Sauble River Report From 1986, What Has Changed? Dec 14, 2015 23:25:57 GMT -5
Post by ScubaSteve on Dec 14, 2015 23:25:57 GMT -5
Check out this Sauble River report. This is why most clean water sources in Ontario, will soon be, too polluted to fix.
I have Polaroid pictures of my relatives catching huge brown trout and brook trout, from these tributaries, back in the 70's, 80's, and early 90's. Now a day most people have given up fishing the Sauble River for brown trout and brook trout. It is pretty sad that Agricultural Land owners feel their operations are too small to be of concern, It is simply not true. I am afraid to see what a modern report would say about this river. Clearly the Sauble has gotten worse and not better.
The 1984 drainage report on the water quality of the upper Sauble River showed high levels of total, background and fecal coliforms, fecal streptococci and Pseudomonas aeruginosa during the months of September through December.
Individual water quality components for each sample site were monitored throughout the season on an extensive set of graphs. Varying levels of bacteria were observed through analysis for fecal coliforms, fecal streptococci, E. coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Chemical elements analyzed included free ammonia, total kjeldahl, nitrite, nitrate, total phosphorous, dissolved reactive phosphorous, pH, chloride, conductivity and turbidity.
Out of fifty sample stations, only two exhibited acceptable levels of total and fecal coliforms and Pseudomonas aeruginosa during all three sample series.
It was reported that even these stations had slightly higher than desirable levels of fecal streptococci (Ecologistics, 1984). The 1984 study concluded that the water quality and aquatic communities of the upper Sauble River are of poor quality with livestock and open agricultural drains being the primary cause of the degradation.
Past studies (UTRCA, 1984 and Balint 1984) carried out in the Lake Simcoe basin and the Pittock Reservoir watershed have indicated that a substantial proportion of farmers do not realize that common livestock management practices can have negative environmental effects.
While phosphorous concentrations above certain levels are known to stimulate plant growth, higher levels above 5 mg/L can prove toxic to plant life. The Ministry has set a guideline level of 0.03 mg/L for the prevention of excessive plant growth in rivers and streams. With one exception south of Tara, water analysis for the main stream (figure 7) shows average total phosphorous concentrations below the criteria. This probably reflects the contributions of cleaner groundwater to the main river channel.
When suspended material settles, the bottom sediments become a reservoir for fecal coliforms that may be resuspended by animal disturbance or stream flow.
Station 007 was also notably high possibly due to over-fertilization of the golf course and barnyard contributions north of County Road 8. An extremely low average level was observed at station 013 which is predominately a groundwater sourced stream with a mostly forested drainage area.
Water quality data (Figure 10) shows a general increase in bacteria counts from source to confluence with levels consistently below 100 organisms per 100 ml water at the Gould Lake station to average levels well above 500 per 100 ml at the point of confluence. The most dramatic water quality change appears to occur in the section north of County Road 8, where there is also the most significant cattle access.
It was apparent that while many landowners acknowledge the problems inherent with stream-side agricultural operations others did not attach any responsibility for water quality degradation with agriculture. Alternate concerns cited were mostly wildlife based with beaver activity being particularly objectionable.
Financial concerns were apparent in most cases with some conservation practices failing to meet cost/benefit requirements. Enhancement to the existing environmental protection grant systems may provide incentive for some landowners to improve conditions on their farms.
Many landowners acknowledged the problem of bacterial contamination in watercourses but considered the solutions to be too costly or their operations too small to be of concern.