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Cottage Living

Basic Security and Safety

Wood Burning

Wood heat is cheaper than electricity. It offers a softer, warmer heat and is less drying. It has a distinct alluring appeal, especially on those chilly fall and winter nights. Nothing beats sitting in front of the wood stove, watching the dancing flames, when its below outside. Sure a camp or bonfire is more captivating but we can't have those every night.

In any case be sure to have both a working carbon monoxide detector and a working smoke detector on all levels of the cottage.

For a comparison of different types of Wood Stoves go here.

If you need a reference to compare different types of annual heating costs go to Natural Resources Canada or to U.S. DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE).


Residential Wood Heating Safety

Source: Environment Canada

Wood is used in more than 3 million Canadian homes as either a primary or secondary heat source. Woodstoves and fireplaces are not only used for heating purposes but also to create a “comforting and cosy” atmosphere in the home.

However, wood smoke pollutants can reduce the quality of our air and cause breathing difficulties and other health problems even at relatively low levels. In fact, residential wood burning is a major contributor to winter smog, and in areas of high use can result in poorer air quality in residential areas than in major city centres such as Montréal (see study).

If the combustion of wood were complete, only carbon dioxide (CO2) and water would be emitted into the air. These conditions, however, are never reached. When wood is burning, the flames appear on one part of the log while smoke arises from several areas. This smoke results from the incomplete combustion of the wood. It contains a mix of hazardous particles and chemicals that are distilled out of the wood or formed during its combustion.

Some of the important pollutants found within wood smoke include:

Also of concern, some of the unburned gases collect on the chimney walls as an oily residue known as creosote. A build-up of creosote can result in an increased risk of chimney fires.

Scientific research and the co-operative efforts between governments and industry have made wood burning appliances safer, less polluting and more efficient.

Still, it's important to stay informed as residential wood burning is at the centre of much discussion. Changes with regards to this issue may be coming your way soon. As these activities unfold, there are already many things that you can already do to take action and help reduce air pollution from wood heating.


Winter Storms

Winter storms are worthy of consideration in New Brunswick no matter where you are. Blizzards, heavy snow, freezing rain and sub-zero temperatures can hit hard across the province. Though we have not had not had serious storms recently, and even if you think you are safe and warm at home, a winter storm can become dangerous if the power is cut off. If you use your cottage year-round there is a possibility that you will encounter at least one storm during your time there. Even if it never happens, it is much better to know what to expect and to have the necessary items on hand than to be surprised and uninformed. With a little planning, you can protect yourself and your family from the many hazards of winter weather, both at home and on the road. What is the Scout Moto again ?

Be Prepared

If Traveling in Bad Weather



Septic System

To be written.

Today we have difficulty imagining that more than a century ago "the invention of the century" was a septic tank. At the time, the disposal of human waste was a hygienic nightmare. In the countryside, the problems were not as obvious as in the city because the population was not as dense. There was a lot of space and the people had discovered that a simple hole in the ground was the most practical and hygienic way of getting rid of the feces.

In the city, at the time, sewers were unknown. The latrines quickly filled up with tons of feces and repugnant odors. The citizens tried to avoid them and preferred to relieve themselves in the open in some dark corner. It was no doubt the era of repugnant odors. But the wealthy people could hire the services of a poor soul to regularly clean out their latrines. The work was done with a small shovel and it was the only way to make them more acceptable. The feces, smell and all, would then be taken by cart to a place outside of the city.

France: The invention of the century.

In 1881, in Vesoul, France a man by the name of Jean-Louis Mouras applied for a patent for an "automatic and odorless cesspit". Mouras had observed that part of the feces went from the solid state to the liquid state when the waste water from toilets and sinks was allowed to remain in a watertight container. Mouras had discovered that bacteria that did not need oxygen to survive (anaerobic), could liquefy feces when placed in a septic environment. It was quite a discovery because feces always remain solid in the environment of a latrine. Mouras understood that anaerobic bacteria in a septic container (he could not find a name for it) would be more hygienic than the latrines.


Britain: The septic tank was baptized in England.

