Protect Our Water
on
Salt Spring Island
Protect Our Water
on
Salt Spring Island
The Cusheon Lake Stewardship Committee strives to
protect and improve the drinking watershed.
They work with other like mi...
History of the CLSCHistory of the CLSC
 Group started working on Cusheon Lake in
1992, that is 20 years ago.
 Formed CLS...
2001 first management plan
meeting
Obtained Notation of Interest on
Crown Land with an expiry date of
9,999
2007 Manage...
Cusheon Lake Watershed 2005Cusheon Lake Watershed 2005
Cusheon Lake Watershed 2009Cusheon Lake Watershed 2009
Created from the CRD Natural Areas Atlas
Why protect water? - to prevent
cyanobacterial blooms
Why protect water? - to prevent
cyanobacterial blooms
 CLSC has obs...
What is CYANOBACTERIA?What is CYANOBACTERIA?
 Commonly known as blue-green algae
or pond scum - it is really a bacteria.
...
These Cyanobacterial toxins fall into
various categories. Some are known to
attack the:
 liver (hepatotoxins) or the
 ne...
 One group of toxins produced and
released are called microcystins
because they were isolated from a
cyanobacterium calle...
What about smaller treatment
systems and private supplies?
What about smaller treatment
systems and private supplies?
 Co...
 Some disinfection techniques, such as
using chlorine (bleach), are ineffective
as the treatment may chemically
corrode t...
Larger Treatment PlantsLarger Treatment Plants
 Water treatment plants may not remove
these toxins from the drinking wate...
Watershed protection versus pollution
from over development and chemical
treatment/ filtration
Watershed protection versus...
 Healthy forests and natural vegetation prevent the
need for filtration plants that cost millions of
dollars.
 Preventio...
Dr. Asit Mazumder at U VIC. Workshop -Healthy
Drinking Water August 2003
Dr. Asit Mazumder at U VIC. Workshop -Healthy
Dri...
Every 10 grams (no more than the
weight of 2 nickels )of phosphorous
you keep out of a lake prevents
the growth of 1kilogr...
PhosphorousPhosphorous
 Phosphorus is a fertilizer that promotes
plant growth. In source drinking water 1lb
or 454 g of p...
N-P-KN-P-K
 An established lawn needs primarily nitrogen,
since it is not producing any fruit or flowers =
Big - Zero - S...
Septic Systems-not the major problemSeptic Systems-not the major problem
 Dr. J. Sprague’s report on sources of
nutrients...
Clearing of the land = more
phosphorous released
Clearing of the land = more
phosphorous released
 Any time and any where...
Increases in PhosphorousIncreases in Phosphorous
 Forest changed to agriculture= 4x increase in
P
 Forest changed to cle...
Trees and vegetationTrees and vegetation
 “Following tree removal, P
concentrations increased by an
average of 40% in lak...
Challenges to protect our
Watersheds-
-people seek forgiveness rather
than applying for permission!
-removal of too many t...
Photos by Wayne Hewitt
Land DevelopmentLand Development
 Residents have cleared
the riparian area
without first obtaining a
permit for
Developme...
Soil Deposits / In Filling on
Lakeshore
Soil Deposits / In Filling on
Lakeshore
 Some residents clear the
riparian area a...
Photo by John
Sprague
Photo by John
Sprague
Photo by John Sprague
PhotoByJohn
Sprague
Other Problems
in
the watershed
Other Problems
in
the watershed
Oil spillsOil spills
 Oil spills have occurred
frequently along
narrow Cusheon Lake
Road over the past
few years.
 One l...
GarbageGarbage
 Over the years
residents and visitors
have used our lakes
as a dump or landfill
site to rid themselves
of...
Who benefits from
improvements in our
watersheds?
We all do!
Who benefits from
improvements in our
watersheds?
We all do!
Birds and AnimalsBirds and Animals
 These creatures are part of a healthy eco system.
They need a healthy habitat and fre...
FishFish
 Fish need even better quality water then we do. They
cannot filter it.
 If we are stewards of the watershed fo...
What is the Stewardship
group doing?
What is the Stewardship
group doing?
Photos by Doreen Hewitt
MeetingsMeetings
 People meet to clean up the shorelines and
remove garbage.
 Meetings are held with government official...
Secchi disk & Temp,
Oxygen Profiles
Secchi disk & Temp,
Oxygen Profiles
This shows the how clear the water is and is
a mea...
Lake levels indicate
fluctuations in the depth of
the water
Lake levels indicate
fluctuations in the depth of
the water
In...
Other Observations in
Cusheon Lake
Other Observations in
Cusheon Lake
 15 years ago it took 3 days for the lake
to peak a...
What’s Needed Next ?What’s Needed Next ?
 Implementation and monitoring of the
Management plans is most important.
 Impl...
This Power Point Presentation
was
Created by Doreen Hewitt B.A.Sc
With information provided by the CLSC
To stimulate discu...
