Storm Water Control & Drainage Systems

Last Updated June 24, 2011

Information on each of the LTS utilities (electrical, mechanical, water supply, sewage disposal, solid waste disposal, stormwater control, winter management, etc.) is sorted into these categories:

  • status and early remedial work completed upon arrival in November 2009
  • renovations and/or upgrades completed in 2010
  • work currently underway
  • future work programs and/or aspirations

We welcome any questions or comments on any of these topics. Although this is a BLOG site, we will return to each of these topics on a regular basis to update each of the sub-topics. We will do our best to respond to any questions, comments or concerns as soon as possible.

Photographs related to the “Stormwater Control / Drainage Systems” at the facility are located here:
Stormwater Control & Drainage Systems

June 2011 Upgrades

The intense and continuous “wet weather” conditions in the Spring of 2011 have shown that even our 2010 drainage system upgrades needed additional work. Previous projects had resulted in the addition of drainage ditches in the main fields on the south and east side of the property and the installation of culverts in the “crossing areas”. Unfortunately, the culverts were not of sufficient size to handle the large water flows experienced in the Spring of 2011. These have now been replaced and the water is flowing freely into the off-site drainage areas. Work is ongoing to also improve the drainage in the paddock areas, where possible.

New Culvert for 24 Hour Field

New Culvert in Boys Field (North)

If you are in these fields you will note that the culvert installation is now complete and a new pathway of “crushed asphalt” has been put in place.

Status and Remedial Work Upon Arrival in 2009

It was very obvious in the Fall of 2009 upon arrival at the site that there were serious problems on the property with stormwater control and the existing drainage systems. During an intense storm, many of the paddocks were flooded, the stormwater surged down the driveway uncontrolled, and the drainage systems in the fields overflowed and saturated the grazing areas.

As the ground was already partially frozen and there were so many other issues to deal with at the facility, we had no alternative but to “put major work off” until the Spring of 2010. Where possible, new drainage ports were “hand dug” so that the water could at least get into the existing trenches – plugged as they were. In some instances, such as at the WHITE STALL BARN, the problem was so severe that the Radisic Family (RF) assisted by bringing in a contractor to assist with the digging of a new drainage trench. That process is covered separately under the WHITE STALL BARN RENOVATIONS.

The “Horse Chutes” we also severely hampered by the pooling of water and thus the best that could be done manually was implemented. The rest would have to wait until spring.

New Drainage for Boy's Field Chute Installed in 2010

Both sand rings were plagues by stormwater drainage issues, and this matter continues to this date – although somewhat alleviated by the construction of new drainage trenches. The Barn A Sand Ring was so badly flooded in November 2009 that is was not usable on most days. As such, a “French Drain” was installed at the south boundary of the ring, leading to the new drainage trench that had been constructed for the White Stall Barn. Keeping this drain clear has required continuous attention and most recently the drain was washed out in the great JULY 2010 STORMS.

Rainwater Storage Added to Barn A to Stop Sand Ring Flooding

"French Drain" Installed in Barn A Sand Ring to Alleviate Flooding

Drainage Trench for White Stall Barn and Paddock

Contractor Installed Main Drain Trench South of Sand Ring

Renovations and Upgrades Completed in 2010

Some of the major corrective action put into place in the Spring of 2010 are noted as follows:

  • the RF team arranged to borrow the “Ditch Witch” from Bill (across the street) and we were able to clean most of the major drainage trenches and install new ones, a process that is ongoing and was recently upgraded in August 2010;
    – new trenches in the Pony Field and Western Stone Paddock
    – revitalized trenches in the 24 Hour Field and Boys Field
  • the main drainage trench from the “Barn A Concrete Pad” was opened and shovelled out – obviously something that had not been done for years by the previous tenant – as the gravel, asphalt and manure was 8 to 10 inches in depth – almost half the trough depth;
  • new culverts were installed in the “Boy’s Field Chute” and the “Western Field Chute” so that the horses and owners would have improved access to these areas; and
  • ongoing maintenance of the “Roadway Drainage” that goes past the “Shavings Shed” and out to the 24 Hour Field.

