Unwanted Items: What to do With Them?

What to do with unwanted items that do not go in the Blue Box or in a garbage bag at the end of the drive?

For years we have been conscious of the need to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.  The following is some information to aid in that process.

Household items in good repair can be taken to Thrift Stores etc.  No charge.

Electronic Waste can be taken  to the Restore (Habitat for Humanity) 223017 Grey Rd 17 (Springmount area) Owen Sound, 519-371-6776  Restore

Monday -Saturday 9 am- 5 pm. Sunday 10am -4pm.  No charge.

Staples will also accept Electronic Waste at  1077 10th Street West, Owen Sound  519-372-2228. No charge.

Used cabinets, doors, windows, lighting and plumbing fixtures etc in good condition are accepted at the Restore (Habitat for Humanity).  Information above.  No charge.

Tires are accepted  at Stephen’s Auto Wreckers, 452288 County Road 24, Wiarton 519-534-0258.  Open Monday -Friday 9am – 5 pm.  Stop at the office for direction to disposal site.  No charge.

Metal Recycling can be taken to Stephen’s Auto Wreckers, location as above.  Anything with metal in it even if only partly metal is accepted*.  Stop at office for direction to disposal site.  No charge.
*They will not accept appliances, ie fridges, freezers, dehumidifiers or AC with freon unless item has been tagged that freon has been removed.

Hazardous Waste can be taken to the Owen Sound Public Works Department. 1900 20th Street East, Owen Sound.  On specific dates only.  Check website for dates and list of acceptable product.  No charge.
Owen Sound Garbage and Recycling

Items too large for curb side pickup and not suitable for one of the above locations can be taken to Miller Waste Systems  2085 20th Avenue East, Owen Sound.
Monday-Friday 8am-5pm, Saturday 8am-2pm. 519-372-1855
Closed Sunday and Holidays.
Cost is based on weight.
They will accept appliances with freon ie, fridge, freezer and AC for a fixed fee of $39.95
Miller Waste Management

Any items set out at the end of the drive for pick up by interested persons must be removed by 8 pm of the same day according to the Township of Georgian Bluffs.  If items are not picked up in a timely manner the Township of Georgian Bluffs will deal with this through ‘Response Based Complaint’ form.
Call Township of Georgian Bluffs 519-376-2729 or Bylaw Compliance Complaint Form

Let us do our part to keep our beautiful area just that…BEAUTIFUL.

Recolour Grey – County Official Plan

The draft County Official Plan is now posted on the Grey County website.  Land use planning manages our land and our resources. It helps each community set goals about how it will grow and develop. It also works out ways of reaching these goals while balancing social, economic and environmental interests. Land use planning
balances the interests of individual property owners with the wider interests and objectives of the entire community, and the Province.  For the full plan, click here: Recolour Grey

Viewpoint Summer 2018

Lots of great articles are included in this edition of Viewpoint … researching the possibility of Union Gas being extended along Grey Road 1 (Island View Drive); Water Quality, testing and wells; Septic Systems do’s and don’ts;  plus Council updates and coming events.  Click here: Viewpoint Summer 2018

Water Quality

It is in the best interest of all residents of any community to keep all water including bay or lake water, ground water or well water as clean as possible. This article will include information on private wells, watersheds and Georgian Bay as a factor in the health of the water that comes out of your tap. Treatment of the water from a private source coming into your home or cottage is the homeowners responsibility. There are many ways to ensure your drinking water supply is healthy including micron filtration, ultraviolet light, chlorination, ozonation and reverse osmosis etc. The Public Health Unit suggests that residents test well water 3 times a year for E Coli and coliform. This is free of charge. Water sample bottles can be obtained from the Public Health Office, 101 17th St. East, Owen Sound, 519-376-9420 or Grey Bruce Health Unit/ Wiarton Hospital.

