FOCA Opening Season Updates

banner image_ FOCA May Long Weekend Elert
Publications
Waterfront Property Owners & Rural Economic Development

FOCA is very pleased to release our new report about the significance of waterfront property owners (WPO) as vital economic contributors to rural communities in Ontario! The report summarizes the survey FOCA conducted last year, highlights the ways WPO in eastern Ontario are participating in their rural communities, and identifies enthusiasm to develop more rural economic initiatives.

Read case studies about your peers who have already made the move to working from their waterfront community. Visit our project webpage for more information https://foca.on.ca/wpo2018/ or contact the office for a digital copy of the 56 page report.
Gray
Waterfront Living
Cottage Opening Tips
The ice is off the water, and the cottage season is in motion! See FOCA’s tips webpage, for some important reminders about cottage country re-entry:
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Cell Project Announcement
On April 23, 2018, the Province announced a $71 million commitment in support of the project to tackle cellular dead zones across eastern Ontario. Read the County of Peterborough news release about the announcement. The related infographic below was provided to FOCA by the Eastern Ontario Regional Network:
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Rural Broadband Services in Southwestern Ontario
SWIFT is a not-for-profit, collective broadband initiative that is funding the construction of an affordable, open-access, ultra high-speed fibre-optic regional broadband network in Southwestern Ontario. To overcome the region’s broadband infrastructure gaps, SWIFT has developed a long-term plan to help more than 3.5 million Ontarians connect and keep pace in a changing digital world.

SWIFT partners with the University of Guelph Regional and Rural Broadband Project to assess internet user experiences and test performance at a range of locations, including waterfront properties. Run an internet speed test and then report your results through the online survey tool:
 http://swiftnetwork.ca/survey/. Regular updates on the build out of the broadband network in Southwestern Ontario will be posted to SWIFT’s website. In other areas of Ontario, SWIFT recommends property owners contact their municipalities about internet servicing; in Eastern Ontario, EORNis working on a similar broadband network build out. Visit:
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Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program

Landowners with more than 4 hectares (~10 acres) of forested lands on their property may be eligible to receive property tax relief under the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) voluntary program for woodlot owners. Under the Managed Forest Tax Incentive Program, property tax savings can range from 75-92% on eligible lands, depending on a variety of property-based variables. Landowners must have a multi-year Managed Forest Plan prepared and approved by an authorized Managed Forest Plan Approver. The deadline for new applications is June 30th each year, for consideration for the following taxation year. Get information and a list of plan approvers, here:

FOCA’s Gold-level Sponsors
HydroOne
OPG
Cottage Life
CottageLINK Rental Management
Sponsors support our work. Please, support them!
Policy & Political Updates
Provincial Election – Get Ready to Vote on June 7th
Ontario’s rural and northern residents contribute significantly to the economic well-being of this province and to the communities where they live. FOCA encourages every voter to ask your candidates what they would do to support sustainable and affordable rural living, particularly with respect to several priorities FOCA has outlined in an Election Priorities document (PDF, 2 pages) that we encourage you to download and share.

Remember: in a provincial election, you may only vote once, in the electoral district that you consider home. Get more details on the FOCA Provincial Election webpage:

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Planning Ahead for the Municipal Election – October 22nd

FOCA has created an elections info kit for member Associations interested in getting out the vote in rural Ontario this fall! The Vote for your Future campaign encourages you to get involved, and to pledge to VOTE at your rural municipality. To learn more about FOCA’s “Vote for your Future” initiative, and order your local toolkit, visit:

Remember: in a municipal election, you may vote wherever you own property. See https://foca.on.ca/municipal-election/ for more information.
Lake Environments
 
Lake Partner Program

Welcome to the newest member of our team: Emily Shapierais the new Assistant Lake Stewardship Coordinator for the Lake Partner Program (LPP). Emily is working out of the Dorset Environmental Science Centre (DESC). She holds a degree in biology from Queen’s University, and she recently completed the Ecosystem Management Technology Program at Fleming College. We look forward to her contributions to this important citizen science initiative!

