How Can You Help Our Lakes?
All of us who own property on or near one of our lakes are impacting it. There are many things we can do to decrease our negative impact on the lake. Blue-green algae thrives on Phosphorus and Nitrogen. We can decrease the amount of these nutrients going into the lake in many ways by reducing the amount of nutrients produced (e.g. not using fertilizer) or by increasing the natural absorption of nutrients before they reach the lake. Plants with deep root systems (trees and shrubs) absorb these nutrients and decrease the amount going into the lake. This is especially important along the edges of the water (riparian zone).
- The property on the left will allow a large amount of nutrients to enter the lake as it has no filter in place.
- The property on the right will allow a lot less nutrients to enter the lake due to the natural shoreline buffer.
Here are some simple things we all can do to decrease the nutrient overload in our lakes causing the blue-green algae:
5. Don’t use insecticides, herbicides and/or fungicides
6. Ensure that your septic system is working properly and not allowing any sewage to enter the lake- Outhouses need to be pump outs and septic tanks NOT fields should be used
7. Properly compost biodegradable waste- don’t let these nutrients get into the lake
9. Ensure all chemicals are stored properly
10. Properly fuel boats and lawn equipment to avoid polluting the lake
11. Ensure all animal waste is disposed of properly
12. Conserve water – use low flow toilets and shower heads, minimize watering of lawn
14. Sign up for a Homesite Consultation: a member of Nature Alberta’s Living By Water Project will come to your property to discuss with you ways which you can improve your property to be more lake friendly
15. Let your friends and neighbours know what you are doing to help the lake. None of us want to deliberately damage our lakes – help your neighbours help the lake!
For more information visit these very helpful websites: Living By Water and The Shore Primer: A Cottager's Guide To A Healthy Waterfront