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Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance
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North River
Mill Creek

 North River 

Description:
Principal Land Uses

Total Area: 264,2 km²

%
Farms: 98,12 km²
37.14
Woodland: 85,23 km²
32.26
Residential: 48,73 km²
18.44





The North River is located in the northern part of the Petitcodiac watershed. In essence, North River is the head of the Petitcodiac system. The total drainage area is 264 km2 and its main land use is geared towards agriculture. Except for farms and a golf course, commercial development is non-existent. The Pacific Junction area is chatacterrized by some forestry harvest but again this is kept to a minimum. Some cottages and residences also border certain areas of the river.

The physical habitat of North River would be considered satisfactory. The stream substrate was in considerably good condition. It is made up largely of rock and cobble with minimal amounts of silt and sand in the river. Nonetheless, there was a significant amount of algae in the water at the time this assessment was carried out.

Algae is a good indication of nutrient overload within the system. The most noticeable non-point sources of pollution within the North River are cattle/dairy farms and a golf course. Farming has been going on in this area for centuries (1700's). It would be normal to see elevated levels of nutrients and bacteria in the se circumstances. In many areas along this river, farms border the river and in some cases cattle are allowed direct access to the river. However, the majority of the nutrient and bacteria peeks that occurred along North River occurred in either September or October. Although there did not seem to be many cattle grazing in the fields, these elevated levels could possibly be associated with manure spreading schedules. Furthermore, September and October are usually characterized by higher amounts of precipitation than the summer months, so this translates into more nutrient and bacteria runoff coming from fields and other areas such as golf courses. Nonetheless, the riparian and overhanging vegetation along certain areas of North River is considerably dense and would more than likely assist in keeping a portion of the runoff from actually reaching the river, but more areas like this would be needed to minimize surface runoff.

Southern New Brunswick is one of the oldest inhabited regions in Canada. North River has been the focus of extensive agricultural activities for centuries. Even throughout all of this activity, the aquatic habitat of this river has remained in relatively good shape. With minimal changes, the nutrients and bacteria levels found in North River can be brought down to adequate levels.

Water quality highlights for North River

Section

Principal Water Quality Influences

Water Test Highlights 1997-2001

At Pacific Junction Road Bridge (PWMG 9)

golf course, road runoff, forestry harvest, old dump

Alkalinity, E-Coli Sulphur, Total dissolved solid

Below Route 112 Bridge (PWMG 8)

 

Alkalinity, Conductivitiy, E-Coli, Hardness, Sulphur, Total organic carbon

Above Route 880 crossing (PWMG 43)

dairy/cattle farm, road runoff

Alkalinity, Chloride, Conductivity, E-Coli, Hardness, Sulphur, Total dissolved solid, Total organic carbon

Below bridge on Morton Road (PWMG 7)

dariy/cattle farm, corn and hay fields

Alkalinity, Chloride, Clarity, Conductivity, E-Coli, Sodium, Sulphur, Total dissolved solid, Total Kjeldahl nitrogen, Total organic carbon

Above Route 885 Bridge (PWMG 5)

dariy/cattle farm, bank erosion

Aluminium, Alkaliniry, Clarity, Conductivity, E-Coli, Sodium, Sulphur, Total dissolved solid, Total Kjeldahl nitrogen, Total organic carbon

Below Tingley Hill Bridge (PWMG 40)

golf course, Bennett Brook

 

Alkalinity, Chloride, Conductivity, E-Coli, Sulphur, Total dissolved solid, Total organic carbon

Recommended preliminary classification:

Class B : All of North River above Route 880 crossing (PWMG 8)
Class C : Above Tingley Hill (PWMG 40) up to Route 880 Crossing (PWMG 8)

Recommended actions:

>> work with local farm owners to implement an Agro-conservation club in the Petitcodiac area;
>> work with local farmers to add cattle fencing along streams and brooks that run throught their properties;
>> installation of bank stabilization structures where bank erosion is evident;
>> work with local farmers and the Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture to schedule manure spreading when monthly precipitations are the lowest (July, August);
>> work with local golf property owners to ensure that nutrients from these golf courses don't end up in North River;
>> reduce and eventually phase out the use of cosmetic pesticides.

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Petitcodiac Watershed Alliance
Street Address:       236 St. George Street, Suite 109
Mailing Address:     
PO BOX 23046  Moncton, NB E1A 6S8
506.384.3369
info@petitcodiacwatershed.org


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