LPP volunteers will have recently seen an email update from DESC. If your lake is not already participating in the program, you should know that May is an important sampling timebecause it is often when the lakes are fully mixed and the water chemistry should be uniform from lake surface to lake bottom. To find out about getting involved in the LPP, contact info@foca.on.ca or lakepartner@ontario.ca
Funding Opportunities
FOCA 2018 Aquatic Invasive Species Program
Remember to apply by June 1st!
On May 1st, FOCA sent an email notice to our member Associations, about 2018 funding for aquatic invasive species (AIS) projects. Remember to submit proposals to FOCA by June 1st for funding consideration. Didn’t receive the notice? Contact us for details.
For information about association AIS projects that were funded in last year’s program, see page 10 of the latest FOCA Year in Review.
FOCA’s Silver-level Sponsors
AVIVA
Partner Survey Reminder
 
Lake Pulse – Supporting lake management – Have your Say!
Terry with Yannick of Lake Pulse at the FOCA AGM, March 2018

Lake managers, municipalities, lake associations, governments and non-governmental organizations all need access to lake data, especially to support decision-making and guide policies. The members of the Lake Pulse initiative will produce considerable data about lake health across Canada, and provide interactive maps on the health of Canadian lakes and on regional threats.

By participating in the Lake Pulse Survey, lake associations can help to create online tools that suit their needs for lake health and water quality data. Please add your voice by taking the survey:  http://lakepulse.ca/survey/
Safety & Risk Management
 
Spring Fire Safety
Although spring has barely sprung, already some parts of the Province are experiencing extreme fire hazard conditions. (Check current conditions here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/forest-fires)
The time before “green up” can be particularly dangerous for outdoor burning, and local restrictions are often in place – especially for daytime burning – throughout the spring and summer seasons. Check with your local municipality. For more about fire safety, visit: https://foca.on.ca/fire-safety-overview/ and review the video “FOCA Firesmart tips for spring burning” below:

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National Safe Boating Awareness Week
May 19-25, 2018 is Safe Boating Week. As you begin another boating season, here are 5 key reminders from the Canadian Safe Boating Council(CSBC) of which FOCA is a member:
1. Wear a PFD or lifejacket.
2. Don’t drink & boat.
3. Take a boating course.
4. Be prepared, both you and your vessel.
5. Be wary of the dangers of cold water immersion.

Also, the CSBC is participating in the LCBO’s Provincial Donation Box Program during the month of May 2018. Visit your local LCBO by May 26th, and make a donation to support CSBC in this fundraising campaign to help make Canada’s waterways safer. Download the 1 page notice from CSBC, here.
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Being Prepared for Extreme Weather
Natural disasters and severe weather can happen quickly and without warning. That’s why making sure you’re ready for an emergency is so important. During Emergency Preparedness Week (May 6-12, 2018) FOCA posted tips and reminders on social media about ways to be emergency-ready in cottage country.
As remote and rural residents, we are used to being self-reliant. We may find ourselves and our families without electricity, phones, road access or other extended emergency conditions. Learn more about how to prepare:

Also this May, the Alert Ready Emergency Alert System was launched across Canada, albeit with several hiccups and gaps, particularly for those not on LTE networks. The Alert is intended to work on digital devices such as your cell phone, to send messages from emergency management officials to warn of imminent threats such as tornadoes, floods, fires, Amber alerts, and water contamination. Find out more about the Alert Ready System, here:  https://www.alertready.ca/

Events Attended
Kawarthas Naturally Connected

April 25, 2018 – Peterborough. FOCA participated in this regional partnership discussion about thenatural heritage mapping tool created by theKawarthas Naturally Connected (KNC) Collaborative in recent years, and to plan next steps to circulate this information among stakeholders, including waterfront property owners. Check out the amazing mapping tool by clicking here, or visit the KNC webpage for alternate map formats and more information about the project:  http://www.kawarthasnaturally.ca/resources/.

