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  • Water Quality Report Card


    Ratings Legend: All readings based on ug/L (micro grams per litre) of Phosphorus.

    A – Average 12 or lower with no results over 20.

    B – Average 15 or lower with no more than 20% of the results over 20.

    C – Average 15 or lower with more than 20% of results over 20.

    D – Average 15 or higher.

    F – Average 20 or higher.

    The sampling data used was mainly from the FRSC sampling program 2007 to 2010 and from the Hutchinson Report data 1993 to 1995 in areas where more current data was not available.

    The FRSC’s Target is to get all areas of our river to an “A” rating.


    Lake Nipissing outflow into the French River B
    French River main channel flow intoWolseley Bay B
    Five Finger Bay at Hall Island B
    Wolseley River outflow into Wolseley Bay C
    Wolseley Bay at locally named Sturgeon Bay D
    North Channel below Ouellette Rapids A
    Lower Sturgeon Lake outflow into Ranger Bay B
    Ranger Bay outflow A
    Cow Bay A
    Above Meshaw Falls A
    Main Channel at Dry Pine Bay A
    Dry Pine Bay below Meshaw Falls A
    Dry Pine Bay in Bakers Bay B
    Pickerel River B
    Ox Bay B
    Wanapitei River outflow into the French River B
    Daoust creek outflow at Hartley Bay Road F


    Date Added: May 25, 2013 | Comments Off | Filed under: News — Tags: — webedit @ 11:56 am

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    Work Planning, Communications and Project Listing




    Work planning and Communications ongoing

    Time Frame


    1 FRSC Annual meeting July/ AugustEach year. Open to the general public. An opportunity to communicate with our members and to the general public. Meet the requirements of a not-for-profit corporation.
    2 Board of Directors meetings 6 to 10 per year To develop and review our work plan and projects. To hear and comment on committee reports. To evaluate and prioritize projects.
    3 Committee Meetings Meet as needed and ongoing until project completion. Committees move projects forward and report their progress to the board. Committees are responsible to obtain volunteers and funding for their projects.
    4 Communications Ongoing A communications committee prepares our various communications such as newspaper articles, flyers and mail outs, road signage, etc.
    5 Fundraising Ongoing 5a) With the support and assistance of the board members continue our efforts to ensure the funding required is available to complete our planned projects.5b) Review the need for a liaison person.5c) Over $15,000 was raised over and above our membership fees to complete our various projects.
    6 Prepare a template funding request Complete in 2013 Prepare a funding request template on major projects that we can simply carbon copy to specific funding requests.
    7 Municipal Advisory Group Ongoing Provide quarterly update to our local municipal council on issues affecting water quality and our fisheries and recommending possible course of action.
    8 Lagoon Project Ongoing 8a) Continue to monitor the OCWA operation of the Noëlville Lagoon system.8b) Provide alternative ideas to minimize the impact on receiving waters.









    Time Frame


    1.1 Water Quality Testing and further analysis of problem areas. 2013 and beyond. 1.1a) To press for more detailed sludge sampling with the MOE; in Wolseley Bay and the lower French.1.1b) To conduct sampling on the small creek that empties into Green Bay to assess the impact of local farming activities with respect to E-coli and nutrient loading.1.1c) Follow up on MOE and SDHU inspection requests.1.1d) Prepare a plan for continued water quality monitoring. Plan to be prepared in 2013 and commenced in 2014 with trained volunteer samplers.1.1e) Prepare a water quality report card for areas of the French River as per our sampling work done to date.
    1.2 Student and Public educational programs Ongoing 1.2 a) Student involvement projects partner with local schools.1.2 b) Complete a shoreline rehabilitation project and assess the success.1.2 c) Provide bilingual presentations to the public on our projects.
    1.3 Tree planting project Ongoing Continue our liaison with VALE Canada personnel
    1.4 Continue to review the MNR deliverables for the French River fishery Ongoing Obtain comments and concerns from the general public and from our members. Provide this input to and work with local MNR personnel to improve our fisheries.
    1.5 Murdock River spawning site rebuild In conjunction with the bridge rebuild. Expected in 2013 Work with the MNR and the contractor doing the work to complete the rehabilitation plan of this spawning site that was developed with the assistance of MNR personnel.
    1.6 Murdock River access site In conjunction with the bridge rebuild Ensure a proper access launch is prepared on the north east side of the new bridge as per previous reports issued to engineering firm and MNR.
    1.7 Spawning site rehabilitation Ongoing Review which sites need further work in 2013.
    1.8 Review the status of the new spawning sites located below Ouellette Rapids Ongoing 1.7 a) Review the site for spawning activity and material addition requirements.1.7b)  Determine the need for additional bed development and if needed arrange for MNR approval, etc.
    1.9 Invasive species Eurasian water milfoil management. Review the possibility of a study project 2014 Review with MNR and other government agencies the potential for a pilot study.



