Cottage Owners' Association and Lake Plan


Septic Re-inspections Now Mandatory in Dysart

Dysart to Begin Mandatory Septic Re-Inspections in 2018

At its meeting on December 18, 2017 Dysart et al Council passed a by-law which will require re-inspection of septic systems across the municipality in the coming years.  The new by-law is an effort to help protect human health and our environment.  The intention of the re-inspection program is to identify and resolve potential hazards associated with malfunctioning systems.  Specifically:

-          The by-law applies to all properties in Dysart et al located within 30 meters of a lake

-          Septic systems installed within 5 years of the start of the required inspection period are exempt

-          A pump out is required as part of the inspection process

-          The inspection must be performed by an Ontario licensed septic inspector and cannot be performed by the pump out                contractor

-          Property owners are encouraged to proceed with inspections and then submit copies of the inspection report to Dysart

-          When property owners fail to have inspections completed by a licensed inspector prior to the applicable deadline,                 Dysart will proceed with inspections and bill the property owner for the related costs.

The inspections will be performed by geographic areas as defined in the by-law.  Kennisis Lake, Little Kennisis Lake, Paddy’s Bay and Kelly Lake are all part of Area 1.  These inspections are to commence in 2018 and must be completed by the end of 2019.

Inspections completed under the program organized by the KLCOA during the summer of 2017 will be accepted and with proof of completion of required repairs this paperwork can be submitted to the Dysart Building Inspector in order to avoid the need for a further inspection.

In addition other property owners who have had a comprehensive inspection of their septic system, including a pump out, performed by an Ontario licensed inspector since 2013 (say as part of a real estate transaction) for Area 1 will be exempted if the related paperwork is submitted to the Dysart building officials.

Education related to the effective operation of each septic system is an important part of the process and so the KLCOA strongly encourages property owners to be present during the inspection of their system.

With the snow currently covering the ground it will now be months before new inspections can actually be performed.  Over the next few months we expect the Dysart Building Department will be formally communicating with property owners regarding the specifics of their planned approach to completing the now required inspections. 

The KLCOA will share details of the plans and approach through our website as those details become available.  We expect this will include information related to the submission of paperwork for inspections which have been completed.

As part of its plan Dysart will be providing a list of local licensed inspectors on its website.  Mike Rahme of HomePro Inspections who conducted the program for the KLCOA in 2017 will be on that list.

As we have previously reported, the KLCOA firmly believes these re-inspections will help protect the water quality of our lakes in the years to come.  We appreciate the efforts of the Council and staff at Dysart in moving forward with this program and will offer to work with them in order to help ensure its success.

Based on requests from members, the KLCOA will consider hosting another Septic Inspection Open House in the spring of 2018 so that members can learn more about the inspection process.


Questions may be directed to a KLCOA volunteer who is not in the septic business.




Voluntary Septic Inspections on the Kennisis Lakes

Voluntary Septic System Inspection Results to Date

While we wait for the implementation of mandatory septic re-inspections in Dysart the KLCOA sponsored two septic inspection open houses in 2017.

As a result 27 property owners on the Kennisis lakes had comprehensive inspections, including pump outs, completed as of the end of August.  Each of these property owners deserves our thanks for stepping forward.  Under no obligation these water quality “heroes” decided to lead with their pocket books and take a critically important step toward helping to preserve the quality of water in the Kennisis lakes.

From above ground all of these septic systems looked fine.  There were no visible indications of problems at any of the properties.  However, with all of the lids off, after the pump outs were completed at 10 of the sites all was not well.  In 10 of the 27 (37%) septic systems various component failures were allowing septage to leak into the ground around the septic tanks and into our lakes!  The inspector described the reaction of most property owners as shocked and distressed that their systems were leaking septage.

The good news is that in most cases relatively minor and inexpensive repairs were completed to eliminate the problems.  In only one case was the entire septic tank in need of replacement.

These property owners had decided to do the right thing by ordering an inspection.  They fully deserve our thanks for taking that step and through their thoughtfulness reducing the flow of harmful contaminants into our lakes.

Hopefully more property owners will do the same rather than waiting for Dysart to make such inspections mandatory.


Comments or questions may be directed to a KLCOA volunteer who is not in the septic business.


Art on the Dock 2018 - Call for Artists and Artisans

Art on the Dock – Exhibitor Registration – Deadline - Feb 28, 2018

We are gearing up for our Fourth Annual "Art of the Dock" event on Saturday, July 7th and Sunday, July 8th.  This is our call for Artists and Artisans. 

Exhibitor Registration Form


Deadline for exhibitor registrations is February 28, 2018.  Please email completed registration forms to Please note that this is a strict deadline - Exhibitor registrations received after Feb 28, 2017 will not be included in the brochure or other printed promotional material and will not be provided with signs or otherwise be enabled to participate in the event.