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Strengthening Stewardship Networks
May 2, 2018 – Bradford. FOCA is part of the Steering Committee for the Lake Simcoe Watershed Stewardship Network Advisory Committee that met most recently on May 2nd to review a social network analysis and recent survey responses about regional priorities, connections and needs.
[click slide images at side, to enlarge]
 
Upcoming Events & Regional Notices
Zebra Mussel Blitz – Bancroft Area
image ISAC twitter feed April 19 2018

On May 18-19, our partners at the Invading Species Awareness Program will be helping the Bancroft Area Stewardship Council to clean, drain & dry boats as part of their Zebra Mussel Blitz. If you’re out on Hay Lake or Jacks Lake, they invite you to stop by for your FREE boat wash.

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Muskoka Summit on the Environment

May 24-25, 2018 – Bracebridge. FOCA will be at the upcoming Muskoka Summit on the Environment, themed, “Restoring our relationship with the natural world.” Register here:

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“Septic Savvy” Lake Networking Event
May 26, 2018 – Perth. Learn about why a properly functioning sewage system is integral to a safe drinking water supply AND to a healthy lake. Featuring: a local septic system re-inspection program success story, expert panel discussion, displays and networking. For details and contact RSVP email, click the image at the side to enlarge.
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Cottage Succession Seminar Series

FOCA is on-the-road again this summer, with estate lawyer Peter Lillico, helping your family start the conversation about how to “keep the ‘family’ in the family cottage.”

June 2, 2018 – Our first Cottage Succession event of 2018, being held in Haliburton, is already all booked up! Get more information about the other event dates and locations, here:  https://foca.on.ca/cottage-succession/. This event is FREE to FOCA Members!
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Lake Stewardship Planning Event
June 2, 2018 – Plevna. Your Lake, Your Community: A 1/2 day seminar on Lake Stewardship Planning. Clar-Mill Hall, Plevna, 9am-12pm. For lake associations in North Frontenac Township, featuring presentations from Twp. of N. Frontenac, FOCA, Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority, Canonto Lake Property Owners’ Association and N. Frontenac Lake Association Alliance members. Contact brucehmoore@gmail.com to RSVP by May 28, 2018.
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Septics & Invasives Information Session
June 23, 2018 – Poop Talk & Aliens! Hold the date for this Hastings Highlands event, where FOCA’s Executive Director and others will speak about the value of protecting clean water, proper septic system maintenance, and preventing the spread of invasive species.
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Fisheries Management Zone 15 – input welcomed

The fisheries advisory council for Fisheries Management Zone (FMZ) 15 includes FOCA representation. FMZ 15 comprises a large area of south central Ontario (see map). Find out more about the process and how you can provide input, by downloading this FOCA update. (PDF, 1 page)

FOCA’s Bronze-level Sponsors
Dock in a Box
OOWA
Cottage Dreams
EORN
Nature Clean New Logo 2013
Sunspace
Canadian Canoe Museum
NEW Member Benefits & Offers from our Partners
Action First Aid offer
The FOCA-member price for an AED just got even better: now, Action First Aid offers the Philips Home Defibrilator for $1365 (+ tax), to FOCA members. That’s over 18% off the retail price. Details are posted here:
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DockinaBox offer
FOCA members get 10% off a dock or boat lift from DockinaBox. They have dock solutions for all kinds of unique locations. Get offer terms and conditions, here:
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InvisiRail offer

FOCA members get 7.5% off glass railings from InvisiRail. Plan a beautiful view for your home, or cottage. Details are available, here:  https://foca.on.ca/invisirail-offer/

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Coleman products offer

As a result of FOCA’s membership with the Canadian Safe Boating Council, all FOCA members get a 30% discount off any Coleman Canada online purchases in 2018, using the Offer Access Code available to FOCA members. This includes Stearns PFDs, tents, sleeping bags, coolers and all sorts of outdoor camping gear, and Sevylor inflatables. Details of the offer are here:  https://foca.on.ca/csbc-benefit-for-foca-members/

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Other ongoing FOCA Member offers include:
-discounts on Cottage Life Magazine subscriptions;
-a 1-year free Individual membership to the Canadian Canoe Museum;
-exclusive access to the CottageFirst group insurance program;
-and more
All the current offers are posted online, here:
Member Associations: make sure all your members know how to access their FOCA benefits!
Association Tools
Planning your 2018 AGM, or preparing your Newsletter? FOCA can help with that.

