The Watershed Series
solutions to eradicate Pollutants from storm runoff
Editor's Note: The following article is a cooperative effort of the Bayfield Blue Community Team and the Bayfield Storm Sewer Monitoring Program that is supported by the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority. It is the second part of a two part series.
Collectively and as individuals we can do our part to improve the quality of water flowing into our lake and river not only for the good of the local economy but for our own enduring health and pleasure. (Photo by Conrad Kuiper)
Fifteen years ago, studies were undertaken to establish a benchmark database of E.coli and phosphate flows from some Bayfield storm sewers into Lake Huron. Recent studies have demonstrated that little has changed over the intervening period.
This is a two part series designed to provide understanding of the problem, the evaluation process and to present alternative solutions. While the outflow of these potentially harmful contaminates is not regarded as critical, recent and past studies have determined that the results exceed recommended guidelines.
PART II: PROBLEMs AND SOLUTIONs
Perhaps we can learn from Lindsay Ontario’s studies of E.coli and phosphate discharges. Their study resulted in remedial action. Phosphate counts were alarming and generated discussions on solutions. From the literature they reviewed it was concluded that constructed wetlands would be the most appropriate way to reduce the amounts of E.coli and phosphorus.
Studies show that “paved areas and turf grass are not very efficient at breaking down wildlife feces, whereas tall grasses and natural buffers are significantly more efficient. During conditions of saturation-excess, E. coli is found to be quickly transported across the surface of saturated soils, and do not have much of an opportunity to unite with the soil.” However, pavement exists and it is not logical to return to gravel roads.
What has worked in eradicating E.coli and phosphorus from storm sewer runoff is the creation of more natural buffers around outfalls. This is also the most natural way of solving this problem, and will mitigate other pollutants from entering the lake while having the potential to be aesthetically pleasing. This technique appeared most often in the literature reviewed and seemed to have a high success rate at a relatively low cost.
Constructed wetlands are also a cost effective way that has been proven to work. And although this will not remove all of the E. coli, it will lower the concentration. It is also a natural approach that requires little follow up work to maintain effectiveness. Bio-retention ponds are very similar and also an effective method of removing phosphorus and E. coli. A study in North Carolina showed that E. coli levels were lowered by 71 per cent because of the use of this technique.
Given that Bayfield is isolated from all agricultural production, it is unlikely that the source of phosphorous is agricultural based. So what might the source be? The answer is not definite but given that it can’t be what we put down the bathroom sink as this discharge, presumably, enters sanitary sewers, not ditches, it is in all likelihood what we do to our properties.
Testing over many years at outflow sites has demonstrated that phosphates exist in excessive amounts. If we were to eradicate the problem at the source testing at virtually every corner of the community would be required. This is not viable from either a financial or from a practical perspective. What we can do as a community is establish processes that minimize phosphate and E.coli content from our storm water.
And there are tried and true ideas that could work for Bayfield. A few examples are outlined below:
Stormwater Planters: A stormwater planter is a specialized planter installed in the sidewalk area that is designed to manage street and sidewalk runoff. It is normally rectangular, with four concrete sides providing structure and curbs for the planter. The planter is lined with a permeable fabric, filled with gravel or stone, and topped off with soil, plants, and sometimes trees. The top of the soil in the planter is lower in elevation than the sidewalk or roadway, allowing for runoff to flow into the planter through an inlet at street level. These planters manage stormwater by providing storage, infiltration, and evapotranspiration of runoff.
Rain Gardens: A rain garden can mimic the natural absorption and pollutant removal activities of a forest, a meadow or a prairie and can absorb runoff more efficiently, sometimes as much as 30 to 40 per cent more then a standard lawn. By capturing rainwater from your roof, driveway and sidewalks in a rain garden, water can slowly soak into the ground reducing the rush of a large storm – quickly, neatly and naturally. Other benefits include the fact that these gardens look great while filtering contaminants and preventing quantities of clean water from going into the sewer system.
Because rain gardens are dug 4" to 8" deep, and in some cases 1' - 2' deep, they hold larger quantities of rainwater making their overall construction more cost efficient then other green- alternatives. Rain gardens also need less technical experience to install and can be installed without permits or heavy equipment.
