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Voluntary Water Monitoring

Regular testing and monitoring are essential to help prevent water quality issues from arising.  Cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) blooms could result in health issues to humans and

deadly to pets.  

However Water Monitoring is only a measure, individuals must be proactive in identifying and  employing measures to prevent Cyanobacteria Blooms.

Cyanobacteria  (blue-green algae) is a bacteria naturally found in our water ecosystems. They are not visible unless clumped together to form a bloom, which can happen in warm, sunny, slow moving water, such as lakes. Storm water, agricultural runoff, industrial and wastewater effluent, faulty / older septic systems and lawn fertilizers dump phosphorus and nitrogen into lakes which then can contribute

to cyanobacteria blooms.  Once a bloom is detected and confirmed, it is reported to the Province of NB and then placed on an Advisory List.  

 

Once on the list, always on the list.

Did you know, blue-green algae blooms are no longer reference as such?

Blooms are now considered as a bacteria, thus the adoption of the term Cyanobacteria.

So if in doubt, please stay out.

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Land and Cottage owners can help keep excess nutrients from entering the water by:

  • ƒ Not removing shoreline vegetation and 

    promoting natural plant species;

  • ƒ Not using fertilizers or herbicides, especially near 

    water;

  • ƒ Ensuring your septic tank and septic field are well 

    maintained and located far from the shore; and

  • ƒ Using only phosphate free household and 

    personal care products and please do NOT bathe in the lake.  Detergents promoting lake safe / 

    biodegradable

are not lake friendly.

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Reducing nutrient pollution and addressing the risks of Climate Change are critical to maintaining the health of our lakes and waterways. At the New Brunswick Alliance of Lake Associations, we work to educate our members and the public on the importance of identifying and addressing nutrient pollution in our waters. By promoting best practices for land use and community actions, we can minimize the impacts of climate change and protect our natural resources for generations to come.

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The What's & Why's of Volunteer Water Monitoring

Conductivity

Conductivity is the ability of water to conduct an electrical current and is controlled by the amount of dissolved ions in water. The conductivity of pure water is in the range 0.5 to 3 μs/cm. Lake and river water in the U.S. is much higher, generally ranging from 50 to 1500 μs/cm. Streams that support good populations of freshwater fish have conductivities in the range 150 to 800 μs/cm.

pH Details

Dissolved Oxygen is the amount of oxygen gas dissolved in water and depends on natural influences such temperature, flow, altitude, presence of aquatic plants and ice cover.  Healthy water should generally have dissolved oxygen concentrations above 6.5-8 mg/L and between about 80-120 %.

Disolved Oxygen

Dissolved Oxygen is the amount of oxygen gas dissolved in water and depends on natural influences such temperature, flow, altitude, presence of aquatic plants and ice cover.  Healthy water should generally have dissolved oxygen concentrations above 6.5-8 mg/L and between about 80-120 %.

Water Tempaturre

Temperature in surface water generally changes with the seasons while some local influences include amount of shade, changes in flow, water depth and groundwater influence.

How does temperature and dissolved oxygen result in Cyanobacteria / algae blooms?

Warmer temperatures, prolonged stratification, and increased nutrient loading are leading to increased occurrence of harmful cyanobacteria / algal blooms. Hypoxic “dead zones” can result when algal blooms sink, decompose, and reduce dissolved oxygen concentrations.

RPC Water Testing and Temperature Loggers

In addition to bi-weekly water testing, member lakes have the two following measures taken and recorded:

  • Depending on the lake,  two temperature loggers are put in each year.  These loggers are situated in the same area, put in and take out are spring and fall.  These readings again provide valuable information on yearly fluctuations.

  • RPC water testing.  Two are performed each season (spring and end of August as the recreational season is winding down).  These recordings measure nutrient levels (calcium readings can assist if a lake could be prone to Zebra and Quagga Mussels) and Coliform & E. coli.

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