    Projects that the FRSC has completed in the last few years

    Time Frame


    A Become a not-for-profit organization 2007 Complete all legal and other requirements and documentation; August 2007.
    B 4-year Water Quality Sampling Project 2007 – 2010The FRSC issued reports in the years 2010,11,12,13 Complete a four year sampling project of 12 to 16 sample locations along the entire length of the French River. Sampled each site 3 to 6 times each year using volunteers. This project involved 8 volunteers and over 240 man hours.Our partner with the ministry of the Environment was the Lake Partners Program. The FRSC reported results to the community, our members and to local and provincial authorities in early 2010, 2011 and 2013. In these reports we identify possible problem areas, determine most likely causes and began to take or recommend remedial action.
    C Noëlville Lagoon Project 2008 to 2012 – Issued report to the Municipal council in 2011, 22 and 13. Reviewed the current operation of the lagoons. Completed a pilot test project at the lagoon site. Provide results and recommendations to the municipality. We continue to monitor progress and results.

    D Tree planting projects 2010,2011,2012 Various Tree planting projects were completed each year. Locations: French River Visitors Centre, Municipal landfill site entrance. Free tree day at the area schools.

    E Review the MNR deliverables for the French River fishery. Ongoing Obtain comments and concerns from the general public and from our members. Provide this input to and work with local MNR personnel to improve our fisheries.
    F Took over the FWIN project input from the resorts group Completed in 2011 The FRSC took over the FWIN projects of the MNR in our waterways with respect to local group involvement.Project funding to come from the MNR



    Projects that the FRSC has completed in the last few years

    Time Frame


    G Conduct Walleye spawning site evaluations for 2010 rehabilitation priorities. Completed in the spring of 2010 Visit spawning sites in the central section of the river from Ouellette Rapids to Dry Pine Bay. Seek all required approvals with proper documentation for planned rehabilitation work.
    H Walleye Spawning bed rehabilitation project site #1 Bell Island. Completed in August of 2011. Clean and rehabilitate the site. Inspect the following year for spawning activity.
    I Walleye Spawning bed rehabilitation site #2 Lower and Upper Sturgeon. Completed in 2011. Remove the beaver dam. Rehabilitate the site. Call for trapper to remove the beavers.
    J Walleye Spawning site #3 below Meshaw Falls Completed in 2011 Remove debris and clean the site.
    K Walleye spawning site #4 near Ouellette Rapids Completed and funded for 2012 Clean and install two spawning sites.
    L Review the impact of the Murdock River Bridge replacement project on the original spawning bed site and request the rebuilding of the site as part of the bridge project. Completed in the Spring of 2010. Construction project agreed to include our work request in 2012 Meeting was held with local residents and resort owners. Comments were issued to the engineering firm responsible. Follow-up quarterly. FRSC requested a proper rebuilding of the spawning bed be included in the project work.
    M Provide volunteers and donate funding to local fish hatcheries. Ongoing based on our operating budget. To date provided 3 donations totaling $1400.
    N Communications projects Ongoing Regular newspaper articles, posters, road signage on Hwy. 607.  Meetings with local businesses.


    Date Added: | Comments Off | Filed under: News — Tags: — webedit @ 11:44 am

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    Tree Planting at the Noëlville Landfill Site

    Letter of recognition from Municipality (more…)

    Date Added: December 23, 2012 | Comments Off | Filed under: Events,News — Tags: — webedit @ 1:45 pm

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    Stewardship of the French River Watershed

    November 2012

    Submitted by the FRSC Communications Committee

    Lake Nipissing and the French River watershed in Northern Ontario, was created more than ten thousand years ago when the last ice-age receded and left a maze of rivers and small lakes. The vast 19,100 square kilometre Northern Ontario Watershed has a long and rich history for Canadians having once been used as a major link to Georgian Bay along Canada’s historic fur trade and Voyageur route. The 110 km French River became a Canadian Heritage River in 1986. For more information see Canadian Heritage River System website www.chrs.ca.