Bioswale/Hybrid Ditch: Bayfield’s storm sewers are, for the most part, ditches that run along both sides of our streets. They quickly collect run off from roads and paved driveways. The good news is that abundance provides us with an opportunity. Development along the coastline limits our ability to use wetlands at storm sewage outflow points along the lake to capture and treat E.coli, phosphates and nitrates.
However, Bioswales are linear, vegetated ditches which allow for the collection, conveyance, filtration and infiltration of stormwater. These ditches could be planted with native species that are capable of absorbing and treating water naturally. In addition to cleansing water, these plants provide homes for a variety of birds, frogs and interesting insects. Plants would mitigate the problem of standing water that can be home to mosquitoes.
This project would require homeowners and the municipality to accept growth in ditches as positive steps forward in protecting our lake.
Permeable Surfaces: Heavy rains and melting snow produce fast moving water. When water flows over earth’s surface, at least a portion of it is absorbed and filtered by the soil. Paved roads and driveways exacerbate the problem of water runoff. Gravel or brick surfaces interspersed with earth provide an opportunity for water to penetrate into the soil and be ridded of unwanted ingredients picked up from the earth’s surface.
Trees and More Trees: A fully-grown tree may lose up to 90 per cent of stored water through its leave on a hot, dry day. Depending on the species this could be the equivalent of 40,000 litres. The ten per cent that remains keeps the living tree system healthy and maintains growth. The elimination of trees adds to flow of water directly into our watercourses. Trees also moderate the rainfall so that water drips into the soil. Trees are themselves a natural filter and utilize phosphates for growth.
Lawns: North Americans are passionate about lawns. What makes a lawn grow? However, phosphates, nitrates and potash are what make a lawn grow. And those chemicals end up in our lake. Perhaps we should look at our lawn as ground cover and accept what grows naturally. It can be very attractive. It is also healthier for people, pets and the environment. It also saves water and money. According to a past study by the Ministry of Natural Resources, it is estimated that 50 per cent of the water treated in Grand Bend is applied to lawns.
So What’s Next? Collectively and as individuals we can do our part to improve the quality of water flowing into our lake and river not only for the good of the local economy but for our own enduring health and pleasure.
In addition to the Blue Community Project (with 37 member groups) and the Water Monitoring Team, the Bayfield Ratepayers’ Association, Bayfield Tree Project, the Erb Family Foundation and the Bayfield River Valley Trail Association have committed themselves to protecting our waters and have taken action.
Interested in being part of the solution? Contact Sandy Scotchmer of the Water Monitoring Team by email at email@example.com or visit the Blue Community Website and contact any of the Blue Community Team http://www.bayfieldbluecommunityproject.com/
Editor's Note: This series is based on an article that first appeared in the Nov. 1 edition of "The Paper" published by Cheryl Heath. The original article provided data on the coastline beyond Bayfield in addition to Bayfield.
when life gives you snow...
PHOTOS BY DIANNE BRANDON
… make a snowman.
Dave MacKechnie and his children stand proudly with their snowman that was later voted as the best of the day on the Bayfield, Ontario Facebook page by local snow sculpture connoisseurs.
Early on the morning of Jan. 12 the call went out on social media for those that could make it to Clan Gregor Square safely to come the park at 1 p.m. and participate in a snowman-making contest to celebrate the first real snow day of 2016.
This trio of snow people took second place in an online vote following the impromptu park event.
The Bayfield and Area Chamber of Commerce invited local vendors to enjoy in the fun and they did so in some very inventive ways. Brandon’s Hardware provided maple syrup flavored snow cones, Shop Bike Coffee offered builders free hot chocolate, Outside Projects brought snow shoes of all sizes to the park for people to test out and The Albion Hotel extended their hospitality to anyone who needed to use the washroom.
Now the snow might not have been the perfect variety for making snowmen but several people entered the contest and there were some tremendous looking creations. A winner was determined via online voting at the "Bayfield Ontario" Facebook page with the creation made by Dave Mackechnie and his two children earning first place. McCabe Promotional donated the prize, an Adidas backpack – the perfect thing to carry coal, carrots and a corncob pipe in!
