Cosmetic lawn fertilizer – washed away from the County of Wetaskiwin

Reducing the amount of nutrients that wash into the lakes will eventually reduce the frequency and intensity of blue-green algae blooms.

ALGE CONTROL - A new County of Wetaskiwin bylaw reducing the amount of nutrients that wash into the lakes will eventually reduce the frequency and intensity of blue-green algae blooms.

The County of Wetaskiwin gave by-law 2015/36 a third and final reading on July 7 for the purpose of restricting the use of cosmetic lawn fertilizer within 100 meters from the shores of Battle Lake, Buck Lake, Coal Lake, Pigeon Lake, Red Deer Lake and Wizard Lake.

Reducing the amount of nutrients that wash into the lakes will eventually reduce the frequency and intensity of blue-green algae blooms. Studies have shown there is no quick fix and it may take a long time and commitment by the communities surrounding the lakes to effectively change the nutrient concentrations in the water body. Over the years, large amounts of nutrients have accumulated in the sediment at the bottom of the lakes that will continue to serve as food for the blue-green algae.

The by-law will be enforced and if caught violating it, a nice looking lawn could cost you $10 for fertilizer and a $1,000 fine. Second offence is $2,000, third offence is $3,000 and the 4th and any subsequent breaches of the By-Law will cost the offender $5,000.

To help guide the process and decision for approving the by-law, residents living near lakes in both Leduc County and the County of Wetaskiwin No. 10 were asked to complete a brief questionnaire regarding watershed management. The survey results provided a snap shot of resident sentiments at the time. Those that responded expressed a general concern for lake health, and in interest in improving it. A variety of concerns were shared, some which stand out were: septic/sewage systems, blue green algae blooms, agricultural impacts, potential physical “fixes” to lake quality, enforcement of existing by-laws and legislation and the need for more education.

According to Kim Barkwell, Sustainable Agriculture program manager,  “…the survey highlights the importance of continued and improved engagement with the agriculture community around our lakes and other water bodies. All human activities: recreational, industrial, agricultural, and linear disturbance (roads and pipelines), have impacts on water quality. Assisting farmers to minimize nutrient loading, by applying beneficial management practices, bodes well for their operation and the health of their watershed.”

The by-law is intended to help reduce the production of blue-green algae that is enriched with nutrients like phosphorus or nitrogen, the main components of commercial fertilizer.

The by-law does not apply to the application of cosmetic lawn fertilizer: (a) on lands used for the purpose of agriculture, (b) on lands used as a golf course or a golf driving range where that land use is in accordance with the zoning in the Land Use By-Law, (c) on lands used for horticultural production, such as greenhouse or market garden, (d) lands used as nursery stock for tree production or reforestation, or (e) lands used for turf grass or sod production.

Concerns were flagged at the January 24, 2012 County of Wetaskiwin meeting when Mr. Don Davidson a representative of the Association of Pigeon Lake Municipalities (APLM) expressed concerns regarding the preservation of Pigeon Lake. The blue-green algae is a re-occuring problem afflicting Pigeon Lake. APLM is striving to correct the situation by working closely with the municipalities. Mr. Davidson advised Council about issues such as water quality; by-laws are ineffective and not being enforced; nutrients are root cause of quality problems and only three Villages have fertilizer restrictions.

Heather Kipling, AHS Communications clarifies it further, “Please note that areas of Pigeon Lake in which the blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) bloom is not visible can still be used for recreational purposes, even while this blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria) advisory is in place.

If you think you are experiencing symptoms related to exposure to blue-green algae (e.g., stomach cramps, diarrhoea, vomiting, headache, fever, muscle weakness, difficulty breathing), contact your doctor or Health Link at 811 right away. Information is available at http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/10189.asp If your pet displays symptoms such as seizures, vomiting, or the runs after contact with surface water, contact your veterinarian right away.

 

Just Posted

Heroin, fentanyl seized in weekend Wetaskiwin police raid

Wetaskiwin police make arrests after vehicle stop and search warrant

Nordlys Arts festival tix a great Xmas idea

Camrose festival in February turns 10 years

County council tweaks meeting times for 2019

Council, Planning and Public Works meetings defined Nov. 6

The Lakedell Lighthorse 4-H Club is off to a great year

Lakedell Lighthorse 4-H Club has 24 club members, five Cleaver kids

Trudeau’s Calgary visit seems hypocritical: writer

Albertans should get out to vote to get out of the Liberals

Story of the Year: Deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash

The Canadian Press annual survey of newsrooms across the country saw 53 out of 129 editors cast their votes for the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.

‘Subdued’ housing market predicted in B.C. through 2021: report

The Central 1 Credit Union report predicts “rising but subdued sales” over the next three years, with little movement in median home prices.

A journey through 2018’s top pop culture moments

Was there any pop culture this year? Of course there was.

‘A stronger Alberta:’ Ottawa announces $1.6B for Canada’s oil and gas sector

Price of Alberta oil plummeted so low that Alberta’s Premier said Canada was practically giving it away

Canadians to get low-cost data-only mobile phone plans within 90 days: CRTC

Bell, Rogers and Telus will provide plans as cheap as 250MB for $15

Four per cent of Canadian women report being sexually harassed in the workplace

One per cent of men report being sexually harassed in the workplace

Stricter drunk driving laws to take effect across Canada today

It gives police officers the right to ask for a breath sample from any driver they lawfully stop

The prize was wrong: Man turns down trip to Manitoba

A New Hampshire man won the prize on “The Price is Right”, but turned it down because the taxes were too high

B.C. securities regulator probes ‘most expansive’ alleged trading scheme in its history

Liht Cannabis Corp states it’s doing internal investigation, welcomes BC Securities Commission probe

Most Read