site Operator Training Course: $170.00, plus HST.

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Station Attendant Training Course: $85.00, plus HST.

You may pay with VISA, or MasterCard.

System requirements: To properly view the course content, you will need the following minimum system and software:

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A 56Kb modem, or faster, connection to the Internet.

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www.fuelssafety.ca


CAMPING IN ONTARIO UPDATE | 26

Your WiFi has to work

...let TengoInternet connect you for o success or Operating a campground is demanding—from routine maintenance to guest service, there’s never a dull moment. Your WiFi network should not be demanding. Here’s how TengoInternet will help you forget your WiFi headaches: •

s TengoInternet builds and maintains systems that just work—then we stand behind them to make sure they keep working.

nored to be the TengoInternet’s comprehensive services are unmatched—we are honored ARVC Supplier of the Year two consecutive years.

TengoInternet’s exible solutions include network monitoring, dynamic bandwidth shaping, liability protection, toll-free 24/7 guest support, resort branding, guest surveys, powerful guest communication tools and a VIP staff line.

TengoInternet helps you stay focused on your business, not your WiFi network. Join the over 900 properties across the U.S. and 500,000 RVers using TengoInternet today.

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27 | SEPTEMBER 2011

The Happy Septic System Since the beginning of RV-ing dozens of odour eliminators have come and gone from the market. From miracle claims, to easy-to-use, to safe-for-the-environment, we’ve heard it all. But what does it all really mean? What does “safe for the environment” or “green” really mean and how does it actually work to eliminate odours. Even more important for the campground owner, how does a camper’s pump-out, which includes these dozens of types of odour eliminators, affect YOUR septic system? In the odour eliminator industry, there are little to no regulations affecting claims and disclosures on the packaging. Sadly the rules are guided by the ethics of the manufacturer and the marketing spin that optimizes sales from a target market of users that otherwise deserve to know what they are really buying. Well, here’s the truth. First,you need to understand how the septic system works as it is the same process that occurs in RV holding tanks which ultimately get pumped out into the campground’s septic systems. A typical system contains two major components: a septic tank (holding tank) and a drain field or tile bed. The septic tank allows for the separation of solids from liquids and provides time for naturally-occurring microorganisms to break down organic waste so that it can be dispersed through the drain field and into the soil where it naturally continues to break down. In the holding tank of an RV the very same procedure is occurring. The only difference is we can smell the organic waste in an RV. How that smell is dealt with will either enhance and accelerate the natural breaking down process or stop it dead in its tracks. Several different technologies are available: 1. Formaldehyde type: These products kill the bacteria in waste that generate foul odours. Unfortunately they also kill the naturally-occurring bacteria required to break down the waste. Formaldehyde is also a suspected carcinogen. 2. Disinfectant types: Numerous different chemical compounds fall into this category. They are all toxic to the naturally-occurring bacteria. 3. Copper Sulfate: this is a blue solution formed by dissolving blue copper sulfate crystals in water. Although it is an effective fungicide, algaecide, and bactericide, it also kills the naturally-occurring bacteria. Because it is corrosive, it will aid in liquefying waste, but is dangerous to humans. It is toxic to fish and plants and may be dangerous if it enters public water systems.

4. Nutrients: these behave like a boost of vitamins to the bacteria to increase their growth activity. However, if not added in a proper dosage they may actually inhibit the bacterial reproduction process. The indication on the label is that you need to keep feeding your tank on a weekly basis. 5. Bio-enzymatic digesters: as long as there is a food source (waste), the bacteria will multiply and accelerate the digestion of waste. Bacteria double in number every 15-30 minutes, depending upon temperature. Multi-strain and sub-strain blends break down of all organic wastes while aerobic, anaerobic and facultative strains ensure effective digestion under oxygenrich and oxygen-starved conditions. Free enzymes ensure the fastest digestion available. All of them are non-toxic, biodegradable ant totally compatible with all wastewater and septic systems. Unfortunately many harsh chemicals such as strong cleaners, acids (bowl and drain openers), chlorine bleach, disinfectants and even boiling water can be toxic to the beneficial microorganisms. These products can destroy the normal biological function allowing raw sewage and waste to flow directly into the drain field, potentially clogging pipes and soil pores. This results in unpleasant odours and may lead to premature filling of the septic tank and costly pumpouts. To replace bacteria that die naturally or are killed from cleaners, it is beneficial to add a broad-spectrum bacteria and enzyme solution that has a high bacteria count. But a high number does not tell the whole story. Since septic systems (and holding tanks) receive waste from both kitchens and bathrooms it is imperative that the digester contain the following types of enzymes: Lipase: Breaks down fats, oils, greases Protease: Breaks down proteins (meats, etc.) Amylase: Breaks down starches and carbohydrates (bread, pasta, etc.) Cellulase: Breaks down toilet paper and cellulose products To choose the product that is right for you, talk with a knowledgeable supplier who can answer all your questions and provide professional advice. Then test the recommended product to confirm the performance expectation. Rai Remmel, P.Eng. Aqua-Tek / Bug-Tek


September 2011 Update  

offical newsletter of Camping In Ontario, published 4 times a year, covering topics that affect the campground industry.

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