The "Mouras" tank was in fact a septic tank. However, this expression was unknown in France at the time. The expressions used were Mouras' tank or the "automatic cesspit". The term, "septic tank" was introduced by a British inventor, Donald Cameron. He patented a tank in 1897, 16 years after Mouras' discovery, and gave it the name of septic tank. He called it such because he wanted to remind people that the efficiency of the tank depended on bacteria. It is thus that the septic tank was born!

Septic tank systems were first introduced into the UK in the late 1800's and were mainly used for the treatment of sewage from larger country houses, when it was found that the old style "privies" were no longer acceptable or caused smell problems. Following this many more properties started to use Septic Tank systems, with some of the larger properties having filter beds and humus tanks added to further treat the sewage before discharging to local watercourses.



The first known installation of a septic tank in the United States was in 1876, although Louis Mouras of Vesoul, France, was given a patent in 1881 and credited with the invention. Baffles, which regulate the flow, were added in 1905 to make the septic tank more efficient. The first baffles were made of oak boards. At the turn of the century, there were some very large community septic tanks. In 1903, four community tanks were constructed in Saratoga, New York, with a total capacity of one million gallons. By 1920, septic tanks began to be a common feature. After World War II, septic tanks became important to housing developments in unsewered areas.


Water, Well Water and Pump System

To be written

The Water Classification Regulation

Watercourse and Wetland Alteration

Watercourse Alterations Technical Guidelines

Well Construction and Well Water Testing

What's In Your Well? - A Guide To Well Water Treatment And Maintenance

How to Chlorinate Your Well Water

Your Well Water - A Safety Checklist

Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines



Zoning and Environmental Regulations

New Brunswick's 2002 Provincial Building Regulation


A compilation of Environmental Conservation related Acts and Regulations is listed below. For other legislation, visit the New Brunswick Acts and Regulations page of the New Brunswick Department of Justice website. Another source is the Royal Gazette.

An Overview of New Brunswick Environmental Legislation

Aquaculture Act:

Beverage Containers Act:

Clean Air Act: New Brunswick's Clean Air Act Public Information Access Site

Clean Environment Act:

Clean Water Act:

Endangered Species Act:

Energy Efficiency Act:

Environmental Trust Fund Act

Fish and Wildlife Act:

Pesticides Control Act:

Protected Natural Areas Act:

Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act:

Underground Storage Act

Unsightly Premises Act

There are also Provincial Webpages on Specific Topics.

The New Brunswick Department of the Environment has also set up the following webpages to address these specific areas of interest:

The New Brunswick Department of Natural Resources has also provided these items online (see their website for others):


Other Links:

New Brunswick Acts and Regulations

Conservation Council Of New Brunswick


Fishing Regulations

New Rules, Licences, Bait etc.

Fishing in New Brunswick Booklet

Fishing - Crown Reserve Licences



Garbage Pickup

Solid Waste:

Garbage picked up is once a week. Garbage day is currently every Monday. Beware of the critters that get into the garbage if you leave it out too early. Beware of chicken bones that could lodge in the throats of some unsuspecting animal.

Current Contractor: MDI Waste Services Phone: 453-0001


Household Hazardous Waste:

Look for symbols indicating the product is corrosive, toxic, reactive or flammable or these words - Danger, Poison, Caution, Warning.

The Fredericton Region Solid Waste Commission now offers you two regularly scheduled dates per month to visit our year-round Household Hazardous Waste Depot. This free service is offered:

2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month 7:30am - 4:00pm

2nd and 4th Saturday of each month 7:30am - 3:00pm

Located at the Fredericton Landfill, Alison Boulevard.

Current Contractor: Fredericton Region Solid Waste Commission Phone: 453-9938


Other Links:


New Brunswick's Beverage Containers Program

New Brunswick's Used Oil Program

Siting and Operating a Composting Facility

Waste Reduction and Diversion - An Action Plan for New Brunswick

Fredericton Waste/ Junk Removal


Recycle Boxes

Recycle day is the First Friday of every month. Not sure what can be recycled ? What goes in those blue boxes ? What goes in the gray boxes ? Need more information on composting ? or hazardous waste ?




