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What Can Be Done About the Blue-Green Algae Problem in Quamichan?

Quamichan Lake is a big bathtub, as no water enters or leaves during the summer months.

That was how Dr. Dave Preikshot described Quamichan Lake and he engaged in a lengthy discussion with staff and council about what can be done about the blue-green algae.

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring said there are a number of short-term goals that staff and council are focused on.

“We want to analyze some sediment cores there to figure out what the real level is of the internal loading, which means how much phosphorous, which is contributing to the blue-green algae, is endemic in the lake and how much of it is coming from outside sources like agriculture or development,” said Siebring. “We’re also going to start monitoring for temperature and dissolved oxygen levels and ph and turbidity.”

With all of that in mind, Siebring said it doesn’t stop there.

“[We’re going to] track phosphorous and some of the other nutrients and we’re going to start installing some limestone and some other stream treatments to try and block nutrients coming into the lake from the tributaries, streams, and ditches that feed it, particularly in the fall, winter, and spring,” said Siebring.

He said plans are in the works to conduct a feasibility study to develop wetlands in an effort to keep the lake fed more consistently, adding that the long-term goals are contingent on these short-term benchmarks.

People can spend time on the water without any adverse health effects.

Come 2021, the Canadian Rowing Centre is moving to Quamichan Lake and the reason why this lake was chosen was because of the work being done to solve the blue algae problem.

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