Notice re Public Meeting

Please find below the public consultation materials Bell Mobility has prepared in support of their proposal to install a new wooden pole structure to improve wireless coverage at the lake.  There will be a public meeting held by Bell Mobility representatives on February 10, 2018 between 1:00PM – 3:00PM at the West Guilford Community Center at 1061 Kennisis Lake Road 


The KLCOA has endorsed this proposal as representing minimal impact on the lake environment including not requiring a light while providing worthwhile service enhancements. Your KLCOA board encourages all interested parties, whether in favor or against the proposal, to participate in the public consultation process.  The results of this consultation process will be provided to Dysart et al and will inform their response to Bell Mobility's proposal.  


Public Consultation Details

Visual Simulation Map 1

Visual Simulation Map 2


To give feedback or if you have specific questions about the proposed plans to upgrade the wireless network in your community and you are not able to attend this neighborhood meeting, you can email or fax your Bell representative by February 8, 2017.

Your Bell Representative

Ashley Ligas, Agent for Bell Mobility

PO Box 82546

351 Queen St. E.
Toronto, ON, M5A 1V1

Fax: (416) 981-7725



Public Affairs

KLCOA Thanks Reeve Fearrey & Councillor Norcross for Speaking at Spring Meeting - References Septics, Kennisis Landfill

KLCOA sent a letter thanking Reeve Fearrey & Councillor Norcross for speaking at the 2017 Spring Meeting. During the meeting, Councillor Norcross indicated that Dysart has decided to transition the Kennisis Landfill Site to a transfer station.  KLCOA appreciates that Dysart has responded to our input that we need continued access to waste disposal in our area and this approach will minimize future environmental risks.  Reeve Fearrey indicated his support for a 5 yiear "pass" for property owners who voluntarily undertake an inspection of their septic systems and complete whatever work is indicated.


KLCOA Asks Dysart to Implement Mandatory Septic Re-Inspection Program

Properly maintained and functioning septic systems are critical to maintaining good water quality on our lakes.  Even a properly functioning system has some impact on the lake, and a single system which is malfunctioning can have a very harmful impact on a nearby lake.  Failed systems pose a serious public health risk and can contaminate the surrounding ground and water, and enter drinking water systems far beyond the property boundaries.  For this reason, the KLCOA has been educating its members on proper septic system care and maintenance for many years. 

It is now over 50 years since substantial development began on the Kennisis Lakes.  Some properties on our lakes may still have the steel drum type sewage disposal systems that were often used before septic tanks were required.  While many of these may have been replaced with proper septic systems, without a re-inspection program there is no obligation on the property owner to do the right thing.  A large number of the septic systems on our lakes are older than twenty years old - and some may now be beyond their functional life. 

The KLCOA believes that we need to act now to ensure that the Kennisis Lakes continue to enjoy the excellent water quality that we all enjoy.  The Love Your Lake Shoreline Assessment results which you will be receiving this Spring will help property owners identify where you might re-naturalize your shorelines to put in more of a buffer zone to protect the lake.   The KLCOA will be running a septic inspection "open house" this Spring  to encourage property owners to voluntarily have their septic system examined by a licensed inspector.  These inspections will help owners address small problems before they become big and costly issues, and will identify failing systems that need to be replaced.  More details will be shared in upcoming e-Blasts and at our Spring Meeting.  

We have also met with and written to Dysart et al to ask them to put in place a mandatory septic re-inspection program.  (See attached letter).  While we continue to strongly encourage voluntary efforts by all property owners to regularly pump out their septics and to voluntarily have them inspected, we believe that we have now reached the point where periodic mandatory inspection is necessary.  The cost for an inspection is very minor compared to the financial impact of deteriorating lake water quality! 

In 2011, the Ontario Government changed the Ontario Building Code to give municipalities the authority to implement mandatory septic re-inspections and provided guidelines for such programs. Since then, several municipalities have implemented mandatory inspection requirements.  There are a number of issues to address and we are encouraged that Dysart et al is currently working on some of these elements.  We have offered to assist them in implementing a mandatory septic re-inspection program, including possibly doing some kind of pilot program.   We will keep our members informed as this issue progresses.  In the end, we think it's the right step to take to protect our lakes.

Dysart Review of Landfill Options

As a matter of prudent planning, the municipality of Dysart et al is reviewing its landfill sites to address environmental and financial issues.  They have engaged consultants who are working with staff to do an assessment of options for each location, including the Kennisis Lake dump.  While this work is in its initial stages, we understand that one option that might be put forward is closure of the Kennisis Lake dump, requiring property owners on the Kennisis and Redstone Lakes and surrounding areas to take their household garbage and recyclables to the West Guilford location.  

