Vaseux Lake Water Monitoring

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Vaseux Lake Stewardship Society

Project Description:

Various Municipalities and local Associations are currently conducting water quality analysis annually on most of the populated beaches on Okanagan lakes except Vaseux Lake. The most recent water quality analysis on Vaseux Lake was completed in 2017-2018. It indicated 90% the nitrogen and phosphorus levels came from the Okanagan River. We know that nitrogen and phosphorus act as nutrients to excessive growth of milfoil and native macrophytes and high water temperature can lead to big coliform counts. The last study was completed during two major flood years and did not provide a good basis for what the water quality is during the summer months of June to September when water temperatures can reach as high as 80 degrees Fahrenheit. The Regional District is presently completing the construction of an engineered wetland along the Okanagan River downstream of the sewage treatment plant. It is anticipated that two to three more years are needed for the wetland to grow enough to be effective in providing a final cleansing of the effluents from the waste water treatment plant. It would be beneficial to the Regional District to have baseline data to determine if the wetland loop will help reduce nitrates and phosphates on the populated shorelines. Our proposal is to test nitrogen, phosphorus, coliform and potential heavy metals levels. We plan to test on public access areas on the north, east and south sides of the lake. This will also ascertain if the water is safe for swimming during the peak summer months.

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