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  1. 1. Protect Our Water on Salt Spring Island Protect Our Water on Salt Spring Island
  2. 2. The Cusheon Lake Stewardship Committee strives to protect and improve the drinking watershed. They work with other like minded groups i.e. SSIWPS, Island Streams and Salmon Enhancement Society, SSI Conservancy, Water Council and BC Lake Stewardship Society and local , provincial and federal government departments. The Cusheon Lake Stewardship Committee strives to protect and improve the drinking watershed. They work with other like minded groups i.e. SSIWPS, Island Streams and Salmon Enhancement Society, SSI Conservancy, Water Council and BC Lake Stewardship Society and local , provincial and federal government departments.
  3. 3. History of the CLSCHistory of the CLSC  Group started working on Cusheon Lake in 1992, that is 20 years ago.  Formed CLS committee in 1995  Joined in with BACARA in 1997  Took weekly water samples and readings of lake water for quality during spring to fall under Rick Nordin  1999 community meetings were held  Group started working on Cusheon Lake in 1992, that is 20 years ago.  Formed CLS committee in 1995  Joined in with BACARA in 1997  Took weekly water samples and readings of lake water for quality during spring to fall under Rick Nordin  1999 community meetings were held
  4. 4. 2001 first management plan meeting Obtained Notation of Interest on Crown Land with an expiry date of 9,999 2007 Management Plan was presented to public The Plan still has not been implemented by the Islands Trust and the CRD.
  5. 5. Cusheon Lake Watershed 2005Cusheon Lake Watershed 2005
  6. 6. Cusheon Lake Watershed 2009Cusheon Lake Watershed 2009 Created from the CRD Natural Areas Atlas
  7. 7. Why protect water? - to prevent cyanobacterial blooms Why protect water? - to prevent cyanobacterial blooms  CLSC has observed cyanobacterial blooms every fall since 1992 in Cusheon Lake.  In 1994 even fish died.  Cusheon Lake suffered a very serious algal bloom in 1999. The water could not be used for any purpose for 17 days. The lake was closed to all recreational uses.  In 2002 the blue-green algal bloom turned bright blue in 15 days.  CLSC has observed cyanobacterial blooms every fall since 1992 in Cusheon Lake.  In 1994 even fish died.  Cusheon Lake suffered a very serious algal bloom in 1999. The water could not be used for any purpose for 17 days. The lake was closed to all recreational uses.  In 2002 the blue-green algal bloom turned bright blue in 15 days. Photos by Wayne Hewitt
  8. 8. What is CYANOBACTERIA?What is CYANOBACTERIA?  Commonly known as blue-green algae or pond scum - it is really a bacteria.  Cyanobacteria form in shallow, warm, slow-moving or still water. They are made up of cells, which can house poisons called cyanobacterial toxins. It is believed that most people would not drink “POND SCUM” because it smells like rotten garbage.  Commonly known as blue-green algae or pond scum - it is really a bacteria.  Cyanobacteria form in shallow, warm, slow-moving or still water. They are made up of cells, which can house poisons called cyanobacterial toxins. It is believed that most people would not drink “POND SCUM” because it smells like rotten garbage.
  9. 9. These Cyanobacterial toxins fall into various categories. Some are known to attack the:  liver (hepatotoxins) or the  nervous system (neurotoxins);  others simply irritate the skin. These toxins are usually released into water when the cells rupture or die. These Cyanobacterial toxins fall into various categories. Some are known to attack the:  liver (hepatotoxins) or the  nervous system (neurotoxins);  others simply irritate the skin. These toxins are usually released into water when the cells rupture or die.
  10. 10.  One group of toxins produced and released are called microcystins because they were isolated from a cyanobacterium called Microcystis aeruginosa. Microcystins are the most common of the cyanobacterial toxins found in water, as well as being the ones most often responsible for poisoning animals and humans who come into contact with toxic blooms. Info from Health Canada Website  One group of toxins produced and released are called microcystins because they were isolated from a cyanobacterium called Microcystis aeruginosa. Microcystins are the most common of the cyanobacterial toxins found in water, as well as being the ones most often responsible for poisoning animals and humans who come into contact with toxic blooms. Info from Health Canada Website
  11. 11. What about smaller treatment systems and private supplies? What about smaller treatment systems and private supplies?  Countertop jug filtration and tap filter systems do not provide reliable treatment because they do not properly filter the water of algae and toxins;  Boiling the water may break the cell wall releasing more toxins into the water; moreover boiling does not remove or neutralize any microcystin present in the water; and  Countertop jug filtration and tap filter systems do not provide reliable treatment because they do not properly filter the water of algae and toxins;  Boiling the water may break the cell wall releasing more toxins into the water; moreover boiling does not remove or neutralize any microcystin present in the water; and
  12. 12.  Some disinfection techniques, such as using chlorine (bleach), are ineffective as the treatment may chemically corrode the cell wall thereby releasing more toxins into the water.  Studies show that activated charcoal can remove up to 70% of the toxins BUT the problem is that the absorption capability of charcoal can be used up very quickly. One would need to test their water frequently. $120.00 + HST is the cost of the test.  Some disinfection techniques, such as using chlorine (bleach), are ineffective as the treatment may chemically corrode the cell wall thereby releasing more toxins into the water.  Studies show that activated charcoal can remove up to 70% of the toxins BUT the problem is that the absorption capability of charcoal can be used up very quickly. One would need to test their water frequently. $120.00 + HST is the cost of the test. This info from the Ontario Government
  13. 13. Larger Treatment PlantsLarger Treatment Plants  Water treatment plants may not remove these toxins from the drinking water.  Chlorine destroys toxins but the extremely high doses used to obtain a residual level may create carcinogenic disinfection byproducts.  Water treatment plants may not remove these toxins from the drinking water.  Chlorine destroys toxins but the extremely high doses used to obtain a residual level may create carcinogenic disinfection byproducts.
