Protecting our lakes today and for future generations – Bitter, Burdock, Coleman, Little Redstone, Long (Tedious), Pelaw and Redstone Lakes.


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New Cottager Guide

Connecting People for the Good of the Lake

Congratulations on your recent cottage purchase, and welcome to Redstone Group of Lakes!
Our cottage community has been a family tradition and summer destination for over 60 years. You’re going to love it here!

The RLCA was founded in 1961 as the Redstone Lake Cottagers Association. We are recognized by the Province of Ontario and the FOCA (Federation of Ontario Cottagers Associations), along with Ontario Parks and the Municipality of Dysart et al.

To help you settle into our cottager’s community, here is a list of resources that you will find helpful during your first year as a new cottage owner:


  • French’s Septic of Shepherd Environmental Services – 705-454-3744 
  • Superior Propane offers a group buy program to RLCA members.  Contact
  • Insurance companies may offer a discount on your cottage home insurance just by showing them your letter of confirmation as a member in good standing of RLCA.
  • Delancey Sports on Highland Street in downtown Haliburton.  Contact: 705-455-9938 


We recommend that you become a member of our cottagers’ association. There are so many benefits that are included in your membership. It will also help you getting settled faster so you can enjoy your cottage life.

Membership offers 3 level options of renewals; members must be property owners within the Redstone Groups of Lakes and pay an annual membership fee.

Our “Prime Directive” is to secure the permanency of our unique-in-Ontario cottage community.

Membership dues are non-refundable but can be transferred to new owners
1-year Membership: $30
2-year Membership: $60
3-year Membership: $80


The RLCA is run by a volunteer Board of Directors elected annually by the membership – Read more about our board members

The RLCA maintains a website and a Facebook page. We also email RLCA Newsletter/Bulletins to all members occasionally as circumstances warrant. Please ensure you submit any email address changes ASAP. Contact information is listed on the contact us page.

Best Practices for Cottager’s

Septic Tips

Keep our lakes clean with these simple SEPTIC TIPS

FACT: The more efficiently your Septic System operates, the less pollution goes into the environment. The 2 secrets to septic health and minimizing lake pollution are: Time and Bacteria

Bacteria – Never let anything go down the drain that kills the good bacteria in your system, like:

  1. Bleach – non-chlorine bleach is ok
  2. Anti-Bacterial Products – ban them from your house and cottage!
  3. Dishwasher Detergent containing bleach (most brands do!)
    Only ONE load of dishes using a regular detergent can kill ALL the good bacteria in your system for up to 70 hours – Use Septic Friendly Products available at The Organic Times in Minden & other local retailers (look for a statement on the front of the package stating no bleach & no phosphates)
  4. Dishwasher Rinse Aids – use lemon juice instead
  5. Cream Cleansers – most have bleach (see 1.)
  6. Drain Cleaners – use Eco Ethic Septic Treatment instead (more detail on reverse side)
  7. Automatic Toilet Bowl Cleaners – blue is not green
  • If soap, toilet paper or grease (bacon & eggs anyone?) get down your drain or anyone in the house is on antibiotics – use ecoethic Septic Treatment once a month to provide your system with the correct bacteria and enzymes to digest these items
  • If your system is sometimes not used for months at a time -when you arrive back the 1st thing you should do is flush 2 cups of Eco Ethic Septic Treatment down your drain to kick start your system
  • Never use a garburator

Time – Your system needs as much time as you can give it to digest the waste you put in before the next load of water arrives. Remember – one drop in = one drop out of your system. Give your system time by Minimizing Water Use and Spreading It Out Over Time.

  • Cut your household water use by 27% by installing a Water Matrix – Proficiency, 3 litre flush toilet. These toilets are tested and recommended by the C.H.A. and are available at local Timber Marts.
  • Try not to do any more than 1 load of laundry per day
  • Keep showers short and use a low flow shower head
  • Use every opportunity to use less water when doing regular activities
  • Get a licensed septic pumper to pump out and inspect both sides of your tank every 3-5 years.

For great entertainment and more info watch the “Poop Talk” Lake Protectors Video at

The C.H.A. – is a Haliburton based non-profit, volunteer organization dedicated to protecting and enhancing the lakes in Haliburton County.

Did you know? Septic Systems Are The Single Largest Polluter Of Our Lakes. All systems pollute, but those not working well pollute much more. Use Eco Ethic Septic Treatment & The Septic Tips on the reverse side to keep your system performing well and protect your lake!

