Lower Trent Conservation is celebrating its 50th anniversary! To commemorate this milestone occasion, we have released our ’50 in 50′ historical blog series.
This special series features 50 articles highlighting some of the achievements, milestones and events of the past 50 years. We hope you enjoy them!
Ontario is rich in water resources. Our province borders four of the five Great Lakes, and we have more than a quarter of a million lakes, rivers, and streams. These water resources are the cornerstone of the quality of life that we enjoy in Ontario. Our health, the health of the environment, and our economic prosperity depend on them. They supply our drinking water and are home to many plant and animal communities. They also play a vital role in industry, agriculture, and recreation.
Monitoring our streams and rivers is crucial in order to assess the impact of human activities on surface water quality. Initiated in 1964, the Ontario government established the Provincial Water Quality Monitoring Network to measure water quality in rivers and streams across the Province. Today, there are over 400 locations monitored in partnership with Ontario’s Conservation Authorities, participating municipalities, and provincial parks.
Within the Lower Trent watershed region, historic water quality records for several watercourses date back to 1964 (see Table 2 below). Most likely, this early water monitoring was conducted out of growing concern about the state of local waterways through the 1950s and 60s. Following its formation in 1968, Lower Trent Conservation joined the provincial monitoring network in the early 1970s.
Water samples are collected on a monthly basis from March through October. The samples are sent to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change laboratory where they are analyzed for general chemistry.
Unfortunately, Lower Trent Conservation was forced to drop the monitoring program in 1999 following a dramatic cut in funding from the provincial government, but was able to rejoin the program in 2002. Many sampling locations have changed over the years and have primarily focussed on the Trent River (see Tables 1 and 2 below). Over the past decade or so, Lower Trent Conservation has collected water samples at nine locations including the Trent River (3), Cold Creek (2), Mayhew Creek (1), Trout Creek (1), Salt Creek (1), and Percy/Burnley/Mill Creek (1).
Starting in 2018, a new surge of funds and energy will be directed at the monitoring program. Nine new sampling sites for Colborne Creek, Butler Creek, Barnum House Creek, Shelter Valley Creek, Squires Creek, Rawdon Creek, Meyer’s Creek, Burnley (Mill) Creek, and Rice Lake tributaries will be added to allow for a more comprehensive monitoring of watercourses across the entire watershed. As well, testing for E-coli will be carried out in addition to general chemistry for all 18 locations. The additional data will allow the Conservation Authority to provide a full report on surface water quality for the next Watershed Report Card (http://www.ltc.on.ca/watershed/wrc/) which is produced every 5 years to outline the state of surface water quality, along with forest and wetland resources.
Table 1: Active Monitoring Sites
|Station No.||Name||Location||First Year||Total Years of Data Collection|
|Trent River||Healy Falls Dam||1971||47|
|17002106802||Trent River||Dixon Dr. Trenton||1972||46|
|Trent River||Bridge at Glen Ross Rd.||1980||37|
|17002104602||Cold Creek||CR 33, South Trent Street, Frankford||1971||47|
|Salt Creek||CR 30, S of CR 29||1972||43|
|17002113302||Cold Creek||CR 30, Orland||2002||16|
|17002112802||Mayhew Creek||Front Street, Trenton||2002||16
|17002115602||Trout Creek||Simpson Street, Campbellford||2011||7|
|17002115702||Percy Creek||Skinkle Road, Trent Hills||2016||2|
Table 2: Inactive Monitoring Sites
|Station No.||Name||Location||First Year||Last Year||Total Years of Data Collection|
|06014100102||Grafton Creek||Lakeshore Rd., S of Grafton||1964||1971||8|
|06014600102||Colborne Creek||Lakeport Rd (CR 31), SW of Colborne||1964||1998||35|
|06014800102||Salem Creek||Blyth Park Rd, S of CR 2, SE of Colborne||1964||1983||20|
|06015100102||Proctors Creek||Harbour St, E of Cedar St, S of Brighton||1964||1998||35|
|06015200102||Smithfield Creek||CR 64, E of Lawson Rd, SE of Brighton||1964||1990||27|
|17002100102||Trent River||Dundas St, Reg Rd 2, Trenton||1964||1992||29|
|17002100202||Trent River||At Dam, Campbellford||1964||1998||35|
|17002100402||Trent River||Docks near Wellington St & Front St, Peterborough||1965||1998||34|
|17002100502||Trent River||Dents Cottage Dock, 137m E of Bridge St, Hastings||1965||1993||29|
|06014200102||Shelter Valley Brook||Bridge on Orchard Grove Rd, SE of Grafton||1971||1998||28|
|17002104502||Trent River||Hwy 401 bridge, E of CR 33, N of Trenton||1971||1998||28|
|17002104702||Rawdon Creek||Hastings CR 33, S of Stirling||1971||1998||28|
|06014200202||Shelter Valley Brook||Shelter Valley Rd, N of Hwy 401 (AG-7)||1975||1977||3|
|17002112902||Mayhew Creek||Fraser Rd, Murray Twp, W of Trenton||2002||2010||9|
|17002113102||Mill Creek||Northumberland CR 29, Warkworth||2002||2010||9|
|17002113202||Mill Creek||Banta Rd, Warkworth||2002||2010||9|