Cottage Owners' Association and Lake Plan


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.


Bear Wise - What to Do About Bears in Our Area

There have been a number of bear sightings and bear encounters in the Little Kennisis and Kennisis Lake areas in recent weeks.  Thus far, the bear(s) have not behaved aggressively but may have minimal fear of humans.  The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forests have asked us to share the following information with our members as to how to be "Bear Wise" - how to avoid attracting bears to your property and what to do if you do see one: 

  1. Remove any potential non-natural attractants from outdoors, screened in porches or easily accessible structures such as flimsy sheds. Non-natural attractants include: garbage, recycling, dirty BBQs, bird feeders and hummingbird feeders, petroleum products, scented items such as candles and pet food
  2. Clean areas that may have scents such as garbage bins using unscented products such as bleach or vinegar
  3. If the bear is seen walking through a yard or along a road, leave it alone, and try to avoid it from seeing you. Stopping to take photos or trying to get closer to the bear will increase its comfort level with humans
  4. If the bear approaches close to a building, climbs on decks or looks through a window, and the occupant feels comfortable, they can attempt to scare the bear; yell at the bear in a loud deep voice, use an air horn or car alarm, bang pots and pans, etc.
  5. Never run or climb a tree during a bear sighting, slowly back to a safe location such as a vehicle 

If you do have contact with a nuisance bear, you can contact the MNRF provincial bear reporting line at 1 866 514 2327. This is a 24 hour a day service.  

Please read the following fact sheets from the MNRF:

  1. Bear Wise Fact Sheet 
  2. What to do if you have Bear Encounter
  3. Reporting a Bear Encounter


New KLCOA Board Elected - Sept 2, 2017

At its Annual General Meeting on Sat. Sept 2nd, KLCOA members re-elected the following incumbents to the KLCOA Board:
Graham Beach
Brian Evans
Tina Fagg
Sheelagh Lawrance
Joan Middleton
John Middleton
Janis Parker
Jim Prince
Terry O'Connor
John Smith
Deb Wratschko
The following new Board Members were elected:  
Gino Ariano
Arlene Burch
Grant DeMarsh
Scott Durie
Duncan Kent
Congratulations to each of the Board Members for 2017 - 2019.
To the returning members, thank you for all your work over the past two years and best wishes to the entire Board for continued success in serving our lake community over the coming years.
Thank you to our retiring members for their service - David Austin (Treasurer), Cam Douglas (Stewardship), Tony Lepine (Past Treasurer & President), Cathy Whittaker (Art on the Dock), Tayce Wakefield (President) - we appreciate your contributions and know you will continue to be interested in and supportive of the work of the KLCOA.
And thank you to all the members who took the time out of their long weekend to participate in the Annual General Meeting.
The new Board will be meeting shortly to elect the new Executive, and to begin the work of the new Board.


OPP Offering Online Reporting as Another way to Report Crime

Ontario Provincial Police                News Release/Communiqué                                      

                       Police provinciale de l’Ontario

FROM/DE: Haliburton Highlands OPP                            DATE: Monday October 24. 2016 



(MINDEN, ON) – The Haliburton Highlands OPP would like to remind citizens that online reporting is available for the reporting of minor crimes. The Ontario Provincial Police is reminding the public about the availability of the online reporting system as an alternative to having an officer attend a scene for a minor incident. Citizen Self Reporting (CSR) has rolled out across the province and the OPP is proud to offer this simple and efficient new system as a means of reporting certain minor incidents and crimes.

 The OPP’s Citizen Self Reporting is an easy to use internet reporting tool that can be accessed from a computer or mobile device and sent directly to the OPP anywhere, anytime.

 In an effort to enhance our service delivery, this online reporting system will allow the public to report specific crimes such as lost property, stolen license plates, theft from vehicles, driving complaints, and property damage without an officer having to be dispatched to the scene, provided there are no suspects, no injuries or the incident is not an emergency.


The use of the new system is completely optional.

 Police will still attend a call for service if desired.

 To learn more, and to access Citizen Self Reporting online, go to or call the OPP toll free number at 1-888-222-1122.


Contact: Provincial Constable Tim Negus

               Community Safety Officer/ Media Relations Officer  

               Phone:  705-286-1431                                                                                                                  


OPP Radio System Transition Changes

     Ontario Provincial Police           News Release/Communiqué

                            Police provinciale de l’Ontario

FROM/DE: Haliburton Highlands OPP             DATE: Wednesday January 4, 2017 

Haliburton Highlands OPP Radio System Transition 

(MINDEN, ON) – The Haliburton Highlands Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police would like to notify members of the Public of the upcoming transition of our dispatching which will be moving from Smith Falls Provincial Communications Centre to the Orillia Provincial Communication Center.

 This transition is set to occur on Wednesday January 11, 2017.

 How will this affect the public?

 There will be no change to how you telephone the OPP for priority calls for service or emergency calls. When you dial 911 or the 1-888-310-1122 your call will simply be routed to the Orillia Communications as opposed to the Smith Falls Communication Center.

 What is changing?

 To contact the OPP for non-emergency calls, please update your records with the PCC-Orillia numbers and use these numbers for non- priority calls.

Main administrative line – 705-329-7300

Fax – 705-329-7397 

Contact: Provincial Constable Tim Negus

               Community Safety Officer/ Media Relations Officer    

               Phone:  705-286-1431


Road Safety and Deer

Haliburton Highland OPP have an initiative to “Reduce” car animal collisions in Haliburton County.

Part of this initiative that started in 2013 is public awareness that this is a big problem in Haliburton.

Some statistics are that annually we average 190-200 car animal collisions here in Haliburton.

Most of which are involving Deer. About half are on Highways and the other half are on County and Township Roads.

That puts us second in Ontario (In 2013) behind Manitoulin Island.

Refer to the document on how to reduce collisions and injuries with deer.



CEWF 2017 Priorities

KLCOA is a member of the Council for Equitable Water Flow, which is a coalition of 32 lake associations, representing 91% of the Trent-Severn Waterway's lake storage capacity.  The Coalition represents over 35,000 waterfront property owners in the Haliburton sector of the TSW on water management issues, water levels and flows.

CEWF has just released their priorities for 2017.  Their top priority continues to be advocating for an integrated approach to water management at the watershed level.

Read more about CEWF's objectives and 2017 priorities here.


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.


The "Meeses" - Poncelet Family - Win 2017 Digital Scavenger Hunt

Three families braved the sometimes wet, sometimes sunny weather on Saturday, August 12th to vie for the Digital Scavenger Hunt trophy for 2017.  Teams were given a list of 45 items to gather, do, discover and take a photo of in less than three hours.  Extra points were given for having the team sign and all the team members (except for the photographer) in the photo.  Some of the challenges included identifying various types of trees, finding birds and animals, doing lake activities and building an Inukshuk.


The teams met back at the Marina for hot dogs and hamburgers while their results were being scored.


(Thank you to Marilyn Hewitt and Paula Howard for helping with scoring and Roy Campbell for manning the BBQ!).  All the teams were very creative - and had a lot of fun!

The winning team were the "Meeses" - the Poncelet Family - Darren, Carolyn, Evan and Kaitlyn with friend Sabrina.  Congratulations!


The Sharrard Family came second - Rob, Zach and Abby Sharrard and Ethan and Matthew Root.


In third place were the Millers - Bill, Autumn, William, Maria and Eddie.


A very big THANK YOU to Margaret Cox for organizing the Digital Scavenger Hunt this year!



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