Cottagers look to clay remedy for blue-green algae
Waiting on provincial approval after 10 years of lake water looking 'like green paint'
Posted: Aug 3, 2012 9:01 AM ET
Last Updated: Aug 3, 2012 8:56 AM ET
The perennial problem of blue-green algae is popping up again in some northern Ontario lakes this summer.
And many waterfront property owners have their eyes on a bay of Lake Huron where a possible solution is in the works.
Roughly 10 years of blue-green algae blooms and warnings about drinking, swimming or boating in the water have prompted cottagers on Sturgeon Bay near Pointe Au Baril to look for a fix.
Ian MacLeod said if knew then what he knows now, he never would have bought a cottage there.
"You know, when your water looks like green paint, it's just extremely disturbing," he said.
The concerned residents found Phoslock — clay infused with chemicals that would be dumped into the bay to neutralize phosphorus, one of the causes of the algae. The province has yet to okay the idea, however.
Terry Rees from the Federation of Ontario Cottagers Associations said he hears worries about blue-green algae in all corners of the province.
But he said it's hard to know if there are more blooms these days, or just more reports of blooms.
"It can cause some panic — rightly or wrongly — frankly,” he said. “But it has really highlighted that people need to take care of their local resource."
So far, despite a hot summer, the number of blooms in Ontario is about the same as this time last year, Rees said.
Nevertheless, Sturgeon Bay cottager Ian MacLeod said something needs to be done about the blooms, which have been painting the bay green for the past decade.
“On a micro level, it's disturbing that it's at my dock,” he said.
“From a macro level, from 40,000 feet, you say 'My god, this is really bad.’"
The Ministry of Natural Resources is considering the Sturgeon Bay proposal to use Phoslock.
The ministry said part of its decision will be based on a test run of the chemical-infused clay, currently ongoing in the West Holland River near Newmarket.
Latest Sudbury News Headlines
- Councillor's ward cited as unhealthiest in Sudbury
- A Sudbury city councillor said Friday he was stunned to learn his ward is one of the most unhealthy areas in Greater Sudbury. more »
- Possibility of cancelling Algo's rooftop parking raised at inquiry
- Testimony at the public inquiry into the fatal collapse of the Algo Centre Mall in Elliot Lake has raised questions about whether the owner of the mall was concerned enough about the structure to cancel rooftop parking. more »
- Agnico-Eagle worker found alive after blizzard
- A worker missing from Agnico-Eagle's Meliadine camp near Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, was found alive late Thursday night, after weathering a potentially record-breaking blizzard. more »
- LCBO strike threat off after deal reached
- The prospect of a Victoria Day weekend liquor store strike in Ontario has been taken off the shelf after a deal was reached late Thursday night between the LCBO and its unionized workers. more »
Top News Headlines
- Senior Pakistani politician shot dead
- Gunmen in Pakistan have killed a senior member of Imran Khan's Movement for Justice (PTI) party outside her home in Karachi. more »
- Rescue attempt over for New Brunswick fishermen
- The rescue attempt for two missing fishermen has been called off in New Brunswick, hours after one body was found. more »
- Car drives into crowd at Virginia parade
- About 50 to 60 people were injured after a driver described by witnesses as an elderly man drove his car into a group of hikers marching in a parade in a small Virginia mountain town. more »
- Spectator killed at Edmonton Jeep event
- A 20-year-old woman died Saturday during an event for Jeep enthusiasts held in a parking lot just west of downtown Edmonton. more »