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Actions To Date
In 2018, a water quality sampling program was completed by Dr. Dave Preikshot and Madrone Environmental on Quamichan Lake. The results were presented at the July 17, 2019 Council meeting where Council unanimously agreed to take further action toward improving the health of the lake.
Key findings of the study show that the primary cause of blue-green algae is the phosphorus that has accumulated in the lake over the last 150 years, that reducing the phosphorus load into the lake will require a long-term strategy, and that agricultural activity is a more significant source of phosphorus than residential development around the lake.
After receiving the water quality report, Council decided to expand the monitoring program and act on a number of the consultant's recommendations, including:
- Taking a sediment core under the lake to determine the internal versus external phosphorus loads;
- Installing temperature and dissolved oxygen meters in the lake to track changes on an hourly basis;
- Monitoring weekly for pH, turbidity, conductivity, chlorophyll, and blue-green algae;
- Monitoring monthly for phosphorus and other nutrients;
- Treating upstream tributary streams and ditches with zeolite and limestone; and
- Undertaking a feasibility study for constructing wetland areas.
Staff will work on implementing the above actions in 2019 and 2020 and will regularly update this webpage and report to Council on progress. Ongoing monitoring will ensure that an accurate baseline state is documented so that results can be measurable over time. This will help North Cowichan hone in on the most suitable treatment processes.
Staff have also completed the following:
- Sampled and analyzed various water quality parameters in 2018/2019 in order to develop strategic recommendations to improve conditions in the lake.
- Installed permanent signage at all public access points warning the public of the ongoing potential for Blue-Green algae blooms.
- Inspected the outlet of the lake annually since 2017 to ensure no blockages are present
- Developed a sampling program to monitor water quality.
- Updated neighboring governments, stakeholders and the Quamichan Lake Water Quality Task Force on progress to date.