Do you hand out printed information at your association meetings? Please share some FOCA materials with your members! Contact the office for print copies of FOCA’s 2017 Year in Review, or the abbreviated 4-page summary containing an overview of our latest programs and accomplishments.

Have a 5 or 10 minute spot on your AGM agenda? Show one of FOCA’s newest videos! Stream them on YouTube if you’ve got internet access, or contact the office for a DVD copy instead!

Want to give a presentation about “What FOCA does and why we’re members“? Contact the office for a short slide presentation.

Got a little space in your Association Newsletter? Please include this FOCA adto remind your members about their benefits and our work. Contact the office for a PDF of the image at the side.

Get your Vote for the Future local elections toolkit. Contact the office!

About FOCA
Your Board of Directors
FOCA is privileged to have such talented and dedicated individuals from across our membership take on leadership roles within the organization.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Terry Kennedy(Kennebec Lake Association) for his leadership and his thoughtful and steady presence, chairing the FOCA Board of Directors as President for the past two years. We look forward to Terry K’s continued advice and support as Past President.

Succeeding Terry K as President of the FOCA Board of Directors is Marlin Horst (Baptiste Lake Association), who has recently been a particularly valued member of the Board Executive on the Governance and Nominations, and Human Resources Committees. Congratulations to Marlin!

Also recently joining the FOCA Board are Pat Drew (Lake of the Woods District Property Owners Association) and John Hickey (Indian Point Property Owners’ Association). See the full Board list, here:
We look forward to working together to serve the interests of our waterfront community, together.
FOCA is the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations,
the voice of the waterfront for over 50 years
info@foca.on.ca    |    705-749-3622    |    https://foca.on.ca
Stay Connected with FOCA:
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Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations,#201 – 159 King Street, Peterborough, ON K9J 2R8 Canada
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Responsible Septic System maintenance

Dear LWRA Members:  As the person who is well on the way to organizing the next Limerick Lake, water access, septic system pump out, I would like to point out a few facts and thoughts sparked by the latest FOCA summary that was recently posted.
And don’t forget to check out the new video: Cottage Country Septic Systems, for an overview from FOCA that you can share with friends and neighbours. Click below to watch the video:

Please share this video! Here is a link you can copy and paste:

The Septic Systems facts sheet from FOCA also suggests that regular maintenance is key.  It even explains how to inspect your own system.  https://foca.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/FOCA-Septic-Systems-Fact-Sheet-2018.pdf
While I cannot disagree with the fact that inspection is key, I would like to point out some Limerick specific observations.
     – We have many new septic installations (water access)
     – We have some old ones – both water and road access.  Most of which have never been or have rarely been pumped out.  We all know that this is not responsible.  We all know that many of these would likely make up the 49% of failed system.  What do we believe that means for our lake?
Bottom line, pump outs are required maintenance which most people try to ignore.  People are happy to put in “pleasant” indoor systems and then forget about them.  We, the LWRA, do not need to encourage that out of site, out of mind mentality.
In the mean time, I need as many “water access” cottages to sign up for this year’s pump out as possible and would appreciate your support for my goal.  I have enough to get the service but more would reduce the cost for all.  I will update at the May meeting.
Jan MacKillican
“Lead It Teams Inc.”
Team Development and Organization Design Company
613-922-4940 (C)
613-966-8885 (H)

My Opinion Only

by Alan Coxwell

There has been some negative blowback from a few members of the LWRA Board of Directors about my publishing an opinion piece titled “My Latest Hydro Bill” a couple of days ago. There was also one positive comment in response to the piece from a fellow I do not know. As editor of the LWRA newsletter I believe this site should be an open forum for cottagers to report on anything they would like to concerning our cottage experience on Limerick and the adjoining lakes.

Obviously this is my personal take on the Hydro One situation in Ontario today and does not reflect the opinion of any other member, nor is it a policy position of the LWRA. As long as I am not asked to publish anything that is slanderous or libelous the door is open to all to express their views.