Maitland and Dawson Roy, Denver Fisher and Brennan Erb went with a cookie themed snowman.
Brandon's Hardware served up some of the very tasty Albert and Doris Schilbe maple syrup on the fresh fallen snow for those who came to Clan Gregor Square for the Snow Day events on Jan. 12.
The snow that fell in the storm last week perhaps wasn't of the packing variety but all who came to make snowmen in the park did there best to be creative. This one could be titled, "Masked Snowman Resting".
Brook and Storm Dynes and Weylin Shanahan created a short and stout, technicolor snowman.
January is a great month to start a new activity or get reacquainted with an old favorite. For this reason folks are invited to lace up their skates and head to the Bayfield Arena.
Skating is offered free to the public on the afternoon of Jan. 24 from 1-3 p.m. due to the generosity of sponsor The Docks Restaurant and Bar.
In addition to public skating on Sundays there is now more time available for youngsters who love to be out on the ice. Due to popular demand, ice time is now being offered on Mondays at 7 p.m. for kids’ pickup hockey. New players are always welcome.
The Bayfield Euchre Club winter session of cards has begun and all are welcome to join in the evening held at the Bayfield Lion’s Community Building on alternate Wednesdays.
The next evening of cards will be held on Jan. 27 starting at 7 p.m. The cost to play cards is $2.
For more information contact Lee Weiss at 519 565-2765.
SATURDAYS AT THE LIBRARY
Friends of the Bayfield Library (FOBL) are once again offering up their “Saturdays at the Library” series starting with a morning with local wine aficionado Richard Fitoussi at the Bayfield Public Library.
Fitoussi, who has long been associated with the hospitality industry and is a consultant on the development of wines in Huron County, will provide an informative presentation on evaluating wines and how to pair them suitably with cheese at the library on Jan. 23. The session will run from 10:30 to noon.
The Bayfield Historical Society (BHS) will hold their Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Dinner, catered by the United Church Women, on Jan. 25 at noon at St. Andrew's United Church.
Author Barbara Brown, of Bayfield, will be the guest speaker at this event. The fact that artists have been attracted to the village for generations was the inspiration behind the book, “Reflections of Bayfield” created by Brown and fellow author Joyce Lambert. Brown and Lambert assembled a collection of art, in several genres, that otherwise would never be available for the public to enjoy as they were in private collections. Brown will share their experiences in assembling and producing this book at the AGM.
All are welcome to attend this event. Tickets are available now for $20 and may be obtained by calling Pat or Bud Langley at 519 565-2894.
“Bayfield at the Oscars” is the theme of the Bayfield Town Hall’s fifth annual cabaret to be held on Feb.12-13.
The movie theme should provide attendees with a great evening of fun and frolic. Seating is cabaret style and there will be a cash bar at this fundraiser. The curtain will rise at 7:30 p.m. both evenings. Those who wish to attend are advised to get their tickets early, as the cabarets are always a sell out with only 90 seats available for each night.
Tickets are available now for $20 per person. Please contact Pat Lewington at 519 565-2202 or Margo Robeson at 519 565-2827, to reserve tickets early.
Student Summer Jobs
Member of Parliament for Huron-Bruce, Ben Lobb, today encouraged employers to apply for funding through the Canada Summer Jobs program to help create student jobs.
Canada Summer Jobs helps students gain the skills and experience they need to be successful, while earning money for the upcoming school year. The program also supports local community priorities such as agriculture, infrastructure and arts and culture through the hiring of students.
Funding will be available to not-for-profit organizations, public-sector employers and private sector employers. Young people aged 15 to 30 years who are full-time students and intend to return to school in the following school year can qualify for these job opportunities.
Employers can apply online at www.servicecanada.gc.ca/csj or print an application from the website. They can also get an application by visiting any Service Canada Centre. Applications must be submitted between now and Feb. 26.
To help employers complete their application, the Canada Summer Jobs Applicant Guide is available online, by calling 1-800-935-5555, or by visiting any Service Canada Centre.
Huron County News
From a long list of highly qualified candidates, Ron Gaudet has been selected as the new director of the Huron County Economic Development Department.