The Public Health Unit also monitors the public beach areas. www.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca/Your-Environment/Safe-Water/Private-Drinking-Water

Well owners, including shallow shore wells, may also consider a more comprehensive test for substances including metals, fuels and solvents if there are concerns. This type of testing would involve a private water testing lab and is ‘fee for serviceʼ. https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/environmental-workplace-health/reports-publications/water-quality/what-your-well-guide-well-water-treatment-maintenance.html

Microbial contaminants such as bacteria, parasites and viruses along with septic water and grey water, toxic chemicals such as pesticides, fertilizers, other agricultural run off and industrial effluents can all have a negative effect on water quality. Apart from the obvious impact on water safety in terms of drinking water, swimming and tourism appeal, poor water quality can also lead to nuisance and toxic algal blooms and in extreme cases can result in the death of fish, other water creatures and birds. With over 8,000 kms of shoreline on Georgian Bay and 3,700 aquatic marshes in Eastern and Northern Georgian Bay, this area provides high quality habitat for fish, amphibians, reptiles,
insects, birds, waterfowl and numerous in water and coastal plant species.

Wetlands play an important role in maintaining overall water quality. Wetlands perform a type of water treatment function, filtering sediments as well as contaminants such as pesticides from air and water, which helps control water pollution. They also filter excess nutrients reducing harmful concentrations of phosphorus and nitrogen. Most wetlands in the Great Lakes have already been lost or degraded due to human disturbance. More than 50% of the wetlands in Lakes Michigan, Erie and Ontario have been negatively affected. But in Lakes Superior, Huron and Georgian Bay over 70% have been minimally impacted. Georgian Bayʼs wetlands remain abundant and in pristine conditions and are considered to be the least human disturbed wetlands on the Great Lakes. The water chemistry of Georgian Bay is a mix of more ‘hard waterʼ from the Western shores influenced by water draining the limestone bedrock and water draining the granite bedrock of the Canadian Shield on the Eastern and Northern shores. This ‘soft waterʼ tends to have a light brown coloration due to tannins and other acids originating from more acidic bog drainage. In most large bodies of water chemistry is relatively uniform throughout the main lake basin because of wind driven mixing giving us clear, colourless, less acidic and water higher in alkalinity and dissolved minerals. These influences are from the large areas of limestone bedrock on the Western shores.

Water quality in Georgian Bay remains relatively pristine in most areas. Areas of concern are in higher densities of shore development and in lower levels of water exchanges with the open bay. www.georgianbaygreatlakesfoundation.com/water/water-quality

Grey Sauble Conservation and the Ministry of the Environment monitor surface water and ground water quality. GSC samples 10 watershed sites and 10 groundwater wells 8 times per year and share this data with the MOE. www1.greysauble.on.ca/water-management/water-qualitybenthic-monitoring/

Healthy Septic System Translates To A Healthier Environment

The septic tank whether it operates alone or in connection with a treatment system requires an inspection at least every two years and on average should be pumped every 3-4 years. Visual inspections will indicate when the sludge in the tank is approaching 1/3 full in the first compartment. If sludge in this compartment is greater than 1/3 it needs to be removed to prevent suspended solids from leaving this tank and potentially causing problems further on in the treatment process. This is the time to call to have your septic system pumped. Never enter a septic tank for any reason. Noxious gases are present which are heavier than oxygen. Death may result to anyone who comes in contact with these fumes. Keep water use reasonable. Use appliances such as dishwashers and washing machines that incorporate water conservation in their design. Use water conserving showers heads and low flow toilets. Ensure your taps, toilets etc are not leaking water which will unnecessarily fill up the septic tank. Minimize the use of spas and hot tubs as they contain large volumes of water that may flush solids out of the septic tank. Food waste disposals are not recommended for septic tanks as larger solids are deposited into the septic and do not deteriorate into sludge.
A septic tank is not a garbage disposal. Keep the following items out of the septic tank:

Water softener backwash

Pesticides or herbicides


Sump pump discharge


Eavestrough runoff

Grease, cooking fats and oils

Pumped foundation drainage

Coffee grounds

Cosmetic products


Industrial cleaners, ie Lye
Cigarette butts

Floor drains

Disposable diapers

Palm oil, large volumes of olive oil

Facial tissue

Excessive use of hair gels, conditioners, anti dandruff

Sanitary pads and tampons or medicated shampoos


Carpet or upholstery cleaners

Disposable gloves

Expired or unused medications

Bleach pucks

Disinfectants, germicides

Antibacterial products

Bandages, cotton swabs

Detergents with dry bleach crystals

Peppermint oil

All persons undergoing any form of medical radiation treatments or possessing any forms of irregular immune system response will affect the health of a septic tank.