As I responded to the expected charge of playing partisan politics: “There are no partisan politics at play here as I pretty much take blind adherence to any political party the same way as I take blind adherence to any religion.” I take as many facts as I can find into consideration and then make up my own mind on what the best course of action is.

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We are all in this together.

 

Snakes love boats too

Late last Fall when the Thanksgiving turkey was but a memory I was walking through the Limerick Lodge boathouse when I spotted this fine garter snake sunning herself under the windshield of an enclosed boat. With Winter coming soon I wondered just how she got in there, and more to the point, how was she going to get out. So, she was gently removed and set free to find a winter home in the woods. Owners of the boat told me they had seen her in their boat several times but she had always managed to elude capture amongst their life preservers and many other hiding places. They wondered how she had been captured and I assured them she was soundly sleeping in that warm sunny spot when approached so it was pretty easy. She should be coming out of hibernation very soon but hopefully she will not head back to their boat for the 2018 season.  IMG_1379.JPG

FOCA considers Rental Cottage Etiquette

Update on the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Association (FOCA) AGM 2018

– Attended by George Offshack in Toronto on behalf of our Limerick Waterways Ratepayers’ Association (LWRA)

– Article submitted by Kimberly Carson, LWRA President

George attended the breakout session on responsible cottage renting. It is an issue everywhere. Complaints heard are the same as Limerick Council hears, but sometimes many times over. Stories of multi-million dollar cottages being rented to huge parties week after week all season long are common. No one has any magic solutions yet. Eagle Lake is making their “Guide to Cottage Etiquette” available to FOCA who will edit out the specifics for Eagle Lake and make it available to other associations to be adapted for their use. There was anecdotal evidence provided that neither rental by-laws nor permit processes were having any effect on the problem.

FOCA will deficit spend by roughly $30,000 in 2018.  $15,000 of that will be spent on getting out the vote in cottage country (officially called Vote for Your Future) and $15,000 is being used to help fund a PhD student from Guelph, Katherine Howes, who is doing research on the “Economic Potential of Cottagers.”  She is also receiving funds from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA). This is something that I think we should discuss at our LWRA Board of Directors meeting in May!

The septic presentation had a lot of statistics, but the two of interest were that 74% of septic tanks inspected did not need to be pumped, but that 41% had major failures. The presenter, who runs a septic system inspection service, mostly for real estate transactions, recommended that cottage associations concentrate on inspection programs, not pump out programs. He said that pumping cottage septic tanks that don’t need pumping can lead to multiple years of them not function properly until they get back into biological balance.

Invasive species presentations highlighted the following:

Starry Stonewort – is probably not of concern to our LWRA as it concentrates in lakes that are alkaline, and Limerick and its connecting lakes are acidic.

Phragmites is definitely something we need to learn about and watch for. It is mechanically removable during July without a permit.

My Latest Hydro Bill

As a member of the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Association (FOCA) our Limerick Waterways Ratepayers’ Association (LWRA) might want to make a suggestion regarding FOCA’s lobbying efforts as we head into the June 7, 2018 Ontario Provincial election.

What triggers this thought is my reading of the latest Hydro One bill for my cottage which has sat dark and quiet in the woods since Old Man Winter locked up the place. Over the years Hydro has changed the rules of the game as any good government-run monopoly takes as its lawful right. However, the absurdity of the latest invoice through the lens of an upcoming Ontario election is a bit too much to bear quietly.

Exactly when my Hydro bill became a propaganda tool for the government eludes me but I do still have a copy of the old Hydro bills I used to get. They tell me … You used this many kilowatt/hours (kWh) of electricity, we charge this per kWh used and you owe us this amount. Simple. I used it so I should pay for it.

My March 1, 2018 bill tells me: You used 0 kWh, our On-Peak, Mid-Peak and Off-Peak rates of 13.2¢, 9.5¢ and 6.5¢ respectively, times 0 kWh used = $118.68 which will be automatically withdrawn from your bank account on March 20, 2018. And here I thought, since about Grade 2, that zero times anything equals zero.

