We test water quality in the deepest part of Trout Lake. Since 2003, the phosphate level in Trout Lake has risen 25%. This is putting our fish stocks, families, pets and investments at risk. What can happen when phosphate levels are high, is an algae bloom. In 2005, that happened at Three Mile Lake in Muskoka. Another bloom threatened Three Mile Lake in 2016. Residents were advised that they should not touch the water. Lake water could not be used and dogs could not swim. Although not all algae blooms become toxic, this one did — and it is right in our backyard.
Please click on the report to view a copy of our 2016 Water Quality Report for Trout Lake.
Update : the swimming area at Kelso, near Mississauga, has been closed due to an algal bloom. Click here for a link to the story.
Here’s a great explanation of Algal Blooms in this article by Kenyon Wallace of The National Post
Excessive phosphorous dumps have become a major problem for Canada’s waterways, says Lewis Molot, an environmental scientist at York University.
Phosphorous in certain detergents and cleaning products to soften water, reduce spotting and rusting, hold dirt, and increase performance. But it is also a plant fertilizer, Prof. Molot says, meaning that when it enters a lake, it causes massive amounts of algae to grow.
“When the algae die, they sink to the bottom of the lake and are consumed by bacteria. In the process, these bacteria consume all the oxygen, leading to the asphyxiation of fish,” Prof. Molot said.
The chemical also causes algal blooms — massive green blob-like growths — which can raise pH levels in water to toxic levels and block water intake pipes. Prof. Molot says dirty dishes are a small price to pay for preventing the spread of phosphorous.
“Either the public pays huge amounts of money to remove the phosphorous at the end of the pipe, or it can choose the cheaper alternative to reduce the amount of phosphorous going into our sewers in the first place,” he said. “If I have to pay a little more for a greener detergent, even if it means it doesn’t clean the way it used to, I’ll put up with it.”
Product Alert: Antibacterial Soaps and Dishwashing Liquids – hard on waterways and your septic system (page to come soon – trust us, you don’t want those in your septic!)
Algae on Three Mile Lake (Photo from the Muskoka News Archive)
Here are a few articles we found. Please click on the article title to see the whole thing. If you do a little Googling, you will find many more.
Blue-green algae bloom detected on Three Mile Lake, August 27, 2016
Three Mile Lake Blooms Again, September 7, 2016
Water scare prompts health unit to issue “precautionary warning”, August 9, 2016