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Septic Health Resources 




Keep our lakes clean with these simple SEPTIC TIPS: 


FACT: The more efficiently your Septic System operates, the less pollution goes into the environment. 


The 2 secrets to septic health and minimizing lake pollution are: Time and Bacteria 


Bacteria –Never let anything go down the drain that kills the good bacteria in your system, like: 

a. Bleach - non-chlorine bleach is ok 

b. Anti-Bacterial Products – ban them from your house and cottage! 

c. Dishwasher Detergent containing bleach (most brands do!). Only ONE load of dishes using a regular detergent can kill ALL the good bacteria in your system for up to 70 hours – Use Septic Friendly Products available at The Organic Times in Minden & other local retailers (look for a statement on the front of the package stating no bleach & no phosphates) 

d. Dishwasher Rinse Aids – use lemon juice instead 

e. Cream Cleansers – most have bleach (see a.) 

f. Drain Cleaners – use Eco Ethic Septic Treatment instead

g. Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaners – blue is not green 


If soap, toilet paper or grease (bacon & eggs anyone?) get down your drain or anyone in the house is on antibiotics – use Eco EthicSeptic Treatment once a month to provide your system with the correct bacteria and enzymes to digest these items. 


If your system is sometimes not used for months at a time –when you arrive back the 1st thing you should do is flush 2 cups of Eco Ethic Septic Treatment down your drain to kick start your system. 


Never use a garburator!


Time - Your system needs as much time as you can give it to digest the waste you put in before the next load of water arrives. Remember – one drop in = one drop out of your system. 


Give your system time by Minimizing Water Use and Spreading It Out Over Time 

a. Cut your household water use by 27% by installing a Water Matrix – Proficiency, 3 litre flush toilet. These toilets are tested and recommended by the C.H.A. and are available at local Timber Marts. 

b. Try not to do any more than 1 load of laundry per day 

c. Keep showers short and use a low flow shower head 

d. Use every opportunity to use less water when doing regular activities 

e. Get a licensed septic pumper to pump out and inspect both sides of your tank every 3-5 years. 

In December of 2017 Dysart’s Council passed a By-law which requires that a comprehensive septic inspection be completed at every property within 100 feet of a lake when the existing septic system has been installed for more than five years. Given that there are several thousand private septic systems in Dysart the implementation of the inspection requirement is spread out over a period of 12 years.

The following video addresses what they inspectors will be looking for on their visit:






The Shoreline Tree Preservation By-law No. 3505 applies to all lands, in the County of Haliburton, that are within 30 metres of a watercourse. The goal is to minimize the destruction of trees, in order to protect 

our water resources and sustain a healthy natural environment. 


What is the Shoreline Tree 

Preservation By-law?

The Shoreline Tree Preservation By-law No. 3505 governs the removal or injuring of all trees with a diameter of 10 cm or more. Diameter is measured 1.37 metres from the ground. 


What would I do if I suspected that a tree was being removed illegally?

Contact the County of Haliburton, in writing, at Box 399, 11 Newcastle St., Minden ON K0M 2K0 or by email. County Enforcement staff could order an owner or any 

other person to stop the injury or removal of a tree. The written notice/order also provides information on what the owner will be required to do to correct the violation – including, if necessary, ordering the offender 

to replant trees.


Anyone who contravenes the Shoreline Tree 

Preservation By-law No. 3505, and is found guilty of an offence, is subject to a fine under the Provincial Offences Act.


Once convicted of an offence under By-law No. 3505, a person is liable to a fine ranging from $500 to $100,000.




Hello everyone! What a fabulous summer our family had at the lake - the first of many more! It was a pleasure to bump into many of you out on the water or the dock and have a chance to chat. Hard to believe summer is over, but we are looking forward to getting up in autumn to enjoy the beautiful fall colours. 


First off, the lake is pristine as ever and all water clarity tests looked good as usual this summer!


Marlene was kind enough to forward me some interesting information she found. I'd like to give Marlene all the credit for generating a watershed map of our area (fabulous work!). Rather than paraphrase, I will use her words exactly (Watershed map is attached):


"The MNR Geographer walked me through creating a map of our watershed which can be found attached. Everything outside the red area is a lower elevation therefore flows away from Lipsy Lake. Everything in the red area flows in. This means that there are some small water sources flowing in but these really just represent some small ground water ponds and marshes surrounding the lake. None of which are inhabited. This is why we have such a unique opportunity to work as a group to ensure that our water stays as pristine as possible. This can only be accomplished by us all being responsible with what we put into the lake, our septics and the care of the shoreline." 