Signs of Septic System Failure:

– water and sewage from toilets, drains and sinks are backing up into the home

– bathtub, showers and sinks drain very slowly -gurgling sounds in plumbing system

-standing water or damp spots near septic tank or septic fields

-bad odours around the septic tank and septic fields

-bright green, spongy lush grass over the septic tank and septic field

-algal bloom in nearby ponds or lakes

-high levels of nitrates or coliform bacteria in water well.
Minor septic system issues can turn into big costly problems. Fixing minor problems and paying maintenance fees of a few hundred dollars every few years is a bargain compared to the cost of repairing or replacing a malfunctioning system.



Investigating the Possible Installation of Natural Gas Along Island View Drive

On May 22, 2018 several members of the IVDAARA Board of Directors met with an Union Gas representative, the Mayor and CEO of the Township of Georgian Bluffs to discuss the process and likelihood of Grey Road 1 being given the opportunity for the installation of natural gas lines.

It was determined that the installation of natural gas lines along Grey Road 1 would be a very expensive project. Keeping in mind that there are grants available for such a project, the end result would still be a prohibitive expense to the people wishing to support the project. The terrain along Grey Road 1 presents many engineering challenges. Union Gas is a private company who will support most communities by installing natural gas lines if it is profitable for them to do so.

At the initial stages of finding out whether a community is interested in the installation of natural gas, community people have to spearhead the project. Union Gas has surveys that the community group can use to determine whether the community is in favour of the project. The people supporting the project will be expected to make a financial commitment. When the community group have a hard and fast number of the people in support of the project, they can share their results with Union Gas. Union Gas then will make a determination to support or not support the project. If it is a profitable project for Union Gas, they will then take on more of a leadership role to move the project forward.

Those people not wishing to take advantage of the natural gas lines going pass their property will not incur any costs.


Updated:  June 2, 2018


Dear Brad Kuhn



We met on May 22nd, 2018; representing the municipality were Mayor Al Barfoot and CAO Rick Winters, as well as several members of the IVDAARA Board of Directors. Everyone was engaged at this meeting with interest in obtaining natural gas service.

We had an open conversation involving questions and answers. We discussed the steps to initiate a project with Union Gas to service an area. Further questions arose during the meeting, which I hope I was able to answer for everyone. I have provided some following correspondence below, in a frequently asked questions format, to further assist in clarity, with some of my responses.

Union Gas must comply with the Ontario Energy Boards economic guidelines when providing gas service to new customers. There appears to be approx. 400 potential attachments along the route to lay approx. 26,000 meters of pipe. We discussed potential costs, acknowledging at this time there were a number of unknown factors, which could heavily influence the costs and viability of this project.

I believe we concluded the meeting with everyone in attendance understanding that in our experience providing natural gas service to this area is not viable. Thank you for your inquiry to obtain natural gas distribution service from Union Gas.


If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me.




Derrick Cunningham

New Business Project Coordinator

Union Gas Limited | An Enbridge Company

TEL: 519-376-6970 EXT. 5336002 | Cell: 519-270-0305 | drcunningham@uniongas.com

1602 23rd St East, Owen Sound, Ont. N4K 6H6





  1. How do you calculate the costs for new gas service projects?
    We base our cost estimates on the most current actual construction costs for related projects in a similar geographic region.  This includes the capital costs of the project (construction costs, materials, labour, equipment, permits and survey costs), plus the ongoing operating and maintenance costs to maintain the new infrastructure over the life of the project.



