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Petitcodiac River
Memramcook Main
Memramcook South
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North River
Mill Creek

 Memramcook Main 

The Memramcook River covers a drainage area of approximately 400 km². Including several small tributaries, the Memramcook River watershed covers a territory where the still minimal human presence has very little impact on the general state of the river. In fact, aside from the Memramcook and Dorchester communities, the upper part of the Memramcook River watershed is still a largely wooded region. Finally, very near the Memramcook River causeway, there is a small water plan, which is the Memramcook Lake, with an area of approximately 0.24 km².

Possible pollution sources
Even though human presence has little importance in the Memramcook River watershed, certain activities, like those associated with extraction companies (quarries) situated on each side of the river near Route 6 constitute a potential and possibly important threat for the future. In addition, the causeway modifies the hydrological characteristics of the river, as well as its natural cycles. The absence of migration passes for fish is another element that modifies the aquatic life upstream and this, despite the periodical opening of the sluiceway.

Qualité de l'eau
In the upper part of the Memramcook River, the average E-Coli rate (45.83 MPN/100 mL for PWMG 59 and 105.76 MPN/100 mL for PWMG 35), as well as the average dissolved oxygen rate (8.72 mg/L for PWMG 59 and 8.92 for PWMG 35) suggest the class A for water quality in this section. A bit lower on the river's course, near the Transcanadian Highway, we recorded a higher average E-Coli rate (140MPN/100mL) and an average dissolved oxygen rate of 10.19 mg/L. Considering only these rates, it would be easily conceivable to class this section in class B. However, considering that this sector flows straight through an important center of quarries and that the strip of vegetation along the river is virtually nonexistent, we rather recommend class C. For the sections found downstream, the average E-Coli rate is moderate (154.00 MPN/mL) and suggests at first glance the class B. Moreover, by considering the type of activity taking place upstream, it would be difficult to envisage a class superior to B. Finally, it seems that the local community is ready to do what is needed to preserve th water quality in the upper part of the river. For what concerns the section near the quarry and the sectors upstream, the community agrees to take action in order for the situation not to deteriorate further in the next years and seems satisfied with the proposed categories.

Water Quality Highlights of the Memramcook River (Main Branch)


Principal water quality influences

Water quality highlights 1997-2001

Aboujagane Rd.
(PWMG 59)

Beaver dams

Aluminum, Cadmium**, Chromium, Dissolved Oxygen, E-coli, Iron, Hardness, Total Organic Carbon

(PWMG 35)
Forestry Roads Aluminum, Dissolved Oxygen, E-coli, Iron, Hardness, Iron, Zinc
RR tracks
(PWMG 74)
Extraction Companies
Aluminum, Cadmium**, Dissolved Oxygen, E-coli, Hardness
Covered bridge
(PWMG 60)
Salt Water Infiltration Aluminum, Copper, Dissolved Oxygen, E-coli, Iron, Hardness, Iron
College bridge
(PWMG 36)
Salt Water Infiltration Conductivity, Dissolved Oxygen, E-coli, Iron, Hardness
**Given that the level of detection of Cadmium is superior to Canadian standards relative to water quality, Cadmium appears in the highlights when detected, but is not generally in any way

Recommended Preliminary Classification

Class A : upstream from PWMG 59
Class A : between PWMG 35 and PWMG 59
Class C : between PWMG 74 and PWMG 35
Class B : between PWMG 60 and PWMG 74

Classification already in effect

Class AL : Memramcook Lake

Between the causeway and the covered bridge, we estimate that it is not possible to treat this portion of the river according to the standards proposed by the Water Classification Regulations. In fact, it is impossible to classify this portion under the categories pertaining to water courses or those pertaining to lakes and reservoirs, considering the modicafications of the hydrological conditions by the causeway. Consequently, we recommend that the Minister, in virtue of the powers confered to her, exclude this portion of the river from classification by a specific decree.

Recommended Actions

>> Increase buffer zones where necessary.
>> Bank stabilization where necessary.
>> Further evaluate the potential and future impact of forestry activities on this type of water course.
>> Create a follow-up of the operations relating to the purification lagoons found in certain sectors and see that the treated waters flowing into the river do not affect the present water quality.
>> Reestablish the existing fish passages.

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Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance
Street Address:       236 St. George Street, Suite 109
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