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Completed subwatershed studies plans

Carp River Watershed/Subwatershed Study

Greater Cardinal Creek Subwatershed Management Plan

Executive Summary

Greater Cardinal Creek Subwatershed Management Plan [ PDF 8.120 MB ]
Appendix A  [ PDF 269 KB ]
Appendix B [ PDF 8.499 MB ]
Appendix C1 [ PDF 853 KB ]
Appendix C2 [ PDF 6.310 MB ]
Appendix C3 [ PDF 3.926 MB ]
Appendix D [ PDF 3.685 MB ]
Appendix E [ PDF 764 KB ]

The Greater Cardinal Creek Subwatershed Study was initiated to address three land use planning and environmental issues including the following:

  • Environmental impacts of urban and rural development pressures within the study area;
  • Documented water quality problems within Cardinal Creek; and
  • Documented erosion and slope stability concerns along Cardinal Creek.

The study was planned and conducted in accordance with Official Plan Policy 2.4.3 – Watershed and Subwatershed Plans which identifies and protects the natural heritage system, recommends areas for development and preservation, provides guidelines for development and includes monitoring of all aspects of the plan.

The Subwatershed Study was also conducted as a Master Plan Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (Class B), with respect to the erosion and slope stability concerns along Cardinal Creek and documents the extent and nature of the concerns, evaluates the alternatives for addressing the problems, and identifies the preferred solution. Upon approval of the Subwatershed Study by Council, the City will post the Subwatershed Study for a mandatory 30 day review period under the Environmental Assessment Act, and then issue a Notice of Completion.

The Greater Cardinal Creek Subwatershed Study occurred in three phases including preparation of the terrestrial inventory and geomorphic assessment (2006-2007), preparation of the existing conditions report (2008-2009) and the preparation of the subwatershed management plan, which is the focus of this study and report herein.

A portion of the study area came under consideration for urban expansion (Urban Expansion Study Area 11) during the 2009 Comprehensive Official Plan Review (OPA 76) and subsequent appeals. After confirmation of Area 11 as an urban expansion area, the scope of the subwatershed study increased to include the development of stormwater management and other environmental guidelines for development of Area 11 (the Cardinal Creek Village development area).

This Subwatershed Management Plan includes identification, policies for protection and potential habitat restoration opportunities for the natural heritage system. This plan places an emphasis on Low Impact Development (LID) techniques in stormwater management and verification of flow targets for future development within the watershed. The protection of surface water and ground water features are reviewed and an inventory of agricultural land uses and Best Management Practices is included.

The Greater Cardinal Creek Subwatershed Study satisfies the technical requirements of the Master Plan Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA) with respect to the erosion and slope stability concerns along Cardinal Creek. The project was completed as a Class B Environmental Assessment, which addresses Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the process: i.e. identification of the problem, identification and evaluation of alternatives, and identification of a preferred alternative.

For further information, please contact:

Nick Stow
Planner III
Planning and Growth Management
110 Laurier Avenue West, 4th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1
613-580-2424, ext. 13000
Fax: 613-580-2459
E-mail: Nick.Stow@ottawa.ca

Jock River Reach 1 Subwatershed Plan

The Barrhaven South Community Design Plan, approved by Ottawa City Council in 2006, included companion Master Plan studies to address environmental, infrastructure and transportation servicing of the proposed development. The Jock River Reach 1 Subwatershed Plan is one of those companion studies, providing a conceptual stormwater management and natural environment plan for the Barrhaven South community south of the Jock River, and the undeveloped lands on either side of Strandherd Drive north of the Jock River.

Study area

The Jock River Reach 1 Subwatershed Plan followed the Master Plan approach, completing Phases 1 and 2 of the Class EA process at a broad level of assessment. The environmental assessment requirements for stormwater management and stream restoration projects for the Barrhaven South area have been fulfilled through the preparation of the Barrhaven South Master Servicing Study. Further study is required for the areas north of the Jock River, to finalize the conceptual stormwater management and natural environment plans.

Technical and public advisory committee meetings, public open houses/public meetings, and discussions with other government agencies were held as part of the environmental assessment process and are documented in the companion Barrhaven South Environmental Assessment Consultation Report.

For more information on this study, please contact:

Nicholas Stow
Planner III
Planning and Growth Management
Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Avenue West, 4th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1
Phone: 613-580-2424, ext. 13000
Fax: 613-580-2459

Mud Creek Subwatershed Study

Ottawa City Council approved the Mud Creek Subwatershed Study on January 27, 2016. This study addresses the Mud Creek subwatershed and the adjacent Mahogany Creek catchment, which both drain to the Rideau River in the Village of Manotick.