Want to know what that is ? The Adopt-a-Highway program, developed in 1996, compliments and adds to the existing Annual Spring Roadside Clean-up. These programs are joint efforts of the Tree House, the Department of Transportation, and groups of volunteers who work together to keep our province roadsides clean and beautiful. More details can be found here.

Twice a year, we have the Yoho Lake area Adopt-a-Highway garbage pickup cleanup. Larry Somerville has volunteered to be in charge of this again this year. Thanks Larry. We have adopted the roads around the Yoho Lake again, including the section of highway 640 between the swamp and the Hunter Road. Larry will be contacting volunteers for this spring clean up soon.


To be written.

A good source of information on Insurance is found here.




To be written

Ants: Always keep your counters and tables free of crumbs and put your food away to discourage insects. If you do get ants in your cottage, buy 'Ant B Gone'. It's thick like honey and works like a charm. Resist the urge to stomp the ants when they come to feed. They need to bring the poison to the colony.



Secret Recipe: Ant-B-Gone

Caution: it is not poisonous to animals or people simply because the quantities are too small, but it would still be a good idea to keep it away from children and pets.
4 tsps
boric acid powder. Purchase a life-time supply of boric acid powder at a pharmacy for about $2.
3 cups
1 cup
Bring to boil. Stir to dissolve solids. Let cool. Place out for ants to find by soaking a cotton ball in the solution and placing in a small plastic salsa or salad dressing container, the kind used for take-out food. Close the container and cut a few small holes in the side for the ants to crawl in (not too many holes, or the solution will evaporate too quickly and they won't like it anymore). The idea behind this recipe, is that when the ants drink enough of the solution, it crystallizes inside them and they die. Other ants eat the dead ants, then then they eventually eat enough of the boric acid and they die, too. Eventually, the entire colony dies. Then they leave you alone.


Skeeters: Skin-so-soft, Citronella Candle, Deep Woods Sportsman's can (blue) or a combination can be used to keep the area skeeter free while you are out. No, cigarettes do not work. Skeeters are attracted by the CO2 you produce. That is how the Skeeter Vacuums work. Beware of the west-nile virus that can be transmitted by them. Basically try to cut down their breeding grounds.


No-See-Ems: They take over when the skeeters go to bed. No-see-ems are those biting gnats you can barely see, who can pass right through window screens, and screen-wire windows and doors. Their bite seems worse than a mosquito's. The reason no-see-ems are so common now is that their larvae develop in water, mud and decaying vegetation. In other words the less rotting leaves around the cottage and stagnant water they hold the fewer the number of skeeters and no-see-ems.

Expert advice - "Avoidance, habitat modification, chemical control, personal protection." In other words, either stay away from them or nuke them.

Practical advice - "Just wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers, and suck it up and be a nature lover and let her love you back". That's why you came to camp. If you close your drapes/blinds at night and use your outdoor light at a minimum, you'll reduce the number of insects that are attracted to your cottage.


Secret Recipe: Mosquito Repellant. No 1.

Start out by roasting garlic in the microwave, squeezing the pulp out and spinning it in the blender with a little oil. Then add water and some blue food coloring, and put the concoction in the fertilizer dispenser that hooks to the hose.(the color was so you know when it was done dispensing)

Mixing garlic powder with water works just as well and is less trouble. Just spray it all over the grass, vegetation and everything. It will be effective immediately and the smell does go away quickly.

It lasts about 2 weeks or until you have a hard rain. The stuff is pure magic. It also keeps the gnats and "no-see-ems" away, and even deters the yellowflies.


Secret Recipe: Mosquito Repellant. No 2.

Build a bat house.


Skunks, and One eyed Bandits: Are generally after your garbage.

Secret Recipe: Like most other critters, they are simply after food and shelter. Make their Property Taxes too high and they will leave themselves, but be very careful not to upset them though.

Raccoons are known to be very persistent and smart animals. Many times they will seek to "make" a way into a place they want as shelter. If you have a raccoon seeking to use your home as their own, you must secure the area once they have left (usually at night) and introduce a repellent to keep them away (i.e. change the door locks, call your divorce lawyer).



