A windsurfer enjoys Quamichan Lake. (Cheryl Trudell file photo)

A windsurfer enjoys Quamichan Lake. (Cheryl Trudell file photo)

North Cowichan puts in devices to discourage deadly blue-green algae in Quamichan Lake

Concerns were raised during a blue-green algae bloom in the summer of 2016 that killed several dogs

Nutrient trap devices are bing installed in waterways that flow into Quamichan Lake in an attempt to improve water quality and discourage deadly blue-green algae outbreaks.

The Municipality of North Cowichan installing the traps, which contain a mixture of zeolite and limestone, in ditches and streams flowing into the lake. The nutrient traps are an experimental approach to filter the water entering the lake, thereby reducing phosphorus, which can create an environment that favours blue-green algae, a press release from the municipality said.

“Protecting and enhancing the environment, including Quamichan Lake, is one of Council’s key strategic priorities,” says North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring. “Treating streams and ditches that flow into the lake with zeolite and limestone was a key recommendation to come out of 2019’s Quamichan Lake Blue-Green Algae Management Report, and we’re eager to hear the results of this approach. If proven effective for Quamichan Lake, the nutrient traps could also be used to treat runoff water from farms and neighbourhoods near other local watersheds like Somenos Lake, Fuller Lake, and Bonsall Creek.”

The health of Quamichan Lake has been a focus for North Cowichan since concerns were raised during a blue-green algae bloom in the summer of 2016 that killed several dogs in the area that swam in the water, and ingested the algae.

While blue-green algae is not uncommon in shallow urban lakes and has been present in Quamichan Lake since at least the 1930s, the blooms have become more intense and longer in duration in recent years.

“Studies in agricultural and wastewater treatment settings have shown that this mixture of minerals can be successful in removing phosphorus from water that it meets,” says Dr. Dave Preikshot, North Cowichan’s senior environmental specialist. “Our team will now monitor the concentrations of phosphorus in the water upstream and downstream of the nutrient traps to monitor the success of this approach.”

Quamichan Lake was also chosen in 2019 to become a national training centre for the Canadian rowing team.

Water

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pnina Benyamini loved to be around people and people loved her. (Photo submitted)
Many facets to energetic Chemainus woman’s legacy

Benyamini taught yoga, belly dancing and more to an adoring public

Windy conditions in Nanaimo’s Lost Lake area. (News Bulletin file photo)
Wind warning issued for the east coast of Vancouver Island

Environment Canada says people ‘should be on the lookout’ for adverse weather conditions

Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone has been re-elected as chairman of the board at the CVRD. (File photo)
Aaron Stone re-elected as chairman of the Cowichan Valley Regional District

Blaise Salmon, director for Mill Bay/Malahat, elected as new vice-chairman

North Cowichan strengthens some COVID-19 safety protocols, and introduces new ones, as the pandemic enters ts second phase. (File photo)
North Cowichan and CVRD implementing new COVID rules

Municipality reacting to new public health orders

People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of COVID-19 cross a street in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, November 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. reports 17 COVID deaths, 1,933 new cases as hospitalizations surge over the weekend

There are 277 people in hospital, of whom 59 are in ICU or critical care

(Pixabay)
All dance studios, other indoor group fitness facilities must close amid updated COVID-19 rules

Prior announcement had said everything except spin, HIIT and hot yoga could remain open

B.C. Liberal interim leader Shirley Bond speaks to reporters from Prince George via Zoom conference, Nov. 24, 2020. MLAs are being sworn in for the legislature session this week, many of them also by video. (B.C. legislature)
B.C. Liberal leadership contest will wait for election post-mortem

Interim leader set to face NDP on payments for COVID-19

Product Care offers more than <a href="http://link.mediaoutreach.meltwater.com/ls/click?upn=pDYyTceU0YgTDdsd92GohdQJsmSiPFEkcB4MdMM0Qkoqb1aJA-2By5aWklKJXV6QRdyTteNjr2FccUOVLUe4t5Zw-3D-3D1ds-_KVyBcpjXADXifSWVpM8nQcAzSm9-2B6fEFnjVrTsOcu31irDHDxi5k0QTOIWCqMXUxaNbrf0yRzXSSpROCkfx3NkUtbr65Dkcw1J0by-2F-2BDdDiJGbcfhtjHWYSs66NwakeCCLYkj20e9ICIZsLcedqNZKBhsN0sGgBsInpdzsddYikUZkmQvFdxLJhakpgAA6aAJ5ScUoWR6vO9sM819vRB-2F6x7dsdfIaWa4ZgHxR4G7hauxgSJCsNI2bP5J62EFfM0aiDqRPwUPUjt7i5-2FMqpdJxrEBewnLky-2B3lE0JAmi5UsJBkJejuLOjsndZz4b7dNgbvt6KyewKuF0sxU2rpYgkAO9YAKc9STuFJd28Qn7jE0-2FqlB8HKOvpW150NHS-2BOMBcK5rkZ8YAuPqJy11k-2BgndiKB-2FWl2icAfbWtRGJPb8fM-3D" target="_blank">150 free drop-off locations</a> in B.C. (Pixabay.com)
Recycling broken or burnt string lights can reduce holiday landfill waste

In 2019, Product Care Recycling diverted more than 11.6 million light bulbs from landfills

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Helen Watson, posing for a photo for her 100th birthday, turned 105 on Saturday (Nov. 21). (File photo)
B.C. woman who survived Spanish Flu turns 105

Helen Watson has packed a lot into life – including being in two pandemics

(Black Press Media files)
B.C. to test emergency alert system on cell phones, TVs, radios on Wednesday

The alert is part of a twice yearly test of the national Alert Ready system

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Most Read