DISTRICT OF LAKELAND NO. 521Serving Emma, Christopher, Anglin & McPhee Lakes; the Organized Hamlet of Elk Ridge & a portion of the Boreal Forest Region.
Water Quality in the District of Lakeland
Why Should We Be Concerned?
- Our lakes are one of our most valuable resources and assets and one we should protect for future generations.
- Clean healthy lakes support human health, the aquatic ecosystem and the economy.
What Are the Main Factors that Affect our Lake Water Quality?
- Sedimentation and erosion from shoreline alteration and beach creation
- Increased Runoff from lot clearing and installation of paved/cemented areas
- Use of fertilizers and pesticides on lawns and spraying for bugs/spiders etc.
- Fuel and Oils entering water due to poor storage, spilling or disposing of them on the ground and from the use of 2 stroke outboard motors
- Sewage and Grey Water entering the water from leaking or overflowing tanks and dumping kitchen grey waters containing harmful detergents and shampoos on the ground
- Operation of Boats too close to shore or in shallow waters stirring up bottom sediments and weeds
- Destruction of Wetlands by filling them in results in the loss of nature’s natural filter system
What Are some of Your Observations and Why Do They Exist?
- Tea Coloured Waters are caused by decaying organic matters such as leaves, bark and aquatic plants and is more prevalent in high precipitation years when runoff out of the surrounding forest is high.
- Increased Weed and Algae growth which can be caused by added nutrients from runoff, fertilizer use, septic sources, shoreline alteration, boat activity and wind especially in shallow areas.
- Swimmer’s Itch is an allergic reaction to parasites introduced to the water through bird feces so it can be reduced by not feeding birds on your beach or dock.
What are some Positive Indicators of Good Water Quality?
- The Presence of Freshwater Shrimp as they require good water quality for growth and survival.
- A Healthy Dragonfly and Damselfly Population as they require good water quality to support their larvae which live in the water for up to four years before emerging.
- An Abundant Mayfly Hatch and Population is generally considered to be an indication of good water quality as they are sensitive and are pollution sensitive.
The greatest threat to the water quality of our lakes is not from naturally occurring events but from the pressures of development and other human influences.