New Brunswick

Chamcook owners meet over water protection

Cottage and home owners around the Chamcook Lake system are hosting a public meeting in Bayside this weekend to discuss mounting concerns over water protection in the area.

Some residents hope to create a watershed property owners association

The waters of Chamcook are nearly free of nutrients, which means it should not have been possible for blue-green algae to thrive there since it requires nutrients to reproduce (Rachel Cave/CBC)

Cottage and home owners around the Chamcook Lake system are hosting a public meeting in Bayside this weekend to discuss mounting concerns over water protection in the area.

Chamcook Lake is under increasing scrutiny from scientists and regulators since an outbreak of blue-green algae two summers ago.

Blue-green algae is of particular concern because it can cause skin, eye and throat irritation. If ingested, it could lead to more serious problems.

The algae is also a concern for Health Canada since the lake provides drinking water to St. Andrews. The lake is also the source of a constant flow of water to a fish hatchery.

The waters of Chamcook are nearly free of nutrients, which means it should not have been possible for blue-green algae to thrive there since it requires nutrients to reproduce.

A province-wide health advisory has been issued for New Brunswick, this sign was posted near Chamcook Lake (Rachel Cave/CBC)

The Chamcook Lake watershed is made up of six lakes which are surrounded by close to 500 individual properties. Some residents hope to use Saturday's meeting to create an owners association.

Donald Killorn, executive director of Eastern Charlotte Waterways, said regulators need input from residents.

Owners within the watershed need to organize Saturday, Killorn said, "And in order for them to do their job effectively each of the stakeholders, including the landowners, have to be at the table in an effective manner."