Chip and Dale: Don't feed the locals, or they will demand it. If you don't pay up on order, they will do your house over and taunt you and Rex from the tree when you get back from groceries. Squirrels (chip and dales cousin) and house wires can be a fire hazard especially if the cottage does not use breakers. As I said, do not feed the locals !.

Chipmunks are cute in the woods, but not when they’re digging up the tulips, sneaking into the house through the dryer vent, and having whole families in the attic. Give them a foothold, and it won't be long before they’re calling your place their permanent home. I bet they reproduce faster than you and have way bigger family's and way more friends to party with.


Animal Pests

Source: DNR (Department of Natural Resources)


Biology and Natural History of Nuisance Wildlife Species and control of damage.

Other Mammals

and Birds

Beaver Coyotes Bats
Chipmunks Foxes Moles
Mice (House) Raccoons Pigeons
Mice (Deer) Skunks Starlings



Neighborhood Watch

To be written



Cooking and Barbecue Recipes

Looking for some great recipes?. There is a great source here for the Barbecue. Then there is the old fall back at All Recipes.


Grilling Tricks and Tips

Swimming Safety Tips

Boating Tips


Oil Spills


For those Cottage users that use Oil for heating, there are pending regulations.

AVOID OIL-TANK SPILLS AT HOME THIS WINTER By Sally Praskey, Editor, Consumer Info With the arrival of winter weather in the Atlantic region, the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) reminds homeowners to check the condition of their oil tanks. It is the responsibility of homeowners to take the necessary precautions in order to avoid spills that are harmful to the environment and costly to clean up. A home oil-tank checklist should include examining the tank for any sign of corrosion, and also making sure the connections to the tank are kept clear from snow and ice during the winter season. "The unprecedented number of spills resulting from snow and ice buildup on lines and connections has put this issue in the spotlight for both the public and governments," says Don Forgeron, vice-president Atlantic, IBC. Industry statistics show that insurance claims from domestic oil-tank leaks and ruptures have been increasing by more than 50% per year in the last few years, taking the total to the tens of millions of dollars annually in Atlantic Canada. Between 1996 and 1998, total dollars paid out in claims from domestic oil-tank leaks and spills in Atlantic Canada exceeded $11.9 million, ranking as the sixth-highest category of claims made by consumers, after fire, wind and water damage, burglary, and liability. The IBC safety advisory is part of a public education program that includes a consumer information brochure outlining the installation and maintenance of domestic oil tanks. The program also calls on the governments of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick to regulate the installation and inspection of residential oil tanks. In 2001, Prince Edward Island became the first province in Canada to institute regulations regarding domestic oil-tank installations. In another initiative to prevent leaks and spills, a partnership involving the insurance industry and university and private-sector research scientists has resulted in the development of a polymer-based coating for new domestic oil tanks that is expected to be in use by late 2002. For more information, contact Don Forgeron, vice-president Atlantic, IBC, at 902-429-2730, Ext. 225.

Foam Encapsulation

Water Safety

Water and alcohol do not mix. It doesn't matter if it's swimming, water-skiing, or boating, do not drink before getting on or into the water.

Another dangerous combination is unattended children and water.

Canadian waters can be deceptively cold, even into the summer months. Hypothermia, a drop in your core body temperature, can be avoided in part by avoiding prolonged exposure to the cold water. In ten degree (Celsius) water, a person can survive about 2 hours if they are swimming, and up to 4 hours if they are wearing a floatation device and curl themselves into the fetal position (the HELP) or huddled with others.

If you end up in the water, draw your legs up and into your body, and if you are wearing a lifejacket, pull your arms in as well. This will help conserve your body heat by lessening the area exposed to the cold water. The less movement you can make, the better.

Never go swimming alone. Do not overestimate your strength when swimming distances or swimming in currents.

When purchasing a boat, make sure that it has hand bars on the so that anyone who is in the water can hold on. If the boat capsizes, get as much of your body out of the water as possible. Make it a practice never to overload the boat, or rock it unnecessarily, even as a joke. Avoid making sudden stops. Check the weather conditions before you go out; 50% of boating-related drowning happen as a result of choppy water or inclement weather.

What you should have in the boat

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