  1. How do you calculate the revenue that a new gas service project will generate?
    We include all revenues that would be generated from distributing natural gas to each customer served by the project, over the life of the project. The project life is assumed to be 40 years for residential customers, 20 years for commercial customers and 10 years for industrial customers. The number of customers that would connect to the new natural gas pipeline is based on the information supplied by the requesting customers plus a forecast of additional future customers, which is based on our many years of experience with similar projects. The following assumptions were taken into account when determining the projected revenue


  1. (area to be served);
  2. Most current construction costs in summer conditions for the geographic area;
  3. “(number)” of existing homes and businesses who expressed an interest in natural gas service, were assumed to connect to natural gas service in the first year;
  4. “(number)” of commercial customers were assumed to connect to gas service in the first year; and
  5. Gas service to an additional ‘x” new homes over a 3 year-period, with “x” assumed to connect in the first year.



  1. Please provide a breakdown of the costs / detailed estimate?
    Union Gas does not provide a detailed breakdown of construction costs for customers as in many areas we source construction from third party contractors and this is commercially sensitive information. Our installation contractors are selected based on a rigorous selection process which includes the contract costs and their safety record.



  1. How do you determine what each customer needs to pay?
    We use an Ontario Energy Board approved economic model to evaluate the economic viability of all proposed new business projects prior to construction. This model takes into account the cost to provide both gas main and gas services to the customer plus ongoing operating and maintenance costs and compares this to the net present value of the revenues we expect to receive from each customer type that will be served by the project, over the life of the project.  Any resultant economic shortfall is covered by a financial contribution from the customer(s).  Union Gas has over 100 years of experience in providing gas service to communities across Ontario, and this history has provided us with a high degree of confidence on our estimates.



  1. Why do we have to pay to have a gas main extended?
    Union Gas must comply with the Ontario Energy Board’s economic guidelines when providing gas service to new customers. This includes a requirement that existing customers not subsidize the costs to provide gas service to new customers. Based on our analysis, the cost to provide gas service to this area is greater than the revenue that the project will generate. A customer contribution is required to close this gap to ensure existing customers do not subsidize an economic shortfall in the project.


  1. Does the amount of natural gas I use impact the cost of the natural gas main pipeline extension and service installation?
    Our calculation of the amount of revenue the project will generate takes into account the amount of natural gas a customer will use over the life of the project. This is assumed to be 40 years for residential customers, 20 years for commercial customers and 10 years for industrial customers.



  1. Do I have to provide a financial contribution to Union Gas in full up front? Can it be added to my gas bill after installation?
    Yes, we do offer financing.


  1. I believe I can construct the pipeline cheaper than Union Gas or its contractors. Can I do so?

Union Gas has over a century of experience in constructing pipelines.  Based on this history we are confident that our cost estimates are reasonable and accurate taking into account stringent quality and safety standards to ensure our pipelines remain in safe operating condition at all times.


  1. Once the pipeline is built, will new customers be able to receive the same gas service I paid for, for free?
    Part of the process for extending gas service to new customers includes canvassing the neighbourhood to ensure all eligible customers wishing gas service have an opportunity to participate, and that the costs are shared between them. Once the pipeline is in place, if a new gas service request is received, the existing rules as established by the Ontario Energy Board to not allow for Union Gas to go back in time and readjust the project economics and/or refuse them access.  New customers can make arrangements with the neighbours who paid to get the project installed but they are under no obligation to do so.


  1. If a new customer connects to this new section of pipeline in the future, can I get reimbursed for their portion?
    Currently there is no mechanism for Union Gas to go back in time and readjust past project costs and any resulting customer contributions, for future changes. New customers can make arrangements with the neighbours who paid to get the project installed but they are under no obligation to do so.




  1. If I am required to make a financial contribution to the pipeline project, do I own the pipeline?

A customer contribution is provided to close the shortfall between the costs to provide gas service and the revenue the new service will generate.  It does not give the paying party any right or claim to any pipeline that is constructed. The ownership of the pipeline shall be and remain with Union Gas Limited, which shall have the right to use the pipeline as it deems necessary.