A big part of the problem was drainage from the roofs of the many barns on the property. In the fall of 2009 the eavestroughs from Barn A were cleaned, as they were know to be a primary supply of clean water to the ponds, from which all the horse drinking water is retrieved. The eavestroughs on the Main Barn were is such a bad state that RF had to bring in a contractor, without question, to repair and clean those eavestroughs. Other areas, such as the Private Barn, Bank Barn and Run-In Sheds have not yet been addressed but are on the “Wish List” for 2010. Many of the downspouts from the eavestroughs discharge into incorrect areas, a problem that has not been totally resolved as of this date. Some of the areas have had extensions added to by-pass the troubled areas and some have on-site rainwater storage (Barn A) but many issues still have not been addressed.

Initially we were not aware that the main drain under the “Shavings Shed” from the Barn A Concrete Pad was plugged. It was not until some of the major summer storms of July 2010 that it became apparent that the water was not going into the drainage trough and out to the back fields. Instead, the water was overflowing the drainage troughs and going directly into the White Stall Barn as well as the Shavings Shed. As soon as we observed this, the 2nd cleaning of the drainage trough was undertaken, at which time it became apparent that the pipe under the shavings shed to the back field was plugged. Preliminary estimates for a CONTRACTOR to come in and clear the pipe were $1,200 and that seemed a bit excessive. The alternative was to manually clean the troughs and “blow the pipe” from both ends with a rig built on a pressure washer. It took a few hours and then ….. WHOOSH! It was not a pleasant site or smell, so if you missed it – good timing! The next problem was to get all that mess out of the 24 Hour Field, thus the reconstruction of the drainage trenches in that area. For the past 6 weeks, all seems to be working well – and we have had a few more big storms.

Reconstruction and Repair of Eavestrough Systems

Work Currently Underway

Work has continued throughout 2010 on the improvements to the stormwater control and drainage. A great part of the emphasis has been on controlling the stormwater that enters the ponds, as that is the drinking water supply for the horses. Some recent action is noted as follows:

  • the Sand Ring drainage areas are being rebuilt as a result of the “washout” of these areas during some of the big July 2010 summer storms, as the off-site water channels were just too small to accommodate the incredible amounts of stormwater; (waiting for new gravel to arrive)
  • the Private Barn Manure Area has been “shut down” as it was not on a concrete pad and manure leachate could reach the ponds through overland or underground flow;
  • the Main Barn roof eavestrough system was upgraded to allow all the roof drainage to go direct to POND #1, which is the primary treatment pond for the water supply system; and
  • new culverts and drainage ditches are being installed in all the main problem areas.

The "Ditch Witch" at Work - New Drainage Trench Construction

New Boys Field Drainage Ditch - Removes Stormwater from Roadway

Future Programs / Aspirations

Stormwater control is one of the major issues that has to be addressed at the facility. Although a lot has been accomplished there is a GREAT AMOUNT of work that still needs to be completed. Some of the major tasks are as follows:

  • all of the eavestroughs and discharge pipes from ALL OF THE BARNS need to be rebuilt, repaired and cleaned as a great deal of the rainwater is not making it to the ponds, rather it is flowing overland through dirty areas and entering the ponds, or pooling in the paddocks and entering the groundwater;
  • several paddock areas are “full of manure” that has yet to be cleaned – not from LTS activities, but left by the previous tenants – such as is clearly evident in the paddocks to the east of POND #2 (Run-In Shed for Barn A and Bank Barn Horse Area); and
  • major drainage areas from the east and west fields must be monitored now that the drainage to these areas has been improved, as no action has been taken other than to get the water out into these fields.

Stormwater control and drainage management will be one of the most important issues at the facility during the next year. It is a complex system, starting with the eavestroughs on all of the buildings and ending with the discharge of the water into the creek at the south of the property. It impacts on the enjoyment of the property, the land use by the horses and most importantly the drinking water supply. Solving all of these problems will require joint action of LTS and RF and a plan must be put in place and acted upon quickly.