“I’m thrilled we were able to secure a powerhouse like Ron,” said Brenda Orchard, CAO of Huron County. “His extensive experience in economic development projects all across North America will offer tremendous benefits to Huron County.”
In addition to more than twenty years of proven leadership in community economic development, Gaudet holds a Fellowship in Economic Development from the University of Waterloo and the Economic Developers Association of Canada, a bachelor’s degree in economics and a bachelor’s of education. An advisor to the county for nearly two years, his expertise has guided the process of redefining the purpose, mandate, and approach of economic development in Huron County.
“Ron’s strategic vision and his ability to get things done makes him a perfect fit for this job,” said Jim Lynn, chair of the Huron County Economic Development Board. “I know that the entire Board and I look forward to continuing to work with Ron as we enter the exciting next phase of our strategic plan.”
Building on the momentum generated over the past year, the director position will oversee the implementation of the new Huron County Economic Development Strategy. The plan will operate under three guiding principles: develop targeted opportunities; align with municipal government efforts; and engage a broader group of stakeholders.
The Huron County Economic Development Board, which represents an innovative private-public partnership, has approved of the strategy and looks forward to reporting on progress over the coming year.
INTRODUCING PROJECT RURAL
Alan Thompson photographed on the campaign trail in October in Stratford with Canada's future Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau. (Submitted photo)
Former Huron-Bruce federal Liberal candidate Allan Thompson has been asked by the federal Liberal party to set up and chair a task force to be called “Project Rural” to begin a major program of research and outreach in rural ridings.
The full details of the task force’s composition and mandate are still being finalized, but work will begin almost immediately. The task force will be established under the Liberal Party of Canada (Ontario) and will begin its work in rural ridings across the province.
At the outset, the goal of “Project Rural” is to design a program of outreach in federal ridings across Ontario that are predominantly rural. A first step will be to consult with former Liberal candidates, their campaign teams and electoral district associations from ridings with a significant rural presence.
But equally important, the task force will engage directly with communities in ridings that are predominantly rural or have a significant rural presence. Project Rural will also conduct research into key rural issues and will tap into existing work on rural issues and concerns.
Project Rural recognizes the need for the federal Liberal party to engage directly on key issues that resonate with rural voters, to establish best practices for campaigning in a rural context and to begin the process now of devising a rural campaign strategy and platform planks for 2019.
“We must be regarded as a party and government that has something to say to rural voters. And having something to say starts with listening,” said Thompson. “I think the federal Liberal party can work harder to connect with people who live in rural communities.”
As the Liberal candidate in Huron-Bruce in last year’s election, Thompson ran on a theme of providing a strong rural voice. He and his supporters moved the Liberal party from a distant third in 2011 to a very competitive second-place finish in the October 19th election. And Thompson’s experience mirrored that of many other candidates in ridings with a significant rural component.
Alongside MP Kim Rudd (Northumberland-Peterborough South), Thompson was asked to lead a panel on “the rural campaign” at the LPC(O) Executive Board meeting held in Ottawa in early December. To prepare for that session, he was in touch with candidates in a number of predominantly rural ridings and conducted an informal survey about lessons learned from the 2015 campaign. A central finding of that survey was that there is a need to start now re-connecting with rural candidates and their communities and to build a major program of outreach in rural ridings.
Thompson was born and raised on a farm in Bruce county and is now a journalism professor at Carleton University. Based on his experience as a candidate, he took the initiative to propose to the Liberal party that it set up the Project Rural task force. Liberal Party of Canada (Ontario) President Tyler Banham has formally tasked Thompson with establishing and chairing the initiative.
For further information, Thompson can best be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Treat your sweetheart to some warm, comfort food on Feb. 14th at the annual Bayfield Town Hall’s Soup’s On event. Local restaurants and community organizations will compete for the bragging rights of tastiest soup voted on by the people in attendance. This event will begin at 2 p.m. and winners will be announced shortly after 4 p.m. Anyone who would like to participate, or has questions, are invited to please contact Patricia Baker at 519 955-1456. (Photo by Gary Lloyd-Rees)