You can read the study using the links provided below, or by asking to see a hard copy at the Manotick Public Library or the North Gower Client Service Centre.

Executive Summary

The City of Ottawa initiated the Mud Creek Subwatershed Study to examine the existing conditions of the area, and to identify any needed actions to improve its environmental health and condition over the long term. Information was obtained from various reports and studies undertaken by the City and the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority. The Mud Creek subwatershed drains to the Rideau River just north of the Village of Manotick. The study area also includes Mahogany Creek, a small catchment adjacent to the Mud Creek system that drains to the Rideau River at Mahogany Harbour. Crop farming is the predominant land use in the study area, followed by natural areas (woodlands, wetlands and valleylands). Manotick is the largest settlement in the study area.

Issues and Opportunities

  • Mud Creek is primarily a coolwater system with many species of fish, but water quality is being impacted by runoff from adjacent land uses. Vegetated buffers along the creek and its tributaries would help to reduce these impacts.
  • The Kars Esker is a valuable source of groundwater, and is recognized in the Mississippi-Rideau Source Protection Plan as a highly vulnerable aquifer.
  • Several woodlands and valleylands have been identified as significant features in the City's natural heritage system. There are also many unevaluated wetlands associated with the significant woodlands in the study area.
  • Setbacks have been previously established in several locations within the Village of Manotick due to steep, unstable slopes along Mud Creek and its tributaries.
  • The City has identified potential retrofit opportunities to improve stormwater management in existing developed areas within the Village of Manotick.

Recommendations

  • Stewardship of the creeks and other natural features should be encouraged, using existing programs at the City and the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (e.g., Ottawa Rural Clean Water Grants Program, RVCA Shoreline Naturalization Program, Green Acres, City Stream Watch).
  • The significant groundwater recharge area (including the feature known as the Kars Esker) should be appropriately protected during the development review process.
  • Additional sections of Mud Creek and its tributaries in and around Manotick that have been identified as significant valleylands or linkages should be added to the Natural Heritage System Overlay in the City's Official Plan. The unevaluated wetlands are not being added to the Overlay, but should still be considered subject to the Official Plan policies for protection of the Natural Heritage System.
  • Existing setbacks along the creeks within Manotick must be respected, to reduce risks of property damage and environmental impacts.
  • The City should consider opportunities to improve stormwater management in existing developed areas within the Village of Manotick as part of future renewal projects involving roads and other public facilities.

Mud Creek Subwatershed Study – main report [ PDF 900 KB ]
Figures [ PDF 5.122 MB ]
Appendix A – Consultation [ PDF 7.639 MB ]
Appendix B – Photos [ PDF 4.213 MB ]
Appendix C – Manotick Stormwater Management Retrofit [ PDF 4.695 MB ]
Appendix D – City Stream Watch and Rideau Valley Conservation Authority Reports [ PDF 4.965 MB ]
Appendix E – Species at Risk [ PDF 185.48 KB ]

For further information, please contact:

Amy MacPherson
Natural Systems Planner
Planning and Growth Management
110 Laurier Avenue West, 4th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1
613-580-2424, ext. 14873
Fax: 613-580-2459
E-mail: Amy.MacPherson@ottawa.ca

Sawmill Creek Subwatershed Study

Study Area Boundary

map of study area
Click to enlarge image

The City of Ottawa initiated the Sawmill Creek Subwatershed Study Update to promote environmental actions that improve the health and condition of Sawmill Creek's natural system. The study area encompassed the communities of Alta Vista, Billings Bridge, South Keys, Hunt Club and Blossom Park. The study’s goals were to:

  • Investigate the natural features (woodlands, wetlands, creek) of the watershed.
  • Verify and update study goals and objectives
  • Update watershed strategies to ensure protection, restoration and enhancement of the creek's natural system
  • Update the Environmental Study Report prepared for the proposed constructed wetland stormwater management facility (to be located behind South Keys Mall) through the preparation of an Environmental Assessment (EA) Addendum

In December 2002, the consulting team presented strategies for:

  • The Water Management Strategy: methods to improve the water quality along the creek and to mitigate the flooding and erosion issues
  • Valley Lands Management Strategy: a number of components intended to provide protection, preservation, and improvement to the creek corridor over the long term
  • Implementation Strategy: priorities for work items recommended through this study
  • Public Use and Enjoyment: A map of existing trails; uses and areas of interest compiled through community input will also be displayed

The Water Management Strategy of the Sawmill Creek Watershed Plan recommended the Sawmill Creek Constructed Wetland project, which began in 2004.