Stormwater Flooding of the Private Barn Manure Area - Now Closed

Flooding of Run-In Shed Area – To Be Closed ASAP

Overland Storm Flow Directly Entering Pond #2

Surface Water and Roof Drainage Merges and Goes to 24 Hour Field

Eavestroughs Unable to Handle Rainfall - All Barns Need Repairs

Small Sand Ring Floods Out During Most Storms - Poor Drainage

Posted in Farm Property | 1 Comment

Medical Stall

To ensure that LTS is better prepared to deal with “Veterinary Medical” issues on a regular basis, a new “medical stall” is now under construction in the easily accessible area at the main entrance to the Private Barn. A new stall was constructed (see link here) prior to starting the conversion of the existing front stall into the new medical/emergency stall. This ensured that no owner or border was inconvenienced during the construction process.

The need for this stall became apparent during the 2010 winter season when LTS realized how important it was to have an area where a horse could be relocated for more reliable veterinary care under adverse conditions. Some of the ideas for the new stall included such items as:

  • easy access for a horse moved to the area on its own or with mechanical assistance (large entrance way required for tractor, sling, etc.);
  • roof system that could be “open” or “closed” depending on the need for warmth in the winter or coolness in the summer;
  • service system to allow for temperature control, lighting and medical accessories (IV bags, electrical supply, etc.); and
  • padded walls for protection of an injured horse, or perhaps a young foal.

The new stall is now under construction. When it is not needed for a horse requiring special care it will most likely be occupied by a LTS owned horse – so it can be moved out quickly if the need arises. The details as to access to the use of this stall and associated costs will be worked out as the implementation of the process advances, probably on a similar basis to a “human emergency system” – critical care needs take priority.

When we first discussed this option with the vets in the winter of 2010 they were not aware of any local boarding facility that had implemented a program such as this – so here at LTS we hope to be taking a lead on the care and management of our equine pals. The spring rains have slowed the plans for the construction of the facility but it is underway and will be completed SOON!

Here are some pictures of the progress to date.

Current Stall Dismantled to Make Room for Medical Stall

Large Doorway and Roof Structure Under Construction

4 Panel Doorway During Installation

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Private Barn

Update June 24, 2011

We welcome any questions or comments on any of these topics. Although this is a BLOG site, we will return to each of these topics on a regular basis to update each of the sub-topics. We will do our best to respond to any questions, comments or concerns as soon as possible. Information on each of the LTS buildings (as compared to properties – pastures, paddocks, etc.) is sorted into these categories:

  • status and early remedial work completed upon arrival in November 2009
  • renovations and/or upgrades completed in 2010
  • work currently underway
  • future work programs and/or aspirations

Enter the Private Barn

The pictures on Photobucket for the Private Barn are located here:

Changes to the Private Barn in June 2011

A new stall has appeared at the north west end of the Private Barn:

Storage Area in Private Barn

Storage Area Now a New Stall

Status and Remedial Work Upon Arrival in 2009

To the best of my knowledge, very little attention was needed to the Private Barn when LTS arrived in November 2009. There were so many other “Serious Problems”, the conditions in the PRIVATE BARN did not appear to warrant immediate attention. Routine maintenance issues were dealt with on a daily basis, in cooperation with the owners and boarders.

The previous tenants appear to have built the stalls in the “Private Barn” with little or no attention to the “power of horses”. As such, many of the stall wall boards have been “kicked out” and doors have been “dislodged”. LTS had attended to the repairs on each instance this has occurred. Unfortunately it is the poor planning and construction of these stalls that has resulted in these problems.

The electrical in the barn appears to have been discontinued at some point as not all circuits are complete and the panel box is in disarray. LTS has addressed these issues on the “safety issue” side but additional work will be required before any new services can be added.

Renovations and Upgrades Completed in 2010

Information I have at this time:

  • upgrade of washroom area, with the addition of a new floor and drywall interior;
  • isolation of “electrical panel” in last SE stall and identification of incomplete electrical circuits;
  • addition of “grooming stalls”, including new light fixtures; and
  • fixed windows removed and some “half-windows” installed to allow for “free air” in the spring and summer of 2010

Work Currently Underway

There are some activities underway but I have not received a status report:

  • upper level tack/owner storage area above the washroom;
  • private barn feed room; and
  • upgrading of electrical system (if borders submit requests for additional services).

