7.0 Glen Tay Catchment: Challenges/Issues
More pressure for rural estate lot subdivision development in the catchment is likely due to the proximity of the catchment to the Town of Perth.
Although headwater and tributary streams in the catchment have more than 75 percent naturally vegetated shoreline cover, the distribution of naturally vegetated shorelines is uneven (see Section 4.4 of this report).
Eleven of 19 sampled headwater stream sites have been modified (seven are channelized; four are ditched; see Section 3.4.2 of this report).
Land cover has changed across the catchment (2008 to 2014) largely as a result of an increase in the area of wetland (7 ha.), settlement (5 ha.) and crop and pastureland (5 ha.) and loss of woodland (17 ha.)(see Section 4.1 of this report).
Wetlands have declined by forty-nine percent since European pre-settlement and now cover 15 percent (844 ha.) of the catchment (in 2014). Ninety-nine percent (840 ha.) of these wetlands remain unevaluated/unregulated and are vulnerable to drainage and land clearing activities in the absence of any regulatory and planning controls that would otherwise protect them for the many important hydrological, social, biological and ecological functions/services/values they provide to landowners and the surrounding community (see Section 4.3 of this report).
Surface chemistry water quality rating along the Tay River in the Glen Tay catchment is Good at the Glen Tay Road, Very Good at the Noonan Side Road and Good at the Upper Scotch Line Road along the Scotts Snye, a tributary of the Tay River. No apparent water quality concerns are reported for this reach of the Tay River (see Section 2.1 of this report).
Instream biological water quality condition in the Tay River is Excellent at the Bowes Side Road. Samples are dominated with benthic invertebrate species that are sensitive to high organic pollution levels, indicating that the water is unimpaired (see Section 3.3.1 of this report).
Five (of 58) Tay Valley Township voluntary septic system re-inspections conducted from 2004 to 2017 in the Glen Tay catchment revealed the need for additional maintenance/remedial work to be performed. Another inspection identified the need to replace the existing septic system. More information was supplied to one other landowner with septic system issues. Those properties with concerns are identified in the yearly report submitted by the Mississippi Rideau Septic System Office to the Township.