It’s a fight that the Town and MD of Bonnyville have been scrapping with for a few years. An update on the health of Jessie Lake was provided on Tuesdays regular town council meeting. Lakeland Industry and Community Association Watershed Program Manager Colin Hanusz presented his groups’ findings to the council including the fact that the lake itself is considerably shallower than thought.
“Ground-truthing this summer when we did the detailed testing shows it to be one point seven-five metres deep. That’s consistent with what a lot of people thought.”
Hanusz says testing of the water found high levels of phosphorus from decomposing algae. Aeration was proposed as a way to help with the smell and outbreak of algae last summer. Now that the true depth of Jessie Lake is known, Hanusz doesn’t think aeration is the best route to solve the problem.
“With the aeration, due to its shallow depth and in order to get any kind of current from the lake, it would require a lot of aerators. Aeration works better in a deeper lake where it can get circulating in there.”
Hanusz suggests staying the course on planting trees on the shoreline as a way to help pull nutrients away from the water.
“Those Riparian species root deep, pulling the nutrients out of the water. That will help reduce it over time.”
Decaying algae will continue to be hauled away in the summer to help with the smell. Hanusz says LICA is going to continue the water and air quality testing and make adjustments in their efforts if need be.