Pine River Watershed

One of the innovative projects of the Pine River Watershed Initiative Network (PRWIN) in 2013 was the Water and Sediment Control Berm Project on the Eadie farm.

The Eadie farm is located in the upper reaches of the South Pine River sub-watershed in Huron-Kinloss Township. The project fulfills one of the recommendations outlined in the Pine River Watershed Integrated Watershed Management Plan (2012) – to help improve water quality.

Berm construction underway at the Eadie farm. Berms slow down stormwater drainage, reduce erosion and retain farm topsoil. 

Three berms were constructed on the Eadie Farm in 2013 and a fourth is planned for spring 2014.

Each berm was placed in a specific section of a swale or gully where erosion due to the surface runoff was a significant problem.

The berms hold back surface water flowing from approximately 35.6 hectares of sloping land.

The four berms are designed to store 4,347 cubic meters of water and sediment in shallow pools for up to 24 hours following a storm event, keeping topsoil on the farm fields where it belongs.

The berms also act to slow down water as it flows off farm fields into nearby ditches and creeks, and eventually into the South Pine River.

Before these berms were built, an estimated 71 tonnes of topsoil were lost each year from this section the Eadie farm.

That’s the equivalent of six school buses worth of topsoil flowing towards Lake Huron from just one farm, every year.

Scientists believe at least half of the lost soil from a rural watershed, such as the Pine River, is caused by high flows and stream bank erosion.

An Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food publication, Controlling Soil Erosion on the Farm, points out that just under 2 kg of available nitrogen and .3 kg of phosphorus (which both contribute to nearshore algal blooms) can be contained in one tonne of topsoil.

The construction of these berms will help minimize nutrient loading to local watercourses and reduce nuisance algae that is fouling Lake Huron beaches.

PRWIN’s work, with the cooperation and participation of local residents, is made possible by financial support from Environment Canada, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Bruce County and many other partners.

For more information on PRWIN, visit


Saugeen Conservation Update

Sampling in the first full year of the Rural Stormwater Management Model project has yielded some excellent base information to better understand how water flows in the Pine River.

Saugeen Conservation staff member Martha Nicol samples water at a bridge on the Pine River.

Staff from the Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority collected surface water samples to monitor water quality and collected flow information from both the Ripley Gauge and a temporary site on the south Pine River.

A total of 32 bridges and 53 culverts in the Pine River watershed were also photographed and measured.

This information helps to accurately determine the flow of water, whether culvert sizes are adequate and if bridges act as possible restrictions to river flow patterns.

In 2013 SVCA staff also sampled six different storm runoff events and sent 83 surface water samples for analysis, with funding assistance from Bruce County’s Clean Water Fund.

Monitoring and flow measurement of the Pine River will continue so resource managers can gain a deeper understanding of the watershed, measure the effectiveness of implementing best management practices and determine how we can succeed in improving the well-being of the Pine River.



Adrienne Mason

Pine River Watershed Initiative Network

Pine River
Pine River
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Buffer Planting
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Pine River Watershed





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