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15-16-18 Mile Creek - Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

15-16-18 Mile Creek - Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority

Table 9: Eighteen

Table 9: Eighteen Mile Creek Watershed Restoration Actions SPECIAL STUDIES RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY SEPTIC SYSTEM EDUCATION AND FUNDING PROGRAM ABANDONED WELL DECOMMISSIONING PROGRAM AGRICULTURAL BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES PROGRAM POLICY TOOLS Improperly maintained septic systems have been identified as a concern in the Fifteen-Sixteen-Eighteen Mile Creeks watershed. Improperly functioning septic systems and abandoned septic systems are a known threat to water quality. A septic system education and funding program should be developed and implemented to ensure that private septic systems are functioning properly, and to ensure that abandoned systems are decommissioned. Abandoned wells that are not properly decommissioned (capped and sealed) pose a threat to groundwater resources by providing a direct route to groundwater. The NPCA has a well decommissioning program in place for its jurisdiction. Grants are available for the decommissioning of unused water wells only. Priority is given to hydrologically sensitive areas, projects located in areas with a high density of domestic water wells, and areas where watershed plans have been completed or are ongoing (NPCA 2007). In the Eighteen Mile Creek subwatershed, any abandoned wells along bedrock outcrops north of Seventh Avenue should be given priority for decommissioning. Approved grants will cover 90% of well decommissioning costs to a maximum of $2,000 per well (limit of 2 wells per property). This is a reimbursement program, which means that the landowner will pay the full cost to the contractor, and will be reimbursed for 90% of the total project cost after all receipts, invoices, and water well decommissioning records are submitted to the NPCA. The NPCA’s program aimed at educating landowners about the benefits of rural and agricultural best management practices should be extensively promoted in the Eighteen Mile Creek subwatershed. In addition, landowners should be made aware of and encouraged to participate in the Conservation Authority’s Water Quality Improvement Program. This program provides grants to a maximum 75% of the cost of a project with caps between $5,000 and $12,000 depending on the project. Policy tools such as stormwater management policies should be developed and included in regional and municipal Official Plans to ensure environmentally-based planning in the watershed. The NPCA has developed stormwater management policies for its jurisdiction for use by Regional Niagara and its municipalities. Implementation Responsibilities and Recommended Management Actions The above Fifteen-Sixteen-Eighteen Mile Creeks restoration strategy is of no use unless it is guided by an implementation framework. An implementation framework follows that has been designed to account for the watershed plan objectives, which were derived from key issues in the watershed and extensive public input. The implementation framework is guided by the Government of Canada’s vision for integrated community sustainability planning, which envisions all parties involved to focus limited financial and human resources in ways that well best serve common objectives at all levels of government (Godfrey 2005). To this end, the implementation framework identifies project stakeholders (e.g., provincial agencies, regional government watershed municipalities, public interest groups and landowners), and recommended management actions for each watershed plan objective. Implementing the Recommended Actions Lead project stakeholders and those who should be involved in the project have been identified in the following framework. The recommended management actions for the Fifteen- Sixteen-Eighteen Mile Creeks watershed include planning and regulatory actions (e.g., Official Plan amendments), project opportunities on private and public lands (e.g., riparian buffer planting, wetland creation), and areas requiring additional research and monitoring (e.g., ecological linkages, geomorphic assessments) in the watershed. The cost of most projects is identified in the table. If the project is identified as ongoing then it is likely an action that requires continual updating such as the five year review process for regional and municipal Official Plans, which is not allocated a dollar amount. If an existing program already has funding, and the project and funding have a termination date, then these projects have a specific dollar amount attached to them. In addition, funds allocated as part of annual budgeting have also been assigned dollar amounts. The recommended actions have also been identified in terms of their implementation. Green denotes short term implementation, yellow represents medium term implementation and red is used to indicate long term implementation. For example, projects that are ongoing are almost always implemented over the long term and are therefore, represented in red. Projects that have specific funding requirements or require approvals, for example, are often represented in green and yellow, thereby indicating short term or medium term implementation respectively. 62

WATERSHED PLAN OBJECTIVES WATER RESOURCES RESPONSIBLE AGENCIES AND GROUPS RECOMMENDED MANAGEMENT ACTIONS COST NPCA MUNICIPALITIES REGIONAL NIAGARA NEC MNR MOE OMAFRA DFO CONSERVATION GROUPS AGRICULATURAL COMMUNITY PRIVATE LANDOWNERS IMPLEMENTATION $ Maintain, enhance or restore natural stream processes to support human uses, agricultural needs and ecological functions in accordance with Ontario Water Quality Objectives Protect, improve or restore all vulnerable areas (surface and groundwater features that can be easily changed or impacted by activities or events) Ensure the equitable distribution and sustainable use of available surface and groundwater to protect water quality and quantity, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, and human health and to supply existing and planned uses including municipal drains LEGEND LEAD STAKEHOLDER INVOLVED STAKEHOLDER SHORT TERM MEDIUM TERM LONG TERM Include water quality protection in regional and municipal planning documents ONGOING Continue to restrict no new on-line pond construction ONGOING Continue to monitor water quality to achieve Ontario Water Quality Objectives 6,000/yr Develop and implement a Source Water Protection Plan EXISTING FUNDING Implement the Groundwater Management and Protection Strategy proposed in the Groundwater Study (NPCA 2005) Develop and implement a specific Groundwater and Management Protection Strategy for medium and high susceptibility areas identified in the Groundwater Study (NPCA 2005) Continue to implement the water well decommissioning program in the Fifteen-Sixteen-Eighteen Mile Creeks watershed Identify and map surface and groundwater “hot spots” to determine areas with poor water quality including salt vulnerable areas EXISTING PROGRAM EXISTING FUNDING EXISTING FUNDING EXISTING FUNDING Develop and adopt by-laws for the elimination of lawn fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides ONGOING Implement a septic system awareness and educational program 15,000/yr** Examine the ongoing effect of quarries on groundwater, the impacts when they cease dewatering, and the potential for long-term augmentation of base flows Incorporate surface and groundwater protection policies into regional and municipal planning documents ONGOING ONGOING Improve monitoring of base flows and water use (e.g., Permit to Take Water) ONGOING Subwatershed scale data input (e.g. continuous surface water flows) for calibration of the Source Water Protection Water Budget and Balance Review and thoroughly investigate the recommendations from the second phase of the Feasibility Study – Raw Water for Agricultural Irrigation Purposes 50,000/yr EXISTING PROGRAM

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