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

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

Devices installed to discourage deadly blue-green algae in Vancouver Island lake

Concerns raised during 2016 Quamichan Lake algae bloom 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.

RELATED: National rowing centre may lead to solutions to Duncan-area lake’s algae problem

RELATED: Rowing decision makes waves across southern Vancouver Island

“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.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

Water

Just Posted

Randy Brown, owner of Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue, has five trailers and a motorhome at the back of his property that he is renting to people who had been previously homeless. He wants to put 15 trailers on his property, hooked up to city sewer and water and BC Hydro. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Another ‘deplorable’ Port Alberni property slapped with remediation order

Wintergreen Apartments and the impromptu trailer park in its grounds attract city attention

A Nanaimo driver was sentenced Monday for fatally striking a high school student with his vehicle in 2019. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo driver sentenced after motor vehicle incident that killed teen last year

Brandon Geoffrey Murdoch fined and prohibited from driving for two years

Nikita, a four-year-old German Shepherd that was attacked by a buck in a backyard in Esquimalt Sunday is lucky the injury wasn't more severe. (Photo contributed by Suzette Goldsworthy)
Esquimalt dog owner issues alert after deer injures German shepherd

Nikita needed stitches after an early morning encounter

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

Volunteers gather at Third Avenue and Mar Street on Friday, Nov. 20, 2020 to walk the streets of Uptown Port Alberni searching for people sleeping in alleys to hand out food and Naloxone kits. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Port Alberni tent city evicted again

Campers took over gazebo at Roger Creek Park

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

Stock photo
Senior from Gibsons caught viewing child porn sentenced to 10 months

74-year-old pleaded guilty after police seized 1,500-2,500 images

The North Island 9-1-1 Corporation (NI911) has supported local residents for 25 years. Black Press file photo
North Island 911 looks to change how they get funding

Three options to be decided upon in early 2021

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

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

Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Course. (File photo)
Qualicum Beach golf course notified restaurant patron tests positive for COVID-19

Staff to self-monitor until Nov. 28, can continue with daily duties

(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

Most Read