Future Programs / Aspirations

The “Private Barn” will require WINTERIZING now that the fixed windows have been removed. LTS has also asked the boarders to submit requests if they wish to have separate utilities installed (winter heaters, summer fans), but as of this date I have no knowledge of any requests having been received. Only then would LTS approach RF for approval for these additional utilities.

Check back later for information on LTS plans for the Private Barn currently under review.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Small Sand Ring

Updated June 23, 2011

Information on each of the LTS properties (as compared to buildings – barns, sheds, arenas, etc.) is sorted into these categories:

  • status and early remedial work completed upon arrival in November 2009
  • renovations and/or upgrades completed in 2010
  • work currently underway
  • future work programs and/or aspirations

We welcome any questions or comments on any of these topics. Although this is a BLOG site, we will return to each of these topics on a regular basis to update each of the sub-topics. We will do our best to respond to any questions, comments or concerns as soon as possible.

Pictures showing the renovation of the small sand ring are on Photobucket here:

I note that this page does not show the new fencing that was added to the Small Sand Ring during the summer of 2010. That will show in the new photographs – and we are slowly moving the sand ring perimeter back to the fence line each time it is harrowed.

Water ponding has always been a problem in the small sand ring, as described in the previous posts. In June 2011 (once the major spring storms had stopped!) a trench was dug at the south end of the ring and weeping tile was installed, with a gravel cover and subsequent replacement of the sand. During construction of the weeping tile system it was very clear that the ring had a SOLID BASE OF CLAY that did not allow for the drainage of any of the water that pooled on the surface. This may not completely solve the problem (that would require a complete reconstruction of the ring) but perhaps it will result in a “quicker recovery” of the ring after a major storm event.

Southern Trench and Weeping Tile Installed

The following is from earlier posts about the small sand ring, prior to the above noted updates.

Our Trusty Landscaper Hard at Work!

That site now also includes all the photographs that Lynn Watts took during the initial days and weeks at the new site – so check those out. Any others are welcome as well.

We all appreciate the great work that Shelly has done to “beautify the farm”. From cutting weeds to planting and caring for the flowers.

Status and Remedial Work Upon Arrival in 2009

The small sand ring had a lot of use when the LTS team first showed up in November 2009. The ring was experiencing a lot of flooding from the fall rains and was more or less a “weed infested sand box”. However, it was usable – but the team went to work. The first actions are summarized as follows:

  • Thanks to Shelly Speck-Cato, her “weed whacker” did a quick job on the accumulated weeds around the perimeter of the facility. That made a huge improvement in just a few hours. The weeds were all hauled to the “burn pile” and we all hoped they would not return.
  • The small sand ring always had a pool of water in the south central part of the ring. The base for this ring is some form of colloidal clay, not sand, so it holds the water and turns into a slimy mess when it is wet. Early results were achieved by breaking through the south perimeter to install a “French Drain” that would allow for the water to drain away without washing away all the base material.

There are a number of pictures of these works in the “Small Sand Ring Album”. Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of Shelly hard at work on weed duty – but I believe that Lynn has pictures from those early days – calling Lynn for her pictures!! At the time, I was loading the weeds in the truck, never for a moment thinking we should preserve this first day on film – what a mistake!

The Original 2009 “French Drain”, Small Sand Ring

Renovations and Upgrades Completed in 2010

The spring and summer rains of 2010 kept us busy trying to cope with the water in the small sand ring but no significant additional work was completed – until the July storm more or less washed out the November 2009 drainage system. Lynn and Olga spent a lot of time picking up the rocks that arrived after every storm and the LTS “Harrowed Team” did their best to keep the sand ring in a usable condition.

The footing in this sand ring is “not sand” but rather some sort of dirt-clay mixture that is very hydrophilic (attracts water), which is not good. In the alternative a sand mixture is very hydrophobic (repulses water) and that is not good either. As such, our early thoughts were to mix the sand in the main arena and front ring with the clay in the small arena and small sand ring, in hopes of arriving at a suitable condition in all rings. Other pressing issues have never given us the time to test this possible solution.

Work Currently Underway

We have just completed a new cleaning of the small sand ring, removing all the weeds on the perimeter, extracting the rocks (okay they were boulders in some cases), and extending the perimeter of the small sand ring as far as possible. There are new photographs of the revitalized small sand ring in the Photobucket album.