  1. Why does Union Gas rely on the project requestor to determine whether other customers have an interest in receiving gas service?

We receive hundreds of new gas service enquiries a month.  The most efficient way to investigate these enquiries is for the requesting customer to provide information on others in the immediate vicinity who may also be seeking natural gas service.


  1. If I canvas the neighbourhood, will Union Gas install my natural gas service for free?

No, all new gas requests are required to meet the Ontario Energy Board’s economic guidelines. These costs include the customer contribution towards construction of the natural gas main pipeline on the road, and the standard cost to run a natural gas service line from the road to their home.



  1. Can I / my community access Provincial government monies that were recently announced for new community expansion projects?

The details on how the funds will be accessed / distributed in 2018- have been defined by the Provincial government.  The Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure recently launched a consultation process to support the development of a related framework. We are currently uncertain if further funding will be provided.

  1. I am considering building in “x” area in the future. Do you have plans to expand natural gas service to this area and what is the timing?

We have no plans to expand natural gas service to “Presqu’ile – Oxenden” area at this time.  We do not construct natural gas pipelines on speculation. If you wish to apply for natural gas service, please complete a new business inquiry form at https://www.uniongas.com/switchtogas , and we will evaluate your request.



  1. Why does Union Gas use Contractors? In some of our service areas Union Gas uses contractors for the construction of natural gas pipelines. Union Gas has had these construction alliance relationships for over 15 years. The construction alliance model has fostered a shared culture of innovation that continues to drive improvements in safety, quality and savings.


  1. Do not remove your equipment. Do not disconnect your fuel source or remove any equipment until after your new natural gas service has been installed and the appointment for your meter activation has been booked.

Your heating contractor will make an appointment to install your new equipment and remove the old equipment.  At the same appointment, your contractor will arrange for your meter to be installed and activated.  Your new equipment will be turned on, and we will then conduct a safety inspection.



  1. How long is this estimate effective? Please note this costing is based on our current construction season only.  If your affirmative response comes in later than Aug. 1 we may have to re-calculate your project cost next year, as we do not install gas mains during the winter season.



  1. Gas Service activation: How long to I have to active my gas service?  The Union Gas account must be activated and natural gas in use, within one year of the gas main installation.  If the Union Gas account has not been activated, or if natural gas is not in use at this time, Union Gas reserves the right to seek full and immediate cost recovery for the first 30 metres of the service installation, in addition to the costs of the main extension and the costs of any excess footage charges that apply.



  1. Requests to reduce costs through non-standard pipeline configurations or use of remote meters.

The natural gas pipeline system in a neighbourhood is configured to maximize safety and efficiency, and to ensure costs are fairly allocated.  For that reason, our standard installation approach includes the placement of the natural gas main pipeline along the street with individual services running from the main to each home or business, and meters which are attached to the home or business.

In this way we can ensure that our main pipelines are on the street where they can be quickly accessed for maintenance and in emergency situations, and that natural gas meters are safeguarded from unintended damage by road traffic or snow removal equipment.  In addition, only the pipelines up to the meter are documented on utility mapping systems.  As such, no record of pipelines located after the meter and within a private yard, would be available if needed for future construction or excavation needs.

These practices have changed over time as we continue to incorporate new safety standards.


  1. Delays to construction – summer to winter

This Aid to Contribution is based on current costs of construction in normal, summer conditions.  If the project is delayed until winter conditions apply due to changes from the developer, the project costs will be adjusted to accommodate winter construction costs, or the project will be delayed until the next construction season.  If the delay is related to Union Gas operations, no adjustment will be required.


  1. Why do I have to pay for a residential replacement?

Union Gas has a standard replacement service agreement which applies when the residential service for a lot serviced by Union Gas is abandoned and subsequently replaced with a new service on the same property. In these situations, the replacement service is installed at a rate of $80 per metre plus $210 for the meter and initial inspection work, before tax. Charges are applied based on length of service installed from the property line or the connection point (if inside the property line) to the meter location. Customers are notified of these charges prior to Union Gas initiating work to install the replacement service.