    The French River Stewardship Council is a not-for-profit organization committed to promote an ecologically healthy watershed while ensuring environmental, economic and social sustainability. The French River Stewardship Council is a strong, vibrant, and sustainable organization which reports on the state of the watershed, leads watershed planning activities and promotes best management practices.

    Impacts to aquatic ecosystem health in the French River are urban development, agriculture, forestry, hydroelectric development and fisheries.

    Lakeshore development also disrupts shoreline habitat and contributes nutrient loading from septic systems or landscape alteration to lakes. Fertilizers are a significant source of nutrients (e.g. nitrogen and phosphorus) to surface waters and therefore lead to nutrient enrichment in lakes and streams. Nutrient enrichment results in increased algae and plant growth, which in turn can lead to nuisance algae blooms, taste and odour in water sources and to oxygen depletion. Low oxygen can occur in rivers and streams when the plants decay at the end of the season or under ice, at night in shallow waters when plants consume, not produce oxygen, or in the deep waters of lakes, where algae that settle to the bottom waters decay and consume essential oxygen for cold-water fish species and lake bottom organisms.

    Pesticides can be toxic to aquatic life, leading to direct mortality in invertebrates and fish, if they accumulate sufficiently or are present in high enough concentrations in surface runoff. Suspended sediments reach surface waters due to agricultural soil disturbance and lead to turbid water and increased sediment deposition, which deteriorates aquatic habitat and has direct negative effects on fish. Pathogens originating from livestock operations pose a risk to drinking water resources.

    Hydroelectric development can have effects on fish habitat; can alter water temperature, reduce capacity to transport sediment, changes to the ice regime, and water level fluctuations.

    Foster Stewardship by encouraging individuals to be good stewards of the watershed. Be an ambassador for the French River watershed by promoting our vision and mission. Become a member!

    Tidbits of information

    Did you know when Lake Nipissing is lowered one centimetre over one day; the French River may rise by over 48 centimetres. If watershed soil conditions are very wet, Lake Nipissing may rise four times the amount of rainfall received. During the boating season, the Lake Nipissing water level may fluctuate up to half a metre.

    During the initial spring melt, inflows into the French River can increase by 100 cubic metres per second within four days in the Dry Pine Bay area, resulting in a water level rise of 60 centimetres on the river. An adjustment of the water levels at the French River dams affects Wolseley Bay in one day, Dry Pine Bay in three to five days, and Hartley Bay in four to eight days, depending on weather conditions.

    During the boating season, Wolseley Bay water levels may vary 1.85 metres. Dry Pine Bay levels may vary 2.3 metres. The Hartley Bay water level is affected by the French River, the Pickerel River and the Wanapitei River. Water levels may vary as much as four metres during a 12-month period. Wow, this is one hell of a drop in water levels!

    Date Added: November 17, 2012 | Comments Off | Filed under: News — Tags: — webedit @ 7:38 am

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    Blue-Green Algae Found in Lake Nipissing and the French River

    September 2012

    The following is a summary of several technical articles written about blue-green algae. We have tried to provide a less technical version of these reports and have only referred to the types of blue-green that we have actually found in our waterways. Where appropriate we have noted our actual experiences with blue-green algae.

    What are blue-green algae?

    Blue green algae are referred to as “Cyanobacteria” and are a group of photosynthetic bacteria. As you may have guessed by now they really are not algae but rather bacteria which looks like algae. Blue-green algae, like true algae, make up a portion of the phytoplankton in our water. Blue-green algae are generally not eaten by other aquatic organisms however fish swimming in affected waters can ingest them. The most common forms that are found in our waters are Anabaena, Aphanizomenon and Microcystin.

    Where do blue-green algae live?

    They generally grow in shallow warm bays where the water is warm, slow moving and has enriched nutrient loading primarily from phosphorus. Blue-green algae are buoyant and blooms normally result from them floating to the surface. Although somewhat weather dependant, the blooms in our water systems normally start in late summer and last until early fall. Our water sampling project has identified high levels of phosphorus loading as a major issue of concern.

