Synura

Algae the cause of lake odor, discolouration

Lab results show three culprits for recent algae bloom on Cowichan Lake.

Though many residents were in disagreement over what was causing the Cowichan Lake’s strange greenish-brown colour, odor and taste, the word is finally in, as the Town of Lake Cowichan’s Public Works and Engineering Department recently received the laboratory results.

The town sent a water sample to Maxxam Analytics in Burnaby, who confirmed that the cause of discolouration was the result of an algae bloom — of a magnitude rarely seen on Cowichan Lake.

The three culprits are Anacystis, Dinobryon and Synura. Synura is in the same algae group as Uroglena, which has been previously identified in Cowichan Lake. Synura and Uroglena are both similar in that they are both colonial golden-brown algae and that individual cells have two flagella. Along with the bad taste and odor, the algae could also clog filters in the lake.

Though many residents opted to buy bottled water due to concerns over how the algae bloom would effect drinking water quality, Island Health lifted its boil water advisory on May 14, eight days after it was issued, as the turbidity of the water was determined to be below 1.0 NTU, the new standard for turbidity for Vancouver Island’s drinking water.

Though the algae bloom on Cowichan Lake has largely faded at this point, residents of Shawnigan Lake have complained of the same problems — discolouration, bad taste and an odor on the water and in the air — with their own lake.

Future boil water advisories will be posted on the Town of Lake Cowichan’s website (www.town.lakecowichan.bc.ca) and the Lake Cowichan Gazette will also post live updates on drinking water quality, when available, through our Facebook page.

Just Posted

Teamwork and rotating 12 hour shifts helped Island Health weather the storm in Cowichan

“At one time we had 11 hospital sites on generator power”

Cowichan’s private seniors care facilities used generators to get through outage

Like so many places, the power went out at 11:30 a.m. Thursday,… Continue reading

Fences destroyed, power out but Cowichan’s animals were safe after epic Dec. 20 storm

“It was a wake up call for being prepared for emergencies.”

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

North Cowichan will host new permanent rowing centre starting October 2020

Saanich’s bid for national rowing centre at Elk Lake sunk

VIDEO: Cowichan Secondary starts two-week run of ‘The Addams Family’ Jan. 16

The Cow High cast is ready, the stage is set: all they need is you so make tracks to see this show

Chiasson nets shootout winner as Oilers edge Canucks 3-2

Edmonton moves one point ahead of Vancouver

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Most Read