Lake Water Quality and Stormwater management backgrounder from Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury - the bigger story‏

Feb 16, 2013

Lake Water Quality and Stormwater management backgrounder from Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury - the bigger story‏

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Lake Water Quality and Storwater Management - The Bigger Story

Public concern over the Keast development is part of wider public concern of the impact of development on lake water quality.

The bigger story is the cumulative impacts of individual planning decisions, and whether our city’s policies and planning decisions are protecting the health of our lakes.  With a review of our city’s official plan on-going, now is the time for a public discussion about what we want for our lakes now and into the future, and what changes in policies might be needed to make that happen.

In some cases, new development has led to growing concerns over lake water quality, and we have experienced the impacts with more blue-green algae blooms and beach closures.

Ramsey Lake, a primary drinking water source also treasured for its beauty and recreational value, is a good example.  Within the Ramsey Lake subwatersheds there are 596 draft approved lots, an additional 763 units recently approved, 192 lots under appeal at the OMB, and an additional 72 units coming before the Planning Committee with the proposed Keast development.  Unfortunately, no watershed study has been completed.

The Ontario Ministry of the Environment, in their stormwater management design guidelines, includes watershed studies as an essential part of stormwater management, stating, “Urban development without watershed/subwatershed planning is discouraged”.  However, that is what we are doing for Ramsey Lake, and all other lakes in our city, where no watershed studies have yet been completed.  Without watershed studies, impacts cannot be properly assessed.  Without watershed studies, existing watershed policies in our Official Plan are not applied to keep our watersheds healthy.

There are many things we can be doing to better protect our lakes, including better management of urban stormwater run-off which is a big contributor to degradation of lake health.

Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury provides the following documents:

-  A 'backgrounder' on stormwater management and lake water quality in Greater Sudbury.

-  A brief information sheet on how we can improve stormwater management to better protect our lakes. 

-  Our input on water quality to the Official Plan Review, which has more detail.  The Official Plan Review is the perfect time to put in place policies to best keep our lakes clean and healthy.

For more information, contact the Coalition for a Liveable Sudbury.