    How can I tell if the algae I see in my water is blue-green?

    The identification of blue-green algae requires detailed lab analysis and reports of suspected blue-green algae blooms should always be called in to the Ministry of the Environment for a site visit and follow-up as sampling and testing may be required.

    A characteristic of blue green algae is that it has mastered buoyancy, meaning it can raise and lower itself in water which allows it to get to the sunlight it needs for photosynthesis. They can also suspend themselves at various depths depending on the light and the nutrients available at any given water depth.

    It is this ability which makes blooms seem to appear over night and then disappear as the day moves into late afternoon, only to reappear the next morning.

    Waters containing near bloom levels of blue-green algae often seem to have a light green color. As conditions permit, blue-green densities increase and blooms may form. We have provided some pictures of actual blooms found in our waters but caution you that confirmation of a blue-green algal bloom requires a trained eye and scientific analysis.

    What are the concerns associated with blue-green?

    Concerns include discolored water, reduced light penetration, taste and odor problems. Dissolved oxygen depletion and toxin production occurs during the end of their life cycle or die off events. These concerns may be detrimental to aquatic life forms and eventually to native fish populations. More serious concerns arise when toxins, known as microcystins are produced. The World Health Organization puts the safe level for drinking water at 1.0 ug/L or one part per billion. TheOntariodrinking water standard is 1.5 ug/L. Precautions for pets, farm animals and humans are required so please visit our local Sudbury District Health Unit website which has issued appropriate advisories. Their site will help you to more clearly understand the concerns and recommended safety measures you should take when blue-green is suspected in your water.

    What actually causes the blue-green algae problem? 

    As was noted earlier in our summary nutrient loading is a concern, primarily phosphorus and nitrogen. Our sampling has tracked total phosphorus levels along the entire length of theFrenchRiverand the surrounding water shed. We track total phosphorus concentration through the Ministry of Environment’s Lake Partners Program. The results have shown total phosphorus concentrations to be the main concern. To blue-green algae, phosphorus is their main food and when it is a higher level blue-green can multiply quickly.

    Blue-green algae have been around for a very long time and their toxic effects to livestock are well documented. Their increase can almost certainly be contributed to human activity such as the discharge of untreated or improperly treated sewage, agricultural activities, logging, the use of phosphorus based fertilizers and detergents, and unplanned unchecked shoreline development.

    What can be done to reduce the frequency and intensity of blue-green algae blooms?

    There are no quick or easy remedies for the control of blue-green but by reducing the amount of nutrients that enter our water system we will eventually reduce the frequency and intensity of blue-green algae blooms.

    What does sampling and testing suggest are the priorities for reducing nutrient loading?

    • Some of the most severe cases of blue-green blooms show up inCallanderBay,WoseleyBayand the West Arm areas. These also happened to be the bodies of water that receive the discharges from sewage treatment lagoons. We see improving the operation of sewage lagoons as a first priority.
    • Agricultural activities involving manure handling practices, ditch clearing and logging practices that disturb the topsoil will allow rain to wash phosphorus containing soil and feces into the waterways.
    • The proper installation and maintenance of private and commercial septic systems is of a concern as the practices that were acceptable 50 years ago, when fewer folks lived along the waterway, are no longer acceptable today.

    What is the French River Stewardship Council doing?

    • The FRSC has focused on working with local Municipalities and the Ministry of the Environment to significantly improve the operation of sewage lagoons. Often the first step is to educate local council and residents of the issue.
    • In areas where farming can impact nutrient loading local farmers are taking an active role with assistance from the Ministry of Agriculture to resolve concerns.
    • With respect to private and commercial systems we have had regular public meetings and presentations by experts in the field with the emphasis on education and understanding of the importance of proper system installation and maintenance. We are also asking Municipalities to review bylaws aimed at bringing systems up to standard over time.

    What can I do?

     As members of our community;

    • We can all help by using phosphate free soaps, detergents and cleaning products in our households.
    • Avoid overloading septic handling systems by ensuring water infiltration such as rain runoff is directed to storm sewers and not sanitary sewage systems.
    • Ensure your septic system is properly maintained and in good operating condition.