Q. Is it true our Septics don’t need added bacteria – our guts give them what they need?

A. As long as you only put human waste – no soap, grease or toilet paper- down your toilet and drains that is correct. But – if like most of us, you do dishes having any grease on them, use soap & toilet paper-your system and your lake will benefit from monthly use of Eco Ethic Septic Treatment

Regular use of Eco Ethic Septic Treatment will help keep your septic system performing well.

Price$5 a month ($65 plus HST for a year’s supply) to protect your lake and one of your largest investments – your septic system and tile bed.

Available at Organic Times, 134 Bobcaygeon Rd., Minden and Northern Expressions, 13588 Hwy #118, Haliburton

Benefit – These retailers are CHA Lake Protectors Partners. Our Lake Protectors Partners contribute 100% of the net proceeds of this product’s sales to environmental projects to protect our lakes in Haliburton County.

The Details – A septic system functions on the principal of digestion of organic materials by bacteria. In the septic tank enzymes break the bonds of compounds, resulting in a simple food that bacteria then metabolize, converting waste into mostly water, carbon dioxide, mineral ash and more bacteria. Clean, clear effluent then flows out of the tank and into the tile bed (leaching field) where the effluent percolates into the soil. The more efficient the system operates the less pollution goes into the environment. The more bacteriological activity in the septic tank the better the effluent.

Kitchen Do’s and Don’ts

✓ DO

  • Use phosphate free cleaning products.
  • Wash dishes with phosphate free detergents.
  • Run the dishwasher only when completely full.
  • Use ecoethic Septic Treatment to keep drains running well


  • Use anti-bacterial products as the septic system needs bacteria.
  • Pour fats, oils and grease down the drain.
  • Use chlorine bleach.
  • Use chemical drain openers/ cleaners

    All of these are harmful to the septic system.

Any product that has any warning symbols or hazardous ingredient warnings should generally be avoided.

To Unclog Drains

  • Add 1 tablespoon of ecoethic Septic Treatment mixed in a cup of warm water – leave overnight
  • or Use 1 cup baking soda followed by 3 cups boiling water

ecoethic Septic Treatment – available at Organic Times in Minden & Northern Expressions Haliburton

Bathroom Do’s and Don’ts

✓ DO

  • Use non- antibacterial soap.
  • Use biodegradable cleaners (phosphate and chlorine free).
  • Add ½ cup of ecoethic Septic Treatment to toilet monthly.
  • Limit the amount of toilet paper used.
  • Conserve water to avoid overload to septic system.


  • Use automatic toilet bowl cleaners.
  • Use anti-bacterial products
  • Put paper towel, tissue, hair, wipes (even ones marked ‘flushable’), or feminine products (no tampons) down the toilet.
  • Put anything down the toilet other than natural waste and toilet paper.

Septic systems need bacteria to properly function, thus anti-bacterial products are not good for the system. Your system can only handle the volume of water and waste from the number of people it was designed for!

# of bedrooms x 2 people = capacity

The toilet, sink and shower are connected to the septic tank, a system of tanks that allows waste to filter ‘slowly’ into the ground.

Laundry Do’s and Don’ts

✓ DO

  • Use washing soda or oxygen bleach instead of chlorine bleach.
  • Use biodegradable, phosphate free detergents.
  • Use peroxide stain removers.
  • Wait for laundry load to finish before draining a bath or taking a shower.


  • Do more than 1 laundry load per day.
  • Use chlorine bleach.
  • Take a shower or bath the same time as doing laundry.
  • Use Liquid Fabric Softener

Be aware of how much water is going into the septic system as it cannot handle large volumes of water at one time. Your system can only handle the volume of water and waste from the number of people it was designed for!

# of bedrooms x 2 people= capacity

Using washing soda or oxygen bleach in your laundry will not only whiten and brighten your clothes, but also help to keep the septic system healthy.

Garbage Disposal Do’s and Don’ts

✓ DO

  • Reduce, reuse, recycle!
  • Rinse out bottles, jars and containers before putting them in the recycling box.
  • Check local dump hours to dispose of waste.
  • Pick up pet waste using a biodegradable bag.


  • Burn garbage
  • Feed wildlife
  • Leave garbage outside, unless in an animal-proof container.
  • Leave any scented products outdoors.
  • Leave pet food outside.

Wild animals cannot depend on you for their food source. Please do not feed the animals or leave your garbage outside.

Recycling is mandatory in Haliburton County.