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Westport septic re-inspection bylaw important to lake health

Updated: Jun 4, 2022

In 2021, Westport Council adopted a “private septic re-inspection” Bylaw, to provide for mandatory inspection of village properties on private septic. Letters were mailed out in December, to all property owners on private septic systems.

In establishing this inspection program, Council rightly noted that lake water quality of the Upper Rideau remains “poor”. This past summer, the Upper Rideau experienced two confirmed blue green algae blooms, emblematic of a fragile lake, with relatively high nutrients. (Blue green algae blooms can be dangerous for humans and pets alike, and fortunately, these two blue green algae blooms were relatively small, and transitory.)

URLA would like to thank both Westport Council and senior staff for launching this program

It is vitally important, therefore, to the health of our lake that all septic systems are working properly. Given that Westport is the largest community on the Upper Rideau, this program matters. The Westport initiative complements the mandatory septic re-inspection program launched by the Township of Rideau lakes on our lake in 2018.

Looking back over a generation, septic systems impacting the Upper Rideau -- both public and private – have improved markedly. This progress is essential for water quality, and ever more so as our lakes experience longer hotter summers and more intense precipitation events.

It is also noteworthy that our lake Association has a growing and engaged membership from Westport itself – another clear signal of support for lake health.

Our Board would like to thank both Westport Council and senior staff for launching this program – and for the follow-up that will be involved over the coming months, to help support our lake.

John McDowell

President, Upper Rideau Lake Association


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