Archive for Water Quality

Low levels of pesticide found in Manitoba lake after dead crayfish discovered on shore

Aug. 26, CBC News:

Water tests have confirmed the presence of a pesticide in a western Manitoba lake and while officials say swimming in the lake is still safe, eating fish from it isn’t advised.

Campers raised the alarm at Seech Lake, north of Oakburn, Man. — approximately 250 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg — about two weeks ago after finding dead water beetles and crayfish on the shore.

Manitoba Sustainable Development and Health Canada both collected water samples and launched investigations as a result.

On Friday, a provincial spokesperson confirmed a pesticide, sold under the brand name Matador, was found in the lake in low levels. The levels detected were below what would be considered a health concern.

“Testing of Seech Lake indicates that lake users can resume use of the lake water for domestic uses and swimming,” a provincial spokesperson said on Friday of the investigation’s status. Read more.

Gerrard calls for action on sewers

Aug. 10, Winnipeg Sun:

A Manitoba Liberal leadership candidate is lobbying to stop billions of litres of diluted sewage from flowing into the Red and Assiniboine rivers each year.

River Heights MLA Jon Gerrard says the province, which regulates Winnipeg’s water, must commit to a $2.3-billion to $4.1-billion plan to eliminate Winnipeg’s combined sewer overflows (CSOs).

The City of Winnipeg submitted a master plan to reduce the overflows to the province in December 2015 but the province has yet to mandate which option the city must pursue. Read more.

Birds a key cause of fecal contamination at Lake Winnipeg beaches

Aug. 8, CBC News:

Eight beaches in Manitoba have permanent advisories for the summer after testing positive for fecal contamination — and birds flying overhead could be partly to blame.

Summer-long warnings are in effect at Hnausa Beach, Spruce Sands Beach, Sandy Hook Beach, Winnipeg Beach, Milne Beach, West Grand Beach, East Grand Beach and Gimli Beach after tests showed a spike in Escherichia coli (E. coli) in July and August well above the threshold considered optimal for swimming water.

“What we found on Lake Winnipeg is E. coli is really driven by the wind and wave processes on the water,” said Elaine Page, manager of the water quality management section with Manitoba Sustainable Development. Read more.

City weighing options on how to deal with sewer overflow problem

Aug. 5, Winnipeg Sun:

Combined sewer overflows dumped another 9.2 billion litres of diluted sewage into Winnipeg rivers last year.

And those lobbying to clean up the endangered Lake Winnipeg say action to stop those spills must happen now.

“It’s very, very concerning because every time there is a combined sewer overflow that means more phosphorous and nitrogen getting into the river and up into Lake Winnipeg. The phosphorous can get deposited in the sediments of the lake and be available in future years,” said Vicki Burns, director of the Save Lake Winnipeg Project. “So, the longer we wait to correct this problem, the harder it’s going to be to fix it.” Read more.