So basically, as of this point in time at least, the health of the lake is very much in our collective control. Some tips and basic dos and don'ts are included in the attachments below. Outgoing steward Nicki Pollock was kind enough to forward these to me last month. Thank you Nicki! There is some very good information here. 


Since we are fortunate enough to be on a lake into which there is very little outside flow, one of the biggest threats to lake ecology (outside what we all put into it ourselves), is from boats that are brought in from other lakes. I realize this has been brought up before and that the idea of building a boat washing station or two was discussed. As far as I understand things from my research, building a  boat washing station can be quite an undertaking. Below are two links I encourage you to click on and read. The one from Maine is quite elaborate and involves the use of high pressure hoses and other equipment that is not practical for us to consider. The document does, however, give you an idea of what other areas are up against. 


The next link is from the gov't of New Hampshire and has good information about washing a boat with environmentally friendly products, but the rinse water would still present a problem. In short, I don't have a solution, but I think it is something we should continue to discuss. Those of you with boat launches remain the gate-keepers, so to speak. At the very least we might consider posting some signage at the boat launches and portage points to raise awareness and encourage those bringing boats into the lake to make sure they are clean. A visual inspection for zebra mussels and a once-over with bucket and sponge would in themselves be much better than nothing). 


The third link is an overview of invasive species in the Haliburton County area and the fourth link directly below isreported invasive species as of 2013 listed by lake. You will note that out of 48 lakes listed, Lipsy is one of only eight in which (as of 2013) none of the four invasive species had been reported (spiny water flea, rainbow smelt, rusty crayfish, zebra mussel). Let's keep it that way! 

*These documents from the COHPOA (Coalition of Haliburton Propert Owners Assc -


Finally here is a link to a fantastic interactive map of Ontario (also courtesy of Marlene) from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry's website. Allow a little time for it to load. Once it does, it is fairly easy to locate Lipsy by zooming in and scrolling around. There is a ton of watershed and other information here and I will admit my learning curve is still rather steep regarding what much of it means! Your tax dollars at work for a good cause though!


Warm regards, and please feel free to email me with any thoughts or concerns you might have regarding the use of the lake and its health.

James Andrews





When boating in Ontario, please observe the unposted speed limit of 10km/h (6 mph) within 30 meters (100 ft) from shore. This limit applies on all waters except where other limits are posted. These provisions do not apply in rivers less than 100 meters (300 ft) in width, canals and buoyed channels nor in the case of waterskiing, where the tow boat launches and drops off skiers by heading directly away from or into the shore.




Under the Criminal Code of Canada, the operator of a pleasure craft cannot operate that craft in a manner that is dangerous to the public.




  • Pleasure craft must stay well clear of swimmers and properties.

  • Pleasure craft operators are responsible for their vessel's wash.

  • Make sure you operate your craft in a such a manner that your wash does not cause injury to people, erosion of the shoreline, or damage to properties.

  • Pleasure craft operators must adhere to the Collision Regulations.

  • It is imperative that operators use courtesy and common sense so that they do not create a hazard, a threat, a stress, or an irritant to themselves, to others, to the environment, or to wildlife.




As a pleasure craft operator it is your responsibility to operate your vessel in a safe and prudent manner at a speed from which you can exercise proper and effective action to avoid collision.


You must proceed at a speed that is reasonable for the conditions.


Any increase in speed means that it will take longer for the boat to stop. It also means that you, as the operator, must be more attentive because you have less time to respond to changing conditions.


Boating Restriction Regulations set out guidelines for areas of restricted boating, power and speed.


Operators of pleasure craft not in sight of other vessels, in or near an area of restricted visibility, shall proceed at a safe speed adapted to the prevailing circumstances and conditions.


Careless Operation


With the introduction of the Contraventions Act, many offences that were previously listed under the Criminal Code of Canada, will now result in fines, instead of a criminal charge.


Careless Operation, under the Small Vessel Regulations, is an offense that will bring charges.


The regulation reads, "No person shall operate a small vessel in a careless manner without due care or without reasonable consideration for other persons."


