People who frequent Lake Banook question its safety
Published Thursday, August 15, 2019 11:06PM ADT
Last Updated Thursday, August 15, 2019 11:15PM ADT
During a summer in which multiple lakes in the Maritimes have been affected by algae both dangerous, and potentially dangerous – people who enjoy water sports and activities are wondering which lakes are fit for their enjoyment.
Christine Hoehne, a former member of the Dartmouth Lakes Advisory Council, is an active member in her community. With a risk advisory appearing at Lake Micmac in Dartmouth, N.S. on Tuesday, she is confused and wondering what it means for those who enjoy the lakes in her area.
"I don't understand how that works,” says Hoehne, concerning the blue-green algae advisory put in place by HRM for Lake MicMac. “I realize the algae bloom is on the north end of Mic Mac."
Hoehne doesn’t allow her dogs to swim at neighbouring Lake Banook, which is attached to Lake MicMac, but wonders why swimming is still allowed there.
High bacteria levels can be caused by dogs, birds, wildlife and warm temperatures. HRM staff has made testing and monitoring the water quality of lakes in the area a priority.
"Staff test the water quality at all supervised municipal beaches as well as four unsupervised municipal beaches," says HRM spokesperson, Erin Dicarlo.
While Hoehne appreciates the testing HRM does, she says it takes too long to discover the results of water samples.
"It takes three weeks until they know if it's the type of bloom that could generate the problems," says Hoehne.
Meanwhile, paddlers who use Lake Banook await the results, as well as an upcoming regatta featuring hundreds of athletes – scheduled for next week. They hope the paddling season isn't interrupted by unsafe water quality levels Lake Banook and Lake Micmac.
Meanwhile, HRM officials maintain they would like to have all lakes remain open at all times for all to enjoy, adding that they test the lakes nearly once every week for various bacteria.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Paul Hollingsworth