| Jan 24, 2008

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Feature Article - January 24, 2008 North Frontenac Council - Jan.17/08 by Jeff Green

Septic reinspection comes of age in North Frontenac.

Last year was the third year in which the Township of North Frontenac contracted with Mississippi Valley Conservation to undertake inspections on older septic systems at waterfront properties within the township.

And it was third time lucky as inspectors were able to do thorough inspections on almost all of the properties whose owners they approached. This was a positive change from 2006, when a number of properties that were earmarked for inspection received only a cursory viewing. In 2007, by contrast, 99 out of 100 properties that were targeted received “complete tank inspections” according to a report by Jamie Saunders that was received by North Frontenac Council at a meeting in Snow Road last Thursday.

Forty of the septic systems that were inspected had no deficiencies, and the other systems had problems that are “not necessarily of immediate threat to the environment or public health” the report said, “although failure to address them can result in premature failure of existing septic systems.” These deficiencies include 20 systems that require a pump out; nine whose baffles require maintenance because of root damage; and seven that either have too much or too little fill over the septic bed or tank. Of the 100 systems, only four are in such bad shape that they pose an immediate health risk, and this information has been passed on to the Kingston Frontenac Public Health Unit.

The reinspection program depends on the co-operation of property owners in order to function, and acording to Jamie Saunders, “The real benefit of this program is as a public relations and educational exercise. If implemented properly the re-inspection program can be a valuable tool for real changes to shoreline development and freshwater protection.”

Most of the 2007 inspections were done on five lakes: Kashwakamak, Big Gull, Shabomeka, Marble, and Mazinaw.

In 2008, it is proposed that lake association functions be used for education seminars as opposed to stand alone meetings, because two information sessions that were scheduled last summer were poorly attended.

Municipal Infrastructure - Council did not come to any immediate decision concerning what construction project is most likely to receive funding under a new $300 million provincially funded infrastructure program.

Mayor Ron Maguire said, “Upgrading the Ardoch road is a good project. It's an arterial road, but it wasn't built to that standard. Maybe we could improve a part of it with this grant, and do the rest another time.”

The township has applied on two occasions for funding support to turn the one-lane Mississippi bridge on Road 509 near Snow Road into a two lane bridge, to no avail.

Whatever project is chosen, Councilor Bob Olmstead said he “wants any project that receives funding to be brought to tender. I am certaily not pleased with our in-house work.”

“If you have comments about in-house work, they should be brought up in a closed meeting,”said Mayor Maguire. “It is not fair to bring them up in public when the staff involved are not here to answer to your charges.”

Water problems - Last summer, North Frontenac purchased an ultraviolet water purification system for the Barrie Hall in Cloyne. Noting that “this has proven very effective for the Barrie Hall and has successfully provided primary bacteriological eradication while providing lower overall costs,” Corey Klatt (township recreation co-ordinator) has obtained quotes for the purchase of three UV systems for the Snow Road, Harlowe and Clar-Mill halls. The Ompah Hall already has a system in place.

Corey Klatt told council that the water at the township office cannot be treated by this kind of system because the water at that location “has an extremely high count of total dissolved solids. The count is much higher than what the UV systems are rated for.”

Water problems at the township office/fire hall/public works garage complex are not new.

“We have been bringing in bottled water,” said township CAO Cheryl Robson.

The three systems will cost $10,000 in total.

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