But wait! There is good news on my bill under the heading of “What do I need to know?” I need to know that the Wynne Liberals have cajoled the Hydro One guys into telling me on my bill that “Ontario’s Fair Hydro Plan saved you $9.04 on your bill. That amount includes the 8% provincial rebate.” How generous and thoughtful of the Liberals! I think I should vote for them.

On the other hand … we all know that Wynne’s generosity with our money will cost us all in the long run because she has mortgaged our future by simply pushing Hydro’s debt further out into that future and by selling off portions of the company on the Toronto Stock Exchange. These politically expedient decisions are a continuation of the bad policy decisions which have destroyed what was once the premier electrical system in North America.

Ontario has the ability to create far more electricity than Ontarians consume. Hydro One sells excess generation to Michigan and New York State at 1.2¢ per kWh. Nuclear and water power alone could create enough electricity to supply demand but both of these sources are curtailed because the Liberals “Green Energy Plan” gives “first right to the grid” to foreign windmill operators if the wind is blowing and to solar cell owners if the Sun is shining.

Back when Ontario Liberals wanted to look like they were environmentally conscious they introduced the Feed In Tariff (FIT) program for anyone who wanted to drop solar cells into their front yards. My experience-based reluctance to get into any business agreement with any government was cemented when they told me they would pay me 81.4¢/kWh for any electricity a bank of solar cells in my garden might produce. A business plan that will pay me 81.4¢ and sell it for Off-Peak at 6.5¢ per kWh, or 1.2¢ per kWh to the Americans, seems like a really stupid business plan doomed to failure. It was and continues to be one of the biggest boondoggles of our time.

So, to overcome this colossal stupidity Hydro One decided they need money from everyone every month, whether they consume any electricity or not, and came up with the idea of Delivery Charges. This is a huge negative if the Liberal’s true goal was to look like they were dealing with the perceived problems of Climate Change. Getting billed for costs unrelated to personal consumption is no incentive to conserve.

Hydro One needs to be overhauled from the top down. When you consider the fact that we paid Hydro One CEO Mayo Schmidt an annual salary of $4.4 million in 2016 to oversee the insanity of the programs his political masters developed in the hopes of winning votes in the next election it seems like the logical place to start. Cottagers can start at the ballot box on June 7, 2018.

2018 is your chance to take good care of your septic system and the lakes

With the preservation of a high quality lake environment as one of the primary goals of your Limerick Waterways Ratepayers Association (LWRA) Jan Mackillican is organizing a septic tank pump-out for the summer of 2018. The more cottagers who have their septic tanks pumped at the same time the cheaper it is per cottage. A barge has to be brought to the lake to motor up to each cottage, pump out their tanks and then transfer the waste to a tanker truck for proper disposal. This process can go a long way to maintaining the health of your septic system and the lake water we all love to swim in.

If you would like to participate in this program this summer please contact Jan at jan@leaditteams.com    or by cell at: 613-922-4940

 

Here are some tips on the care and feeding of your SEPTIC SYSTEM

Through the Docktalk program, the Federation of Ontario Cottagers Association (FOCA) encourages landowners to look after their septic systems.

WHY? Problems can arise with septic systems that have serious impacts, including:

Overload/leaking of sewage

A septic system is designed to treat a set volume of waste water. Every time water goes down the drain into your septic tank, the same amount of liquid leaves the tank and enters the leaching bed. If too much waste water enters the tank, from extra guests, heavy water use – too much waste is forced out, too soon. Untreated waste water escapes, including solids that can clog up pipes and/or enter the leaching bed as well.

Wiped out waste digesters

Sewage is broken down by millions of bacteria and enzymes in your septic tank and soil within the leaching bed. That bacteria is harmed or killed by (1) cleaning products that are antibacterial, non-biodegradable, chlorine-based and/or full of toxic materials; and (2) hazardous products like varnish, paint, pesticides and gasoline.

Water quality affected, algal blooms erupt, and nuisance plants choke the lake

Septic systems were designed with public health in mind. They are designed to remove contaminants such as organic solids, bacteria, and viruses, but not to prevent the release of nutrients. Nitrogen and phosphorus released from septic systems can negatively impact water quality and cause algal blooms and increased growth of aquatic plants. Excess nitrogen can also pollute drinking water, endangering people.

