The Millpond Story
What's the problem with the pond?
The creation of the dam and millpond created a heritage & recreational resource but also environmental problems:
1. The dam is a barrier to fish passage to upstream spawning areas.
2. it is also impedes downstream sediment transport, starving .
the river of the natural flow of gravel & rocks and causing erosion.
3. Inflow of storm water from the municipal sewer system. Storm sewers empty directly into the Millpond without any measures in place to reduce inflows of salt, road salts, fertilizers, and other contaminants that enter the storm sewer systems.
4. A hundred and twenty-five years of silt have built up and a gradual infilling of the pond is taking place. Without action, the pond will be completely filled in over the next two to five decades.
5. The warming of the water is detrimental to Shaw's Creek's role as a cold-water fish habitat, particularly for Brook Trout.
More info on the environmmental problems are available in this CVC Powerpoint presentation.
The Alton Millpond is part of the Alton Mill property. The pond was created aproximately 125 years ago by the damming of Shaw's Creek (a tributary of the Credit River) to power the "Beaver Knitting Mill", which is now the Alton Mill Arts Centre.
The rehabilitation is a community based environmental project. It was conceived and the master plan completed by an informal committee of interested organizations and individuals. In 2016 the Alton Millpond Association was incorporated as an independent non-profit organization governed by a 10-person volunteer board, which has taken over carriage of the project going forward.
If you would like to be invited to upcoming public consultation meetings, please send a request to be added to our email list to "info (at) altonmillpond.org".
The project goals include:
1. Improve the water quality of Shaw's Creek, making it healthier for cold-water fish such as trout.
2. Preserve the historic pond as a publicly-accessible, year-round, recreational, educational and public art facility.
3. Create fish passage for Brook Trout and other native cold water species.
4. Remove some of the built-up silt and allow natural downstream sediment transport.
5. Generate clean, renewable hydro electricity if possible.
6. To the extent possible, protect adjacent properties from flooding.
7. Develop sustainable ownership and maintenance arrangements to ensure public access and manage the pond for future generations.