    For those of us living along our shorelines;

    • We can ensure that our septic and grey water systems are properly collected and treated and that our septic systems are properly maintained.
    • Allow native plants to remain along our shoreline or plant more of our native species there.
    • We can use compost material instead of nitrogen and phosphorus containing fertilizers to provide food to our gardens and lawns.

    Most importantly we must begin now.

    Date Added: September 23, 2012 | Comments Off | Filed under: News — Tags: — webedit @ 8:33 pm

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    Lake Winnipeg Blue Green Algae a lesson we need to learn

    (Summary of a MacLean’s Magazine article Aug. 24th. 2009 edition).

    Lake Winnipeg is an isolated prairie lake surrounded by forest and tucked away from industry and major population centers, yet it is dying. What was a small patch of algae, first noted in the early 1990’s has now grown to cover one half of the lakes 24,500 square kilometer area throughout most of the summer months. The green mat that covers the lake is twice the size of PEI and clearly visible from space.

    The culprit is not global warming, oil spills, toxic or industrial waste but is nutrient overloading from fertilizers, human and animal waste.

    Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus do precisely in water what they do on land. They cause plant life to grow. This growth process is accelerated by tiling of farm land and clearing of ditches to allow runoff from fields. It comes from improperly operated and maintained sewage systems be they sewage treatment plants, sewage treatment lagoons or even home septic systems.

    At the same time the destruction of wetlands and river bank areas, which are natures kidneys, has decreased these natural filters and nutrient traps by up to 70%. 

    Although, nutrient loading is good to a point, there is a tipping point. When the organic material from excess weed growth dies over the fall and winter months it consumes oxygen and sinks to the bottom. It is during this period that bacteria go on an eating binge and consume oxygen and will eventually consume much of the available oxygen.

    In the bottom sludge anaerobic bacteria which do not need oxygen begin to thrive and actually begin to generate their own phosphorus. Once this starts the food change in the lake will die from the bottom up.

    Date Added: | Comments Off | Filed under: News — Tags: — webedit @ 8:27 pm

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    French River Stewardship Council Water Quality Report 2012 to Members

    June 2012

    The science committee of the FRSC has completed a four year water sampling report along the entire length of theFrenchRiver. The resulting report looked at nutrient loading and in some specific areas e-coli levels. The results of our study were combined with work done in the early to mid nineties as presented in the Hutchison Report. We have also reviewed the work completed by other cottage associations and the Ministry of the Environment.

    The water quality program conducted over the past four years showed a significant negative impact on our water quality resulting from the operation of sewage lagoons. This negative impact is also seen as the major contributing factor to ongoing blue/green algae blooms.

    In addition we have raised concerns regarding private sewage handling systems and recommended bylaws aimed at reducing the impact of these systems.

    For the past four years we have been presenting our findings to our local municipal council, to the MOE, the Public Health Department and provided a summary presentation of findings at our annual meetings. Our reports included recommendations for both mitigating identified problems as well as recommendations to ensure the longer term protection of our water quality. We have received cooperation from all these groups, albeit action was slower than we would have wanted at times.

    Actions that have taken place as a result of our efforts:

    The management and operating practices at our local sewage treatment lagoons has improved. Equipment additions and improvements were made based on input from the FRSC. Operating practices were improved resulting in some improvement of effluent quality in 2010 and 2011, there is however still work to do.

    A report noting the infiltration problems into the Noelville sewage system was identified to the Mayor and CAO during a review of the Trow engineering report. The FRSC recommended that a letter be sent to Noelville residence asking them to remove storm water connections which were entering the sanitary sewage system and reroute them to the storm sewer system. If all residence complied we estimated a loading reduction at the Lagoons of up to 40 %.  A review of the 2011 flows to the Lagoons system indicates that a good start has been made with a 20% measurable improvement made to date.

    Although a last resort we have requested formal inspection by MOE and Health department investigators at business and residential sites. In all cases problems and deficiencies that were confirmed by inspections were repaired.

    The FRSC is currently preparing a detailed report which we will provide to our local council, the council environment committee, the SDHU and the MOE. We will review this report at our annual meeting this July. 

    Date Added: | Comments Off | Filed under: News — Tags: — webedit @ 8:23 pm

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    French River Stewardship Council Fisheries Report

    June 2012

    In 2010 The FRSC fisheries committee identified theNorth Channelas a priority for our Pickerel rehabilitation projects. Specifically the area of the North Channel from Oulette rapids toMeshawFallswas identified. In 2010 tours of this area were completed with MNR personnel and a three year plan was put in place.