Build up of solids

There’s a lot that can’t be digested by your septic system. Fats, grease, and oils don’t break down, and can form a scum layer at the top of your septic tank. Paper products, coffee grounds, hair, tampons, and other common sewage items inhibit the work of bacteria and quickly fill tanks. Combined, they can clog the system significantly hampering your septic’s effectiveness.

Poisoning yourself

Hazardous products (paint, varnish, pesticides, gasoline, antifreeze) dumped down your drain, come out of the septic system just like they went in, but now they’re in the ground and water with the potential to poison wells and lakes.

Contaminated drinking water and swimming areas

If your sewage is leaking, not getting cleaned, or building up, the end result could be contaminated water entering wells, ground water, lakes, streams, etc. Your health and the environment’s health are at risk.

A septic system treats your waste water and sewage. Your household drains connect to a septic tank and a leaching bed. Both are buried beside your cottage. The leaching bed is made up of pipes (with holes) buried in gravel, surrounded by natural or imported soil.

Find out what you can do to keep your septic safe…

Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations 201-159 King Street Peterborough, ON K9J 2R8 Phone: (705) 749-3622 Fax: (705) 749-6522 Email: info@foca.on.ca

FACT SHEET

SEPTIC SYSTEMS HOW?

FOCA encourages landowners to learn the following septic slogans that will keep you on the right track to a healthy lake:

What goes in must come out

To allow waste water the time it needs to be treated in the tank, conserve water. Ensure the size of your system can handle the quantity of waste water you create. Many older septic systems may be grossly undersized.

Don’t poison your poop processor

The importance of using biodegradable, non-toxic shampoos, detergents, soaps, and cleaners can’t be stressed enough. Many products in your cottage are loaded weapons. Make septic-friendly products the popular choice!

Nutrients not needed

Keep the input of phosphorus to a minimum. Use low-phosphate or phosphate-free cleaners.

Have an inspector visit every 3 to 5 years

Regular maintenance is one of the most important steps. Get an inspection and your tank pumped every three to five years. Replacing or repairing a septic system (and its impacts) is expensive; maintenance keeps thousands of dollars in your pocket and emergencies at bay.

It’s not a garbage can

Don’t put garbage (i.e. non-biodegradable items) down your drain. That includes grease, fats, oil, and paper products.

Location, location, location

Soils play a big role in how water travels from the leaching bed, what contaminants get absorbed/broken down, and how far they travel. Your septic system must be designed for the type of soil around your cottage. Make sure your system meets the rules (Ontario Building Code) that control how far a septic tank and leaching bed can be built away from buildings, wells, and waterbodies.

Plants not trees

Plant with caution in the nutrient-rich area above the leaching bed. Do not plant trees or shrubs within three metres of the tank or bed. Roots will seek out and crack your pipes. Shallow-rooted ground covers are ideal.

Saturday, August 19, 7 pm. “Live Music Night” at Limerick Lodge

If you are lucky enough to be at the lake this Saturday night you can catch the first ”Live Music Night” down at Limerick Lodge on Saturday, August 19 starting at 7 p.m. This is a collaboration between George Offshack, genial lodge owner, and your Cottagers’ Association. This is the last formal event presented by your Limerick Waterways Ratepayers’ Association (LWRA) for 2017.

If the weather co-operates music will be presented on the front lawn overlooking the lake. If the heavens open up yet again everyone will retreat into the lodge. Either way you are invited to bring something to quench your thirst and a seat to relax in.

Kim Carson moves so fast that details of exactly who she has corralled for the evening are sketchy at best but anyone who plays music is invited to step up to the stage after the “local band” Kim has lined up finishes their first set. Rumors are that “Just Lucky” might also sit in for an acoustic set. So, if you have a trombone, flute, clarinet or even an banjo, please bring it along and join in the fun. No accordions please.

Kim also has mentioned there will be some treats provided to snack on and a stand-up comic may even run a new routine by the crowd to see how it flies. The new Limerick Waterways maps will also be there for sale. And if you are lucky you might win the raffle and have a new treasure to take back to your cottage under the cover of darkness.