  14. 14. Watershed protection versus pollution from over development and chemical treatment/ filtration Watershed protection versus pollution from over development and chemical treatment/ filtration QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. QuickTime™ and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. Created y the Croton Watershed Clean Water Coalition
  15. 15.  Healthy forests and natural vegetation prevent the need for filtration plants that cost millions of dollars.  Prevention of toxic algal blooms is the only answer.  It is impossible to determine if or when an algal bloom will turn toxic.  Health Canada has an legal limit of 1.5 micrograms per litre for microcystin LR.  Remember water service providers are just a big business selling water they are not in the business of protecting it.  Prov. Gov’t is no better, they refuse to register the Watershed Management Plans under the Drinking Water Protection Act. It has to be a ministerial order.  Healthy forests and natural vegetation prevent the need for filtration plants that cost millions of dollars.  Prevention of toxic algal blooms is the only answer.  It is impossible to determine if or when an algal bloom will turn toxic.  Health Canada has an legal limit of 1.5 micrograms per litre for microcystin LR.  Remember water service providers are just a big business selling water they are not in the business of protecting it.  Prov. Gov’t is no better, they refuse to register the Watershed Management Plans under the Drinking Water Protection Act. It has to be a ministerial order.
  16. 16. Dr. Asit Mazumder at U VIC. Workshop -Healthy Drinking Water August 2003 Dr. Asit Mazumder at U VIC. Workshop -Healthy Drinking Water August 2003  “Why do we always do such a good job of destroying our drinking water resources?  We think we can always take the water we pollute and filter it and chlorinate to make it drinkable.  Look at the Mississippi! We need to lose that view.  It is expensive to remove phosphorous, you need better land management.”  “Why do we always do such a good job of destroying our drinking water resources?  We think we can always take the water we pollute and filter it and chlorinate to make it drinkable.  Look at the Mississippi! We need to lose that view.  It is expensive to remove phosphorous, you need better land management.”
  17. 17. Every 10 grams (no more than the weight of 2 nickels )of phosphorous you keep out of a lake prevents the growth of 1kilogram of algae. Every 10 grams (no more than the weight of 2 nickels )of phosphorous you keep out of a lake prevents the growth of 1kilogram of algae. Photo by Wayne Hewitt
  18. 18. PhosphorousPhosphorous  Phosphorus is a fertilizer that promotes plant growth. In source drinking water 1lb or 454 g of phosphorus can trigger the growth of over 1,000lb or 454 kilos of wet algae mass - which gives new meaning to going green.  Where it takes 20 parts per million of soil phosphorous to grow healthy turf, 25 parts per billion (a quantity 1,000 times smaller ) can promote excessive algae growth in lakes  Phosphorus is a fertilizer that promotes plant growth. In source drinking water 1lb or 454 g of phosphorus can trigger the growth of over 1,000lb or 454 kilos of wet algae mass - which gives new meaning to going green.  Where it takes 20 parts per million of soil phosphorous to grow healthy turf, 25 parts per billion (a quantity 1,000 times smaller ) can promote excessive algae growth in lakes
  19. 19. N-P-KN-P-K  An established lawn needs primarily nitrogen, since it is not producing any fruit or flowers = Big - Zero - Small. Nitrogen is the least expensive of the nutrients. Don’t buy a formula that has high phosphorous or potassium when you don’t need them.  There are several phosphorous free fertilizers on the market. Scott’s Turf builder Pro 32-0-4 and CIL Golfgreen Lawn fertilizer are just two of many.  An established lawn needs primarily nitrogen, since it is not producing any fruit or flowers = Big - Zero - Small. Nitrogen is the least expensive of the nutrients. Don’t buy a formula that has high phosphorous or potassium when you don’t need them.  There are several phosphorous free fertilizers on the market. Scott’s Turf builder Pro 32-0-4 and CIL Golfgreen Lawn fertilizer are just two of many.
  20. 20. Septic Systems-not the major problemSeptic Systems-not the major problem  Dr. J. Sprague’s report on sources of nutrients to Cusheon Lake showed the following. (based on Research from Ontario )  A decent septic field retains 74% of the P. when it is 100 m away from a stream or lake.  That amount is reduced by one-third- 200 m away,  Reduced by two thirds- 300 m away, and is assumed as zero escapement of P.  Dr. J. Sprague’s report on sources of nutrients to Cusheon Lake showed the following. (based on Research from Ontario )  A decent