Water Quality

The Quality of My Well Water

As the owner of an individual well, you are responsible for ensuring its quality with a view to protecting your health and that of your loved ones.

Here you will find all the information you need to meet this obligation. http://www.mddelcc.gouv.qc.ca/eau/potable/depliant/index-en.htm

Booklet that can help you: How-well-is-your-well

Boiling water? Notice-to-boil-water

Assessing the Health of a Lake

Lake Science

Lake science is a relatively new discipline. It wasnʼt until the late 1960ʼs that scientists began studying in earnest the negative impact of human activity on our water systems. With its bountiful supply of lakes and rivers, it is not surprising that Canada has played a major role in this research. In fact, it was through the work done at the Experimental Lakes Area (ELA) in northern Ontario that we learnt about the harmful effects of industry-generated acid rain and phosphorus on our waterways.

Complexity of the Task

Although we now know much more about the many man-made threats facing our lakes and rivers, there is still no simple way to assess the overall health of a lake or to predict its future. This is because a lake is a very complex system, with many factors affecting its health. Accordingly, a myriad of data must be collected and studied to determine its current and future state. These data include:

  • ph (ie: alkalinity/acidity);
  • transparency;
  • turbidity;
  • temperature;
  • levels of phosphorus, chlorophyll a, oxygen, and calcium;
  • fish population and reproduction;
  • the presence of invasive species, algae, aquatic plants, and periphyton;
  • and so on.

To complicate matters, due to the dynamics of a lake, data can vary significantly from one location to another and from one sampling to another. It is only by collecting a wide variety and quantity of data over a lengthy period of time can we have any chance of making a reasonably accurate assessment of a lakeʼs health.

Conflicting Data

To make matters even more interesting, such assessments can vary dramatically depending on what data are used. No single indicator can tell us whether our lake is in good shape or not. In fact, we often encounter conflicting data when trying to make such assessments. For example, a lake can have very good transparency, phosphorus, and chlorophyll a readings but, at the same time, have subsurface rocks covered with thick layers of periphyton, be plagued by large beds of Eurasian milfoil, have a bottom blanketed by decaying organic material, and experience blue-green algae blooms.

If an assessment were based solely on the aforementioned transparency, phosphorus, and chlorophyll a readings, one could easily conclude that the lake in question was in good shape and had low levels of nutrient inflow. However such positive conclusions would conflict with the above-noted and worrisome physical phenomena. The need for caution when assessing the health of a lake is acknowledged by RSVL who qualify their own assessments by stating that a complete evaluation of the trophic state (ie: nutrient level) of a lake cannot be based solely on physicochemical data (eg: phosphorus readings) but rather must take into consideration certain components of the coastline such as aquatic plants, periphyton, and sediment.

The occurrence of such conflicting data is quite common, even in our own watershed. Accordingly, one must be very careful when making pronouncements about the state of a lake.

Invasive species:

How to limit the spread of Eurasian water-milfoil (Spiked water-milfoil), a plant that is invading our waterways?

The Eurasian water-milfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum) is an aquatic plant that can grow in different water bodies. They can survive in all conditions, but prefer shallow water rich in nutrients. Given its invasive nature, this exotic plant is a nuisance to and detrimental for our waterways.

The Eurasian water-milfoil is hardy and spreads through cuttings, root suckers or seeds, rapidly covering large areas of the lake. The pieces that fall off or are torn from the plant develop their own roots and may quickly establish themselves wherever the current takes them. They can survive without water for several days and displace existing plants requiring similar sites and nutrition. Once established, it is very difficult to eradicate. There are no miracle solutions but it is important to control its spreading and avoid conditions that would contribute to its growth and development.
Source: Crow and Hellquist, 2000

Here are some suggestions:

  • Reduce the input of nutrients into the lake;
  • Don’t use fertilizers near lakes;
  • Use detergents that do not contain phosphates;
  • Ensure that you have a proper septic system and that is in good order;
  • Maintain or replant a proper shoreline vegetation

As a visual support we are sharing with you a video explaining other invasive species AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, how to STOP their spread on our lake:

O U R    A S S O C I A T I O N    R E P O R T S

All blue documents are in PDF format

Environmental reports:      

2013: EN_Final_environnement-poisson-blanc-carla

2014: EN_Final_environnement-poisson-blanc-2014

Transparency tests in Newton Bay:

2014: transparence       2015: transparence2015  

2016: transparence-2016

2018:transparence-2018

RSVL (water testing on Lake Poisson-Blanc)

DOCUMENTS ARE IN FRENCH:

Website of the RSVL: HERE

2014: Site managed by Parc régional Poisson-Blanc:  Poisson-Blanc Lac_771B_2014_SA_SM

Our own site:  Poisson-Blanc Lac_771A_2014_SA_SM

2015: Our own site: Poisson-Blanc Lac_771A_2015_SA_SM