Dock Replacement Considerations

Dock replacement considerations for the Blackstone Lake Water Quality Initiative

The use of PS Foams and PT lumber

There comes a time when our docks and safety become an issue. We must also consider our water quality safety for future generations.

Many thanks to those who have already replaced and volunteered to help replace some of the docks on Blackstone Lake. I was motivated and impressed when I witnessed some volunteers with help from Anglers Inn removing these docks last year.

The main concern has been to keep polystyrene out of the lake

 This type of material is no longer allowed and for the current dock using unencapsulated Dock foam, there are several restrictions for current docks in place.

Over the years one may have noticed pieces of blue or white pieces of this toxic material adrift in the lake. You may have noticed the rounded edges indicating how this product deteriorates with age.   These remnants are now microparticles also adrift and undetectable to the human eye. They are sometimes referred to as Stay Forever chemicals similar to Microplastics. They are now embedded in the Aquatic food chain, and they become leachates.

PS foams are complex compounds and are often produced with a variety of chemicals. These chemicals include base ingredients (benzene, styrene), additives (UV stabilizers, dyes, flame retardants), and chemical intermediates. While PS foam usually includes a suite of these chemicals, each product is unique. Chemicals such as Benzene, various flame retardants, and many other “stay forever chemicals” accumulate in the food chain.

As your representative and board member of the GBA, I would like to refer you to the GBA website for further details and progress of this initiative.

My philosophy is if you see a problem and your concern is for the greater good of others, always present a possible solution and consider volunteering in some way.

The solution in this case could be costly and perhaps we need to consider alternate methods of funding to replace the remaining docks on our lakes. This may include lakes feeding into Blackstone Lake. We can only rely on governments to set rules and regulations as funding for a large-scale initiative would be too extreme for Ontario. Perhaps donations from our members can also help with this initiative.

Many local manufacturers provide environmentally friendly solutions using PVC air floatation systems. Here are 2 high-quality manufacturers that provide excellent long-lasting systems including installation and delivery to Blackstone/Crane.

Many suppliers may also provide dock removal and disposal services from your dock to a landfill at extra cost. This may be in the order of $200/ton.

If you require volunteer help with the removal process, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Older pressure-treated lumber solutions are pesticides/fungicides no longer used. Pressure-treated lumber containing chromated copper arsenate (CCA) is mostly replaced by Ammoniacal copper quaternary(ACQ) compounds or other complex compounds far less hazardous to the aquatic/human food chain.

Other copper compounds that may be used to preserve wood include copper HDO (Bis-(N-cyclohexyldiazeniumdioxy)-copper or CuHDO), copper chromate, copper citrate, acid copper chromate, and ammoniacal copper zinc arsenate (ACZA). The CuHDO treatment is an alternative to CCA, ACQ and CA used in Europe and in approval stages for United States and Canada. ACZA is generally used for marine applications. For underwater use please use hemlock as an alternative to any type of  PT lumber. Hemlock can be provided by a local sawmill. Here are some useful links with further details.

The Township of the Archipelago Building permit fee is $50 + $1/lin ft. length. The width of the dock is no greater than 4 meters.