We have sent the attached letter to Dysart Reeve Murray Fearrey expressing our view that we need to continue to have a waste disposal approach in our immediate area, and asking for the opportunity to review documents as they become available publicly and to provide our input before any decisions are made.  We also referenced the survey of members' preferences for dump hours that we are now doing and our interest in meeting with Dysart if there is significant interest in a change of hours.  

We will keep members apprised of developments on this issue through our eblasts.

KLCOA Asks Dysart to Implement Balanced Fireworks Law

Many neighbouring municipalities have put in place by-laws to impose some restrictions on the use of fireworks to address environmental, safety and noise concerns.     The Canada Day Fireworks Display sponsored by the KLCOA for the community and the privately-sponsored fireworks display on the August weekend at the Marina are long-standing Kennisis traditions and are among the Association's best-attended events.   They are set up by trained pyro-technicians with safety as the first priority and to minimize impact on the lake.   
On the other hand, we frequently hear complaints from members who are disturbed by fireworks late at night and who believe that safety, fire risk and environmental impact may not have been fully considered.

After some research and discussion, the KLCOA Board sent the attached letter to Dysart et al to ask them to consider implementing a by-law that would provide a framework for safe, environmentally-responsible and considerate fireworks displays.  We indicated that we would welcome the opportunity to participate in any public consultations that Dysart might undertake in developing a by-law.
Our letter was discussed briefly at the April 25, 2016 Dysart Council meeting.  There was some question as to whether another by-law was required since there already is a noise by-law, but our Councillor Susan Norcross noted the additional fire risk and Reeve Murray Fearrey noted that many other municipalities have moved forward with regulations providing a framework for safer, environmentally friendlier fireworks. 
On July 25, 2016, Dysart Council passed a new noise by-law with the following clause:  2.3) No person shall discharge or cause the discharge of Fireworks between the hours of 11:00 PM and 7:00 AM.
We welcome any comments on this issue to
KLCOA Communication to Bell Mobility and to Rogers Wireless re:  Cell Coverage
KLCOA sent an email in Spring 2016 to Bell Mobility and to Rogers Wireless expressing our interest in seeing further enhancements to cell coverage on the lakes.
KLCOA followed up with a letter in late August, 2016 to BCE CEO George Cope asking to work with Bell in understanding where we have wireline and wireless services around the Kennisis Lakes and identifying strategies to address gaps in service.  Bell Canada has contacted KLCOA and indicated that they are now doing the analytics and will be in contact with us with respect to opportunities.
KLCOA Letter to Ontario Minister of Natural Resources Bill Mauro re:  New Dock Permit Requirements
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry will now require property owners to obtain authorization for construction, replacement or structural repair of docks/decks/ramps over 15 m. sq cumulatively that are supported by posts, stilts, poles or floats.  
Ministry Staff in Minden advise that the requirement to apply for a permit for "replacement" applies to structural elements such as joists and cribs; however, cosmetic replacement, for example of a few rotting deck boards, will not require a permit.  The 15 sq.m. limit is cumulative - that is, any combination of shoreline deck, ramp and/or dock that together exceeds 15 sq. m. will require a permit going forward.  (Existing structures are grandfathered at least until structural replacement is required or expansion is desired.)  This includes floating docks and ramps that are entirely in the air (between a floating dock and a shoreline deck, for example.)
Permit applications and a guide are available at the Minden MNRF office (12698 Hwy 35 Minden, Phone: 705-286-1521).  The staff is hopeful that they will be posted on-line shortly.   Attached is the current version which the Minden office has shared with us - we encourage you to check that it is the most recent version at the time you need to apply for a permit.
While the Minden office appreciates that there will likely be a fair volume of applications for permits, at this time they are unable to estimate how long it may take for a permit to be reviewed and approved.  
Please note that while this is a new requirement at the provincial level, existing municipal (and in some cases, federal) requirements still apply.
KLCOA (along with FOCA and many other stakeholders) have written to express concern to the Minister that there has not been a clear statement as to why this new requirement has been established - it is duplicative and conflicts with municipal setback requirements.  We understand that criteria have not been fully established; the forms and documents are not yet available on-line; no process has been established to handle the expected volume of applications and the Ministry is not staffed to handle the applications.  
While KLCOA recognizes that regulation of shoreline structures is necessary to protect lake habitat, we have asked the Minister to indicate why this new authorization is required.  If in fact it is required, we ask the government to clearly state where permits will be required and what the criteria for authorization will be, to post the documents on-line, and ensure that they have the trained staff available to handle the applications. Click here to see KLCOA's letter.  Click here to see Minister Mauro's (disappointing) response.
KLCOA Input to Dysart Official Plan
Dysart is undertaking a review of its Official Plan - the framework document that sets broad policy direction for issues within Dysart's jurisdiction.  In August 2016, KLCOA submitted a letter with our input on the key issues.


slide up button
Only BAD BOTS will follow this link and they will subsequently be banned from the site!