    Once all approvals were in place work began in 2011. During July and August the FRSC fisheries committee completed the cleaning of four spawning bed sites but as water levels were quite low two of our sites will be monitored this spring for additional cleaning this year.

    At the lower Sturgeon the beaver dams were removed and in cooperation with our local trapper the nuisance beavers were removed.

    Our 2012 plans include the complete construction of a new spawning bed southwest of the Oulette rapids and the cleaning of other sites as needed. $7,598 in funding for these projects has been received and committed thanks to the MNR, the Sudbury East Economic Development Partners, The Alban and Noelville Chaise Populaire.

    Our 2013 plans currently include the rebuilding of the Murdock river site atDryPineBay. This work is of course dependent upon the schedule for the bridge replacement. The FRSC is on the Engineering Firms list to contact so we can plan accordingly.

    A more detailed presentation of our activities and plans will be presented at our annual meeting in July, please plan to attend.


    Date Added: | Comments Off | Filed under: News — Tags: — webedit @ 8:14 pm

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    Experiences with Geothermal Heating

    May 2012

    Living in the north-east of Ontario often means that one of the less convenient forms of providing heat for your property, a natural gas supply, is unavailable.  The alternatives for a basic fuel are wood, oil, propane or electricity.  During the recent design of a new 2,000 square foot residence in the French River area the possibility of using one of the above fuels or a combination of them, was studied.  Oil was ruled out due to its cost leaving wood, propane or electricity.

    Several types of heating systems are also available and those contemplated were:

    • Convection, i.e. direct heat from a wood stove or electric convection heater
    • Electric baseboard heaters.
    • An electric or propane fired boiler providing hot water for domestic needs and, via a heat exchanger, to an in-house heating system.  The in-house heating system could be either ducted hot air or an in-floor (hydronic) heating system.

    The selected system used a propane fired boiler with a radiant floor (hydronic) heating system and a wood stove for supplementary heat.  A radiant floor heating system (water filled pipes embedded in the sub-floor) was installed to transmit heat from the boiler to the interior of the house.  It is important to ensure that as the radiant heating system is installed in the sub-floor, the finished floor materials (laminate, solid wood, carpet, etc. placed on top of the sub-floor) should be selected so as not to provide a barrier for the flow of heat from the pipes to the rooms. A radiant floor heating system cannot provide air conditioning as cold water flowing through the in-floor pipes would cause the floor to sweat.

    The system worked well but it was found that after the first year the cost of using propane as the main fuel was not economical.

    It was at this time, and thanks to a Government Grant, a geothermal heating installation became a viable substitute for propane.  The geothermal unit is powered by electricity (expensive!!).  One of the advantages of this type of heating is that for every unit (kWh) of electricity consumed by the geothermal equipment, between two and four units of heat are generated.  The geothermal unit selected provides heat for the house and supplementary heat for the domestic hot water system.

    The geothermal unit is comprised of a heat pump, hot water tank, and circulatory pumps installed inside the house.  Outside of the house a long loop of 1 ¼” polyethylene pipe is sunk into an adjacent river or lake, or buried in the ground close to the house.  This loop is connected to the heat pump.  The loop must be installed sufficiently deep so that the winter cold does not affect the temperature of the water/ethanol mixture inside the pipe.

    The installation of the geothermal system should be done by certified personnel. Often a 10 year parts and labour Warranty can be obtained to cover the installation.

    Once installed the main benefits of the radiant floor heating were immediately noticed, warm floors and an even temperature throughout the house and, most importantly, at the end of the first year of operation the heating cost for the house was less than 60% of the cost of the first year when propane alone was used.

    From the beginning of operation the system worked well, minor problems were noted initially due to air bubbles entrapped in the piping causing pumps to over-heat.  This was promptly corrected by the contractor and the system returned to normal.

    The only negative experiences have been that occasionally the geothermal unit trips on “Frost Protection”; no heat is generated until the power is switched off and on again.  The operation of the Frost Protection signifies that the temperature inside the unit has dropped below a pre-set value. The contractor advised that this seems to be a problem only with those systems that use a pipe loop installed in a river or lake.  Loops directly buried in the ground do not seem to be affected.  Improvements have been made to the installation but as yet it has not been perfected.