The purpose of the constructed wetland was to:

  • Mitigate flooding through the South Keys residential and commercial areas (i.e., east of Bank Street between the CNR and Cahill Drive) by reducing flow rates in the main creek during peak runoff periods
  • Provide treatment of stormwater runoff for a substantial portion of the watershed including lands draining to the Cahill tributary and the main creek south of the South Keys shopping complex
  • Reduce downstream channel erosion by decreasing flow rates in the main channel of the creek downstream of the facility
  • Enhance the natural features and recreational opportunities of the watershed

For more information, please contact:

Suraj Harish
Planning and Growth Management
Telephone: 613-580-2424 ext. 21828
Fax: 613-560-6064
E-mail: suraj.harish@ottawa.ca

or:

Darlene Conway
Planning and Growth Management
Telephone: 613-580-2424 ext. 22518
Fax: 613-580-2578
E-mail: Darlene.Conway@ottawa.ca

Shields Creek Subwatershed Study

Study Area Boundary

photo of Study Area Boundary
Click to enlarge image

The City of Ottawa, in partnership with South Nation Conservation, initiated the Shields Creek Subwatershed Study in 2002. The study area includes the village of Greely, the area drained by Shields Creek, and some lands adjacent to the subwatershed.

The Study examined the subwatershed and adjacent lands to answer the following questions:

  • What is the existing state of the natural environment (woodlands, wetlands, water quality, fish habitat, stream structure and erosion)?
  • How does the surface drainage system work? There will be an Interim Existing Conditions Drainage Report prepared with some interim guidelines to address immediate issues pending completion of the Subwatershed Study.
  • What are the potential impacts of the existing and future land use and development activities in the area?
  • What measures or activities can be implemented to effectively address these impacts?

The study followed the Municipal Engineers Association Class Environmental Assessment process for Schedule B projects.

The Shields Creek Subwatershed study consists of a Management Strategy that provides guidance for future land use and other activities in the watershed to ensure a healthy and sustainable natural system. The strategy is aimed at meeting the goals and objectives set for the area based on the characteristics of the watershed. The

Management Strategy for Shields Creek subwatershed has assembled the various management actions under the following main elements:

  1. Natural Heritage System - identification of significant natural areas and stream corridors recommended for protection. Stream setback requirements specified for Shields Creek, Finlay Creek, Mosquito Creek, Grey’s Creek and other municipal drains within the study area.
  2. Stormwater Management – Sets specific stormwater management targets and requirement for existing and future development to address surface water quality, surface water quantity, erosion, groundwater, geomorphology, and aquatic concerns.
  3. Rehabilitation Plan – Stream restoration works recommended for stream corridor reaches along Shields Creek, Finlay Creek, Mosquito Creek, and Grey’s Creek to improve stream form, function and ecological attributes.
  4. Implementation Plan – implementation requirements necessary to execute the Management Strategy.
  5. Monitoring – outlines monitoring requirements associated with in-stream monitoring program and monitoring of implementation plan.

The Shields Creek Subwatershed study was undertaken in conjunction with the Village of Greely Community Design Plan; and the Village of Greely Groundwater Characterization Study. The Shields Creek Subwatershed Study, Final Report (Totten Sims Hubicki, June 2004) was approved by City Council on February 23, 2005.

For further information, please contact:

Shields' Creek Subwatershed Study
Jennifer Boyer
Planner II
Planning and Growth Management
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Avenue West, 4th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1
613-580-2424, ext. 16907
FAX: 613-580-2459
E-mail: jennifer.boyer@ottawa.ca

Groundwater Characterization Component
Michel Kearney
Planning, Transit and the Environment Department
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1
Tel.: 613-580-2424, ext. 22872
E-mail: Michel.Kearney@ottawa.ca

Shirley's Brook and Watts Creek Subwatershed Study

Study Area Boundary

photo of study area boundary
Click to enlarge image

Shirley’s Brook and Watts Creek (inclusive with its tributary, Kizell Drain) flow into the Ottawa River and drain approximately 52 sq. kilometres of land in West Ottawa (formerly Kanata and Nepean). The combined catchments of these two systems form the main drainage areas for Kanata wards. The subwatershed study was completed in 1999 to ensure that planning for future development would proceed in an environmentally sound manner in keeping with the Official Plan.

