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6. Issues

Water Quality

  • Surface water quality along Black Creek is “Fair” over two reporting periods (2003-2008 and 2009-2014) as determined by surface water chemistry data. Frequent exceedances of nutrients and occasional exceedances of E.coli, aluminum, copper and iron contributed to the rating. E.coli counts have increased in the 2009-2014 reporting period
  • Instream biological water quality conditions at the Black Creek sample location range from “Poor” to “Fair” from 2003 to 2014 (using a grading scheme developed by Ontario Conservation Authorities in Ontario for benthic invertebrates) with an overall benthic invertebrate water quality rating of “Poor” determined for this period

Shorelines

  • The riparian buffer along Black Creek (30 m. wide strip along the shoreline of all lakes and streams) is comprised of wetland (55 percent), crop and pastureland (28 percent), woodland (12 percent), roads (three percent) and settlement areas (two percent) and (at 67 percent) is below the recommended target to maintain a minimum 30 metre wide, naturally vegetated buffer along at least 75 percent of the length of both sides of rivers, creeks and streams
  • Altered instream and riparian conditions exist along Black Creek and some tributaries
  • Emerald ash borer poses a significant threat to the ecology of the subwatershed, given the prominence of ash trees along shorelines and in riparian and wetland areas. Many tree stands are predominantly ash and with their anticipated loss, it is unclear what will replace them and the overall effect of their collective demise on the physical and natural functions/values they provide for erosion, water quality and fish and wildlife habitat

Land Cover

  • The catchment contains 2906 ha of unevaluated wetland (occupying 22 percent of its total area) that provides many important social, hydrological, biological and ecological functions/services. Although not under imminent threat from development activity, they do remain vulnerable to drainage and land clearing activities in the absence of any regulatory and planning controls that would otherwise protect them