Future Programs / Aspirations

During the next few weeks we will assess the drainage from the site to see if has improved. I suspect that in the future we will have to install sub-surface drains in the south area of the ring that feed to the re-built french drain. That is a big task, as the drains will need to be deep enough that they are not impacted by the harrowing of the arena. Mixing of the sand and arena footings will probably take precedence over that drainage project, as that may solve many of the problems.

Upgrade of Small Sand Ring in September 2010
Small Sand Ring Expanded on All Sides
Boulders Removed from Small Sand Ring, September 2010
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Oakville Today Readers Choice Awards – LTS nominated!!!

A message from LTS Owner, Tessa Laughton:

Please vote for LTS – we need your votes to win!! 🙂

LTS  has been voted one of the top riding stables in Oakville!!! We would be thrilled to win the readers choice award so please vote for us & feel free to pass this on to any
others who you feel would vote for us!

Thank you all for your support & business throughout the years & making this a possibility!!!

go to

You have to register to log on and then can vote in the different categories.

Note from LTSFM: If you register and do not get a confirmation e-mail, check your Junk Mail folder as that is where they seem to go immediately.

Vote for LTS!

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May 1, 2011 Update

Well here it is the 1st of May 2011 and I hope we are going to see the end of this VERY WET weather at the LTS Operations. April has been a difficult month, not only for the horses who are often stuck inside or limited to the areas they can graze, but also for those of us that are trying to get the farm into “Spring Mode“. We are in the same position as the horses, as none of us can get out into the fields – as if we do we will ruin the 2011 grazing pastures. We are trying our best to make Spring 2011 Repairs but we are limited to the areas we can enter. It is so bad we have now even had to limit access to some of the paddocks. Not just at LTS – check any farm on the way to the barn and you will see that there is absolutely NO ACTIVITY in any fields – horses, cows, pigs, tractors – they are all still inside.

A typical event of last week was the need to shut off the power to the electric fences in the “South Area” of the farm (Barn A, 24 Hour Field, Boys Field, Mixed Herd). The ground was so wet that the electric current from the fences was crossing over into the wooden posts – and from there into the metal gates. Quite a shocking experience! I tested them today (April 30, 2011) and they were okay so the power is back on for the southern fences. I will continue to monitor those on the wet days – but do BE CAUTIOUS if it is raining or wet – the fences and gates may give you a little ZAP!

Unfortunately the power is still off in the north and east fields as they are still very wet and the horses have taken out a number of the fence areas. As such, neither the maintenance team and the horses have no access to those fields – but we are all hoping for some dry weather so we can get out into the fields again! As soon as we can, we will get the fences put back up (there are a number of wires down and it is NOT SAFE for the horses to be in those fields). Also, if the horses chew up the fields now when they are so wet the summer grazing will be severely limited. So everyone “hang tight” for a while until the fields dry and we can get them ready for the Spring and Summer 2011 grazing season. As soon as we can get into those fields we will also be retrieving all the rocks that came to the surface from the winter frost – so we will be able to cut the fields earlier in June 2011 to stop the weed infestation we had in 2010. The fields can not be cut until all the rocks are removed – and if you want to “pitch in” that would be great – just make little piles in the field and I will pick them up later.

Everyone is welcome to add comments to the blog if you see a maintenance item that needs attention. The LTS and Radisic team will get to them in priority order and as soon as they can be completed. Spring clean-up has been underway for a number of weeks now and we hope to have all the main maintenance items attended to by the end of the 1st week of May. The spring & summer water filtration system is back in operation and we will be doing a water line cleaning in the next few weeks – so if you see “brown water” don’t be shocked – it is iron residual from the well water system.

The fields are so wet we can not even get into the fields with the “Ditch Witch” to clear the drainage ditches that run through the fields. Those that are “outside” the field areas have been cleaned and that has improved overall site drainage. It is so wet this spring that we have even had to pump water OUT of the farm water ponds.  In the past week alone we have pumped 156,000 gallons of water off the property and into Halton Watershed. That is 780 tons of water – a massive amount of excess rain! The ground is so saturated, there is no place for the current rain to be absorbed – it just sits on the surface.