The standard cost recovery for a new service to replace one which was previously installed and then abandoned was established to meet the Ontario Energy Board’s economic guidelines when providing gas service to new customers. Under these guidelines:

  • The cost of a gas service installation is recouped over a 40 year timeframe for a residential service
  • Existing customers will not subsidize the costs to provide gas service to new customers.


A gas service that is removed prior to the 40 year timeframe (plus the cost to safely abandon the service), and then installing a replacement service at no cost, results in unrecovered costs that would be borne by existing customers.  As such, Union Gas charges the replacement costs in this scenario to comply with these guidelines.

Customer Request


Shriners Thank IVDAARA!


The Bruce Shrine Club has thanked IVDAARA members by letter, for our donations of aluminum pop cans.  Close to 200,000 cans have been crushed and recycled in order to raise funds for the Canadian Shrine Hospital for Children in Montreal.  Pop cans are collected at the Davidson Pop Can Depot at #505129 Grey Road 1, and then transported to Port Elgin.  Take a look at the letter, and please keep donating your pop cans for a very worthy cause!



Park Cleanup

Volunteers from our Ratepayers conducted a cleanup of both Cedar Hill and Centennial Parks in May.  Although the Township mows the grass in the parks and does minimal maintenance, the majority of the upkeep and beautifying of these local parks is due to the volunteers!  Pictured are Bill Wilson, Helen Elliott, Dennis Cooper, Susan Hindle, Keith Davidson, while Bob Hindle took the photo.  Thanks to our Volunteers!

New Chili Cook-Off Champions!

Organizer Ken McPherson presents the coveted Chili Cook-Off trophy to the winning team, composed of Corey McQuigge and Mary Beth Gray, of the Kemble-Sarawak UCW.  They claimed to have “higher” support, but we think the special ingredient might also have helped to win it.

All the Cooks provided excellent choices, and the friendly rivalry added to the day. It is recognized that the generosity of the Cooks is what made the event possible. Also, a big thank you to all the volunteers who worked so hard to make the 2018 Great Chili Cook-Off a wonderful community event. On behalf of the IVDAARA Executive, thank you.

Emergency Veterinary Care in Grey Bruce

Announcing the Grey Bruce Veterinary Emergency Health Team (GBVET), created to address the fact that our region does not currently have an emergency veterinary facility for after-hours care.

What to do in case of an emergency with your pet:

1)    Call your pet or animal hospital (List of participating veterinary hospitals below)

2)    If closed, you will be directed to call a 1-800 number which will connect you to the answering service for the GBVET and they will put you in touch with the veterinarian on call. 

3)    The veterinarian on call will direct you on which hospital to go to with your pet, and what to expect.

4)    You will be expected to reimburse the emergency veterinarian for services rendered at the time of your visit – just like you would have in your own hospital.

What happens after the emergency: 

1)    Medical records regarding your pet’s emergency visit will be sent to your veterinary hospital so that they are aware of what has taken place and can document it in your pet’s file. 

2)    Should your pet need hospitalization, your veterinary hospital will be prepared to receive your pet as soon as transport to their hospital is medically appropriate.


Participating Veterinary Hospitals:

Grey Bruce Pet Hospital (905 7th St East, Owen Sound)

North Heritage Animal Hospital (285 10th St West, Owen Sound)

Owen Sound Veterinary Clinic (102743 Grey County Rd 18, RR4 Owen Sound)

Port Elgin Veterinary Clinic (Hwy 21 and C.A.W. Rd South, RR1 Port Elgin)

Sauble Beach Pet Hospital (516 Sauble Falls Pkwy, Sauble Beach)

Southampton Pet Hospital (370 Railway St, Southampton)

Sunset Strip Veterinary Clinic (202421 Hwy 21, RR5 Owen Sound)

Wiarton Animal Hospital (10177 Hwy 6, Wiarton)