Comment deadline on gravel pits extended until Sept. 4

The deadline for public comment on a report on aggregate ex­traction in the Grand River watershed has been extended to Sept. 4 from the original deadline of July 31.

The report provides guidelines for the assessment of the impacts of gravel extraction below the water table.

It also outlines steps that should be taken to identify the potential effects on surface and groundwater quantity and quality when there are many gravel pits operating close to each other, or where there is a potential for many gravel pits in a subwatershed.

A copy of the report is available on the GRCA website at and com­ments can be sent by e-mail to

In a pit operating below the water table, water will usually seep into the pit, creating a pit pond.  Below-the-water-table pits usually use large excavators or draglines to dredge sand and gravel from the pit ponds that form below the water table level.

The report is entitled Cumulative Effects Assess­ment Best Practices Paper for Below Water Table Aggregate Operations within the Grand River Watershed.

It was written in response to concerns expressed by several municipalities that the presence of several pits, operating below the water table, could have an impact on surface and groundwater quality and quantity downstream of the pits.

The report is the work of representatives of the Grand River Conservation Authority, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the Ontario Sand Stone and Gravel Asso­ciation.