    A further inconvenience is that when the electricity supply fails no heat is available from the geothermal unit without the installation of a sufficiently large standby generator with capacity to handle the in-rush current required by the compressor and pumps.  The original gas boiler or the wood stove becomes a backup source of heat.

    Like most modern day equipment maintenance is important and this should be carried out on an annual basis.

    During the summer months the geothermal unit is not required and is therefore switched off, domestic hot water is supplied from the original gas boiler.

    Date Added: | Comments Off | Filed under: News — Tags: — webedit @ 8:12 pm

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    French River – Lake Nipissing Water Levels Part III of III




    April 2012

    Submitted by the Communications Committee


    There is an analogy that perfectly fits the Lake Nippissing and French River relationship.  The French River is like the drain in a bathtub. The dams are like the plug in the sink.  When the plug is in place, no water goes down the drain.  Pull the plug and down goes the water level.  The only method of control over the river flows and levels is how much water is being discharged at any given time.  With no controls down river, this situation will never change!

    The last substantial flood on Lake Nippissing and the French River occurred in 1979.  The Sturgeon River flooded so badly, the Town of Field was moved to higher ground after the high water receded.  This flood prompted the Province to begin a flood reduction study that was ongoing for several years.  The Province refused to take over the operation of the dams from the Federal Department of Public Works, who really wanted to be rid of this responsibility.  The Ministry of Natural Resources made a decision to become more involved with the complexities of water level management in the Lake Nippissing and French River watershed.

    Today the Ministry of Natural Resources has taken a lead role in coordinating an extensive undertaking in order to anticipate water level issues as they may arise from Lake Temagami to Georgian Bay.  To assist with this considerable task, an informal advisory committee was formed. The committee is comprised of knowledgeable individuals representing the different sections of the entire watershed.

    The French River Resorts Association (FRRA) represents the French River area. There is also representation from around Lake Nipissing, from Ontario Power Generation and from the upper watershed, north of Nippissing to Temagami.  The advisory group, with MNR leadership, meets personally at least once a year and as needed by tele-conference during critical times.  The group brings a combined knowledge of water issues to all the discussions.  They then try and reach a consensus on what might be the best practice to follow regarding all the control structures in the watershed when there are possible flood or low water concerns.

    When making decisions that today dictate how the dams are operated during critical times many criteria are involved.  Public safety and possible damages to property are high on the list.  However, there is now a great deal of consideration given to the Lake and River ecology and the fisheries.  We on the French River will never see stable or optimum levels as we would like.  With no down-river controls it is not possible.  There will be times when our interests will be influenced and possibly sacrificed to a larger population and to a more political power around Lake Nippissing.  But we now receive a great deal more consideration than in the past and if you were to ask some of the folks around North Bay we receive more than we deserve!

    Currently, most of the owners of property with frontage on the French River have learned to adapt to ever changing water levels and how to prepare for and cope with those one in a hundred year flood that seems to occur every 25 to 30 years.  Further, it has become obvious that to achieve any success in beneficial water level management there has to be a collaborative effort involving interested and knowledgeable persons all along the watershed.  Everyone must be prepared to win some and lose some.  In any discussions when there is very high water or flood concerns the French River Resorts Association has always expressed one very important criterion.  If there is to be flooding, the pain must be equally shared up and down the system.  Not just Lake Nippissing or just the French River!

    From the perspective of the French River Stewardship Council the issue of water levels and how they impact the fisheries is very important.  The Council is spending a lot of effort and considerable money on rehabilitating spawning beds.  All this effort would be to no avail if adverse water levels at spawning time cause the loss of the spawn.  As the years go by there will be an increasing role for the FRSC as older French River Resorts Association members are no longer involved.                             In any event a joint effort is necessary on this issue.  It is obvious that the goals are the same.

    In conclusion, if you live or cottage on the French River, water levels, water quality and the fisheries should be very important to you.  Consequently, you can help to safeguard those interests by being an active member of the French River Stewardship Council.  Membership is inexpensive but very important.  Membership numbers mean a lot when the Council is working with government agencies.

    Date Added: April 12, 2012 | Comments Off | Filed under: News — Tags: — webedit @ 9:51 pm

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