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Well & Septic Information Session: Lessons Learned Lennox & Addington Stewardship

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s the quality of our groundwater important to you and your family? How reliable are our well and septic systems? The Lennox and Addington Stewardship Council is concerned that these systems are becoming increasingly vulnerable to contamination and other threats to our family’s health. On January 15 in Napanee, the Stewardship Council brought together a range of knowledgeable speakers to share their learnings and best practices about well and septic systems with homeowners. Thanks to the Council members of the Town of Greater Napanee for offering the Strathcona Paper Centre for this event as well as to the 280 attendees for making this a very interactive and successful evening! To kick off the event, Holly Evans, Watershed Planning Coordinator and Katrina Furlanetto, Source Protection Coordinator for the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA) gave an outline of groundwater vulnerability and the unique geological and hydrological features of our region. The CRCA is developing a Groundwater Protection Workbook to be available online when it is published; see the sidebar for more details. Lynette Lambert, Watershed Monitoring Coordinator for Quinte Conservation, presented their Groundwater Monitoring

Program, which provides data on water quality and quantity. Results from water samples from approximately 30 test wells are uploaded daily providing a profile of well water. Surface water is also monitored. For more information, see quinteconservation.ca and choose Water Management & Levels. Gordon Mitchell, Public Health Inspector for KFL&A Public Health, presented the basic set-up of a standard septic system, maintenance, and the decommissioning of old septic systems. He explained several alternative technologies and how they impact residential development. He pointed to problems with shallow overburden of soil, especially throughout the Napanee region. Locations with shallow overburden have an increased likelihood of sewage system effluent finding its way into the groundwater, increasing the chances of contaminating groundwater, with contaminants not easily removed by current treatment technologies.

diseases and stressed that everyone should test their well water regularly. For information on water sampling and more, visit www. publichealthontario. ca or kflaph.ca/en/ healthy-living/ Drinking-Water. The presenters from the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change were Warren Lusk, Hydrogeologist in the Water Resources Unit; Natalie Spina, Coordinator of the Water Well Management Program; and Andrew Mobberley from the Wells and Earth Energy program.

Monitoring of a septic system is the responsibility of the homeowner. Most repairs and maintenance require the use of a licensed contractor and an inspector. Municipalities now have the authority to introduce their own discretionary septic re-inspection program (of mandatory inspections) for sewage systems, and municipal councils can decide what form that will take.

Together they presented the Ontario Wells Program and regulations, including siting wells and contaminants, new well construction, well components, plus well maintenance & abandonment. The audience enjoyed the “parade” of well parts that were carried up the aisle and demonstrated, while Warren informed the group on the how-tos and how-nottos.

Dr. Anna Majury, with Public Health

For maintenance information, go to www.ontario.ca “Wells on Your Property” page and access the Maintenance Technical Bulletin. Also, see Chapter 11 of the Water Supply Wells – Requirements and Best Practices. You will find a maintenance checklist, some practical instructions, and contact resources. Most of the speakers stressed the unique nature of the geology in this region of Ontario, mainly karst and fractured limestone, which is more prone to groundwater contaminants filtering into drilled well systems.

Quinte Conservation: Demonstration of the water cycle & effect of contaminants on our groundwater.

• General excavation - land clearing, basements, retaining walls, trenching, etc. • Septic systems - design and licensed installer • Landscaping • Trucking - sand, gravel and topsoil • Demolition - buildings, barns, etc. For all your excavating needs call RICK at Phone: 613-388-2460 Cell: 613-561-6585 Email: rick.tuepah@gmail.com 14

The SCOOP • February / March 2018

Ontario, specializes in research of water-related environmental health and microbiology, including well water microbial contamination in Ontario. Dr. Majury stated that water is the biggest vector of infectious

A fun part of the evening was the draw for prizes. Thom Snowman of Yarker won the grand prize, a comprehensive well water test valued at $250 from the Ontario Groundwater Association (www. ogwa.ca). The OGWA website also provides a wealth of information related to wells. Many thanks to the donators of the prizes. Coming soon on the CRCA, Quinte Conservation, and L&A Stewardship websites, there will be electronic copies of all the speaker presentations as well as the Groundwater Protection Workbook. The Lennox and Addington Stewardship Council is a non-profit volunteer organization that promotes responsible land care and stewardship of our natural resources. The group works with schools, residents and community groups to improve habitat, educate landowners, and more.

The Council would like to extend a big thank you to the excellent speakers of the Well & Septic event and to the folks who generously donated to the Council. To continue offering these educational events to the public, donations are necessary and welcome. For more information, please contact lastewardship@gmail.com or visit www. lastewardship.ca.

GROUNDWATER PROTECTION WORKBOOK A workbook for landowners is being developed by the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority (CRCA) and partners. This voluntary, confidential workbook will help to: • Determine groundwater vulnerability on your property • Outline best management practices • Provide key contacts, tracking sheets and resources In the “quiz,” landowners answer multiple-choice questions to grade their property. An overall score for the risk to drinking water supplies will be determined along with individual scores for: 1. Bedrock and Soil Conditions 2. Land Uses and Practices 3. My Well 4. Water Quality and Quantity 5. My Sewage System When the workbook is complete,

Hilltop Variety and Gas Bar 2068 County Rd 1 E, Box 89 Newburgh, ON K0K 2S0 Phone: 613-378-0185

LCBO Agency Store

hard copies will be distributed to libraries in Lennox & Addington and Kingston. All attendees of the Well and Septic event on January 15 who

Store Hours: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. Saturday 8 a.m. - 9 p.m. Sunday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

provided their email address will be notified. Electronic copies will also be available on the CRCA, Quinte Conservation, and L&A Stewardship websites.

Profile for The SCOOP

The SCOOP // February / March 2018  

The SCOOP is an independent community newsmagazine. Since 2005, we have been covering rural life in the Ontario area north of the 401 and so...

The SCOOP // February / March 2018  

The SCOOP is an independent community newsmagazine. Since 2005, we have been covering rural life in the Ontario area north of the 401 and so...

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