Among other things, an operator can be charged with Careless Operation, if, as a result of excess speed their wash adversely affects:


  • other vessels including anchored vessels, grounded vessels, vessels tied to docks, wrecks, dredges, tows, rowboats or canoes

  • work being passed

  • the shoreline

  • docks or floats

  • wetlands

  • other waterway users such as swimmers, or users of bathing beaches

  • where divers are working

  • an area of anchorage

The Collision Regulations state that you must be a prudent operator at all times based on the prevailing conditions and local restrictions.


You are responsible for any damage or discomfort your boat causes to wildlife, people, objects and the shoreline.


You must take into account all other circumstances as you govern the operation of your vessel.


Proper Lookout


While underway, the pleasure craft operator must maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing to be aware of conditions around their vessel.


For more information, consult the Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations.


Operate at a safe speed


Consider the effects your boat’s wake might create while choosing your speed. Your boat’s wake can damage other vessels, docks and the shoreline.


Also, consider other users of the waterway such as swimmers, divers and people aboard small vessels that your wake could cause to capsize. You could be held liable for these damages.


Operator Competency Requirements


The Competency of Operators of Pleasure Craft Regulations require that all operators of pleasure craft fitted with a motor have proof of competency (PLEASURE CRAFT OPERATOR CARD) and proof of age on board at all times.


All operators born after April 1, 1983 are required to have proof of competency since 1999.


As of September 15, 2002, all operators of craft of less than 4 m (13'1") in length, including personal watercraft, will be required to have proof of competency.


As of September 15, 2009, all operators will be required to have proof of competency.


To obtain your boater's license, click here.



Age - Horsepower Restrictions


The Age - Horsepower Restrictions prohibit operators under the age of 16 from operating recreational vessels above specified horsepower limits: 

  • Children under the age of 12 and not directly supervised by someone 16 years of age or older can operate a recreational vessel with no more than 10 hp (7.5 KW).

  • Youth between 12 years of age and under 16 years of age and not directly supervised by someone 16 years of age or older can operate a recreational vessel with no more than 40 hp (30 KW).

  • Only persons 16 years of age or older can operate a personal watercraft (PWC) regardless of supervision.

For more information, consult the Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations.

Safety Equipment Requirements


Alcohol and Boating


Drinking and boating don't mix. One third of all boating fatalities are alcohol related.


The consumption of alcohol, drugs or controlled substances could impair a person's ability to operate a pleasure craft. This is an offense under the Criminal Code of Canada.


Provincial regulations pertaining to alcohol on board boats vary across Canada. Ensure you understand the laws for the province where you are boating.


Driving Under the Influence

Boating while impaired is an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada.


Operators with more than 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood are liable to the following fines:

  • 1st offence : at least $600 fine

  • 2nd offence : at least 14 days of imprisonment

  • 3rd offence : at least 90 days of imprisonment

  • The maximum sentence may vary depending on provincial statutes.



Don’t cruise with booze


It is no coincidence that drinking too much and taking to the water leads to dangerous situations. When you drink and boat you are not just a danger to yourself. Operators are responsible for the safety of their guests and should consider other users of the waterway. They must always be prepared and alert.

Besides the possible legal consequences, mixing alcohol and boating is far more dangerous than you may realize. Fatigue, sun, wind and the motion of the boat dull your senses. Alcohol intensifies these effects, leaving you with poorer fine motor skills (for example, hand-eye coordination) and impaired judgement.


Avoid fines for common boating offences:


  • Operating a vessel in a careless manner - $250

  • Speeding - $100

  • Underage operation of a personal watercraft - $100

  • Operating a power-driven pleasure craft without the required Pleasure Craft Operator Card - $250

  • Insufficient number of approved, appropriately sized flotation devices - $200 for each absent device






Burning Regulations In Effect April 1 to October 31


  • No burning between two (2) hours after sunrise and two (2) hours before sunset

  • Fires must be attended at all times

  • Person in charge must be competent

  • Must have adequate equipment to extinguish fire

  • Person is responsible for any damages

  • Fire must be away from combustible material by at least three (3) meters

  • Pile not to exceed two (2) meters high


For the Forest Fire Danger Rating Call Toll Free 1-877-847-1577 from any telephone in Ontario. The Forest Fire Danger Rating is determined using the Forest Weather Index (FWI), an internationally used method for determining the risk of fires in open air. It uses factors such as the relative humidity, temperature, previous 24 hour rain amount, wind direction and wind speed in combination with the forest fuel type and loads to determine the risk of the forest to certain fire types.


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