The subwatershed planning process consisted of four main tasks:

  1. Develop an understanding of the subwatershed features (natural and social/cultural) and how they function
  2. Predictions of impacts on the natural environment from land use changes and development
  3. Recommendations for possible ecological restoration and/or enhancement measures which could improve subwatershed features and functions
  4. Development of an approach for managing development in the subwatershed with specific policies for natural heritage features and developable areas

The interdisciplinary team of Dillon Consulting was retained to conduct a comprehensive field investigation program and analysis for the following environmental components: land use, aquatic biology, terrestrial biology, geology, hydrogeology, surface water quality, hydrology, and stream morphology.

The fieldwork and analysis resulted in the identification of six main issues or problems as a result of human activities that may be magnified with new development unless management measures are taken. These key subwatershed issues are:

  • Flood and Erosion Problems persist in susceptible areas of existing creeks taxing the capacity of existing infrastructure and impacting stream banks as a direct result of development.
  • Lack of a Comprehensive Stormwater Management (SWM) Strategy has resulted from a multitude of earlier incompatible or absent stormwater measures executed on a site-specific basis only.
  • Poor Surface Water Quality is evident and has resulted from uncontrolled polluted runoff and erosion due to existing agricultural and urban land uses.
  • Fish and Aquatic Habitat has been degraded through polluted stormwater as well as the destruction of fish habitat and watercourse vegetation, which moderates water temperature and helps to filter pollutants.
  • The Loss of Terrestrial Habitat, through the removal of woodland and wetland areas, has resulted in fragmentation of natural areas, decreasing biodiversity and the quality of habitat for wildlife.
  • Groundwater Supply is important to base flow, which is necessary to maintain aquatic habitat and to help dilute pollutants that enter the watercourse.
  • Groundwater Quality is susceptible to contamination due to a minimal overburden which results in short flow paths to bedrock groundwater.
Goals and Objectives

Based on the key issues, the study team developed, in consultation with the public, goals and objectives, which will guide the development of the subsequent subwatershed, plan. These goals are as follows:

Goal 1 - To ensure the safety of subwatershed residents, users, property and natural resources with respect to natural hazards such as flooding and erosion

Goal 2 - To protect, maintain and enhance the warm water fishery and associated aquatic communities in Shirley's Brook, Watts Creek and Kizell Drain

Goal 3 - To protect, maintain and enhance the significant natural terrestrial features (land, forest and wildlife) and ecological functions of the subwatersheds

Goal 4 - To protect, maintain and enhance the quality and quantity of surface and groundwater resources in the subwatersheds

Recommended Subwatershed Plan

The recommended Subwatershed Plan consists of six different, but interrelated management strategies, each comprised of a series of management measures/actions designed to:

  • Protect and enhance the Subwatershed natural features and ecological functions
  • Restore those features/functions that have been degraded
  • Guide future development in a manner that will ensure the long-term health of the environment

Management strategies were developed in the following areas to address existing problems as well as preventing future ones:

  • Natural Area Management – identification and level of protection recommended for terrestrial and aquatic habitats
  • Flood Management – management of flood hazard
  • Erosion Management – drainage network, stream channel protection and restoration; policy development
  • Groundwater Quality and Quantity Management – development guidelines for private potable water supply
  • Agricultural and Rural Land Management – Best Management Practices
  • Urban Stormwater Management for New Development

Council approved the Shirley’s Brook/Watts Creek Subwatershed Study (Dillon, 1999) and copies are available at the Beaverbrook and Hazeldean library branches.

For further information, please contact:

Nicholas Stow
Planner III
Planning and Growth Management
Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Avenue West, 4th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1
Phone: 613-580-2424, ext. 13000
Fax: 613-580-2459

Upper Poole Creek Rehabilitation Project

Together, the City of Ottawa and the Mississippi Valley Conservation (MVC) are rehabilitating Poole Creek in the heart of Stittsville, a vital and rare cold-water stream that sustains a unique ecological system of great environmental and recreational value to the community of Ottawa. The restoration works were identified in the Council-approved Upper Poole Creek Subwatershed Study (Marshall, Macklin, Monaghan, 2000).

Revitalization of the creek began in the fall of 2004 with volunteers, MVC, and city staff planting riparian (stream bank) vegetation along its banks between Main Street and Jonathon Pack Road. In the fall of 2005, barriers to fish access were removed and replaced with rock weirs to improve fish habitat and reduce stream bank erosion. In 2006, interpretive signage will be installed for public enjoyment and education, completing the project. The implementation of the restoration works for Poole Creek involved assistance from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Ministry of Natural Resources.

For more information, please contact:

Nicholas Stow
Planner III
Planning and Growth Management
Infrastructure Services and Community Sustainability
City of Ottawa
110 Laurier Avenue West, 4th Floor
Ottawa, ON K1P 1J1
Phone: 613-580-2424, ext. 13000
Fax: 613-580-2459