Any questions or comments – just ask! Remember the LTS Farm Management is also on TWITTER – so keep up to date with the most current news at that address!

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Spring? Oops – more winter!

Sorry, you have not heard from me for a while! For those that had not heard, I slipped on the ice coming out of Barn A back in January and busted my ribs – so I was “out of action” for quite a while.

I was telling Tessa the weather is warming up and I am ready to get back into action with some renovations to the sand rings to improve the drainage for the Spring 2011 season – and then out of no where we get this massive snow storm! Last week we were sitting on the patio for St. Patrick’s Day. Hopefully it does not last long and we will be back in the hot dry weather.

The fields are going to be very wet so we all have to be careful not to “mess them up”. We will be looking at having some “sacrificial paddocks” to put the horses in when the pastures are too wet for the horses.

Got any questions about Spring 2011? Post them here. Remember for last minute updates you can follow us on TWITTER at – see you there!

Posted in Blog Updates | 2 Comments

Blog Update November 22, 2010


  • The SITE INDEX has been removed from the BLOG UPDATE page and is now a separate page on the site which is directly accessible from the CATEGORY list in the main HEADER or in the list on the right panel.
  • The winter preparation tasks are complete and thus the comments are updated as follows:
    • LTS is now in WINTER OPERATION MODE which means that all the in-line heaters for the water pipes have been activated, all the water trough heaters have been installed and connected and each of the PUMP/VALVE ROOMS have heaters installed and operational.
    • WINTER is a tough time to handle on a farm so everyone can help in a small way, so please take a look at this list and do what you can:- Please do not touch or alter any of the heaters on the water pipes, troughs or in the valve or pump rooms, these are there for the sole purpose of protecting the pipes, valves and water tanks and are not for personal comfort. Any adjustment of the heaters may cause the circuit to break and pipes to freeze.- If you see a water trough, hose or pipe that is frozen (or has any indication it is not working) please let us know and we will attend to it ASAP. Do not attempt to fix the problem yourself, please contact any staff member who will then get a message to Tessa or Richard.- If you use a hose, make sure it is completely drained, properly coiled and put back in one of the heated rooms when you are finished and that all valves are returned to the same position as you found them. The heated rooms are the VALVE ROOMS in the MAIN Barn, Barn A and the LESSON Barn (White Stall Barn). For the PRIVATE Barn, the heated area is the washroom.- Please keep all the doors closed at all times, particularly those for the heated rooms and let us know if any of the doors are not working properly. The front entrance door to BARN A must be bolted shut during overnight periods or when the wind is extreme. (Will check to see if we can repair this door!)

      Do not turn off the lights in the valve rooms in the Lesson Barn and Bank (Pony) Barn during the winter months. There is enough heat from a lightbulb to keep these small rooms warm for a short period of time, in the event of a heater failure. This does not apply to the Main or Private barns as those rooms are too large.

      -If you see a water trough that does not have enough water for the heater to be floating in the water, please advise the staff of the situation so that it can be corrected. If there is no contact between the water and the heater then the heater shuts off automatically.

The section of the LTSFM BLOG that relates to “winterizing” will be kept updated as best we can and YOU ARE WELCOME to post your comments there (not here as this blog update post gets changed frequently and the comments disappear)

If there is ANY DOUBT about what to do or what you have done, do not hesitate to ask for direction or assistance. A small mistake can mean a frozen pipe, ruptured valve or a flood. It is much better to be safe than sorry – so if there is any doubt, please ask.

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Site Index

I have moved the SITE INDEX to a separate page. I will update the index whenever a new category or page is added, but if you notice I forgot to do the update please post a comment on this page.

You can also reach any of these main topic areas from the MENU BAR in the HEADER or through the LIST OF CATEGORIES on the RIGHT PANEL of the Blog.

BLOG INDEX: (last updated June 24, 2011)

Farm Buildings:













Farm Property:








Farm Utilities:








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You are correct, you can get updates to the LTSFM Blog on Twitter at this address:

You can also sign up on the RIGHT MENU to receive e-mails for all new page postings (not updates) to the blog or you can sign up for the RSS feeds.

If you have any question about any of these services, just respond with a COMMENT to this posting.

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