Water Quality Testing
We are working with the The Lake Partner Program to test the Water Quality of Deer Lake. The Lake Partner Program is Ontario’s volunteer-based, water-quality monitoring program. The Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks coordinates this program from the Dorset Environmental Science Centre (DESC) in partnership with the Federation of Ontario Cottagers' Associations (FOCA). Each year, more than 600 volunteers monitor water quality in almost 550 inland lakes at over 800 sampling locations. Volunteers collect water samples and return them, postage paid, to DESC. All analyses are performed in the DESC Water Chemistry Laboratory.
Lakes within the Canadian Shield are sampled for total phosphorus once per year during May at the deep spot of our lake or bay. Because the transparency of a lake may vary through the year, Secchi disk observations (transparency) are made, ideally, twice per month from May to October.
According to FOCA, water clarity is impacted by fluctuations in algae, detritus, dissolved organic carbon, and other suspended solids in a lake (eg. tree pollen).
Increases in phosphorus can decrease water clarity by stimulating algal growth. Average total phosphorus concentration (µg/L) has increased. In 2003, the average TP concentration was 5.5µg/L in the north basin and 4.6µg/L in the south. Last year, the average was 10.2 µg/L (north) and 8.4 µg/L (south).
What We Can Do
If we want to stop the deterioration of the water quality in Deer Lake, we must decrease the amount of negative nutrients that enter our lake, including:
Fertilizers should not be used as rain and irrigation carry these fertilizers into the water and encourage the growth of algae.
Pumping out your septic tank on a regular basis is critical to reducing nutrient flows into lakes.
Use phosphate-free soaps (dishwashing, laundry), shampoos and other cleaning products
Maintaining a vegetative barrier of native plants on the shoreline to absorb some phosphorous before it can enter the Lake.