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

A graphic design of the new RCMP detachment which will be located on a five-acre property bordering Ford Road and Drinkwater Road. (File graphic)
Heavy trucks not allowed shortcut during construction of RCMP detachment

North Cowichan won’t allow heavy trucks on Drinkwater Road where not designated

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Laketown Ranch to welcome campers this summer

Sunfest site will provide camping amenities between May and September

‘I chose my children’s breakfasts purely based on what dishes would fit best into the dishwasher.’ (Bobbi Venier photo)
Sarah Simpson Column: Delayed gratification and the benefits of efficiency

I was driving with just my daughter the other day and we… Continue reading

Wayne Allen's graduation photo from Chemainus Secondary School. (Photo submitted)
Brother charged with murder in Chemainus teenager’s Ontario death

Jesse James Allen stands accused in the death of Wayne Allen, a 2020 Chemainus Secondary grad

The frequent disruptions to water service in Chemainus are expected to be a lot less after North Cowichan replaces the Smiley Road water main. (File photo)
Smiley Road water main in Chemainus to be replaced

$890,000 project expected to be completed this spring

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

1957 photo shows Six Mile House-sponsored #4 1932 Ford stock car with Frank Morris (from left), Ted Mackenzie, Bill Sim and driver Gerry Sylvester. (Bud Glover/Victoria Auto Racing Hall of Fame)
Memories race as Western Speedway approaches its finish line

‘It was life to us:’ Vancouver Island racers, crew will never forget what the track gave them

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

BC Ferries experienced heavy traffic on Feb. 27 following cancellations the day before due to strong winds and adverse weather. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries sailings fill up quickly after Friday cancellations due to high winds

Waits expected on Swartz Bay-Tsawwassen route, Horseshoe Bay-Departure Bay route

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

A crossover utility vehicle smashed through the front of a business on Bowen Road on Friday evening. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Vehicle smashes all the way inside business in Nanaimo

No serious injuries reported after incident at Venue Financial Centres on Friday

Most Read