November 2010

March Rural Community Association

Minutes – Nov 10 2010

Call to Order-Time 7:35 pm

  1. Attendance: Judy Makin, Marie Cook, Marilyn Shiposh, Phoebe Webber, Todd Lafontaine, Marjorie Edwards, Martha Webber, Tricia Willink, David Makin, Wendy Barber.
  1. Circulation of Correspondence file
    1. Notes on Carp Retirement Residence
    2. Minutes from last meeting
    3. Sheila McKee – Commemorative naming Program, in the City
    4. Accommodation review committee for Ottawa Carleton District School Board (Chris Busby and Marjorie Edwards have volunteered to attend)
    5. October drop off for water samples at fire stations – were not picked up from our fire station. This was an oversight that “will not happen again”.
  1. Guest speakers regarding septic systems – Green Valley Environmental Group:  (Steve Boulet, Bill Seabrook, Melissa Hillier – provided 39-page handout to everyone who attended.)

Goal of company = Trying to preserve groundwater since 1971. Full-service company. They do the design and the build. Permits increased from around 30 dollars in 1971 to over 600 dollars in 2010. Installers can install what they design themselves.

How to tell where the blockage is with a conventional septic system – If the septic tank is not over flowing, then the blockage is in the plumbing. If the septic tank is over flowing then the blockage is in the input or output pipe or the septic bed.  No issues with freezing because the tank is below grade, there is fermentation, and warm water from constant use. If the septic bed is not used for several months it might freeze. A riser and filter is not mandatory for repairing a septic tank.  Pump the septic tank when the scum and sludge layer are 1/3 of the operating depth which is every 2-5 years.  If you pump the tank too soon you’ll get rid of the good bacteria eating the sewage.

Septic beds on clay, silt, or high groundwater table or high bedrock you will need a raised septic bed. Water softener discharge – not recommended into the septic system because it can contaminate the bed. Water softener salt brine backwash should be going to a sump pump line or a line out to the ditch. Separate grey water systems are not installed anymore.  Size of tank is calculated by a formula, including the number of bedrooms, number bathrooms, square footage, etc. Building code assumes that people with large houses entertain a lot.  Septic catalysts are under $50.00 a year and a preventative method.  If the septic system works perfectly it’s not needed.  Biomats clog up the pores of the soil.  A conventional drainage bed is 50 feet away from the pipes.  It’s difficult to rejuvenate an old bed. Peroxide can work.  It doesn’t matter if the grass on top of the bed is kept mowed. The septic system should work in all types of weather, rain, snow, etc. Sponginess is a sign of a failing septic bed.

Question – Can a system work then fail then work? Yes. If the water usage decreases. If there is no change then check for a run-on toilet that is adding a lot of water to the bed. Sometimes the bed finds an outlet for excess water, such as into the ditch instead of going down. Conventional beds used to be cheaper because sand was cheap. Life span is 25 years for old systems.

The new advanced units have only been used for the last 20 years, but are expected to last 50 years. The advanced systems need to be serviced every year, and the bed in cheaper to change. The motor is electric and guaranteed for 40 years and uses $7/month hydro. It introduces air down the shaft in small bubbles. They don’t have to be pumped as often as a conventional system and add value to the house because it takes up a smaller area than a conventional bed. It takes about 1-2 years for the bug population to grow sufficiently to treat the system. When pumping out the septic tank, it’s best to put some of the liquid back to keep the working bugs. Yeast is an effective treatment for septic tanks if there is not much water.

Question – If you put in a replacement system is the old bed hazardous waste?  It is but it’s left in the soil and the new bed is put elsewhere. Sometimes it’s dug up and buried elsewhere.

  1. Development Applications:

.1 – 820 Huntmar – rezoning from EA to RU – City staff walked the Hazeldean Ridge and explained why they redrew the boundary to Judy Makin, Marjorie Edwards, and the adjacent landowner (Cormac McDonnell, at 1030 Huntmar).  The rationale was that the property had been used as cow pastureland and the vegetation is non-native, so it should not be considered as environmental land.  Note – It has not been used as pasture since the mid 70’s.  The South March Highlands group says this ridge is a wildlife corridor and that should be an important factor.  The landowner adjacent objects to the rezoning.

.2 Richardson Ridge Subdivision – The South March Highlands group is launching an OMB appeal. The MRCA was trying to decide if we should launch an appeal but has decided to stay in the background, but provide support.

  1. Treasurer’s Report    – (Marilyn Shiposh)

Chequing Account as of Nov. 10/10                     $1484.43

GIC’s as of Sept. 30/10                                     $14287.44 

Total:                                                                  $15281.77

  1. Discussion – How to get people out to MRA meetings? They only come when there is a local issue.  Judy puts articles in the West Carleton Review and the Kanata-Standard newspapers. More than 70 people are on the email list sent out by Judy Makin but they don’t come.

Suggestions: –

Put flyers up where people get their mail. There used to be a sandwich board put out in front of the old town hall the week of the meeting, but this was declared illegal.

Advertisement to come to the December social and give MRCA your ideas.

Need to restructure the agenda so that people stay until the end of the meeting, and we need a process to introduce new members, speak to them personally.

There needs to be a brochure about the MRCA available, for mailing or delivery. Ask Eli for addresses from tax rolls.

Judy Makin will write a newspaper article about this meeting.

List “Watching issues” at the bottom of Agenda of every meeting.

Todd  – will ask a professional to talk to us re how to encourage attendance and retain membership.  This is a city-wide problem; one of the impacts of amalgamation = loss of community spirit and volunteers.

  1. New Business:
  • March Valley Road – no speed signs.  Marilyn Shiposh and local residents have called the City.  There is also a deep ditch and no barricades in front of it.
  • Chris Cummings old house – new resident cut down all the trees and brought in fill. The property doesn’t go back as far as the wetlands. There is no tree bylaw in the rural area. The issue with the other property was the wetland boundary and the butternut trees cut down.
  1. Minutes: Passed with spelling correction: Isidore’s

Adjournment  (Time 9:50 PM)


Next meeting – Dec 8 2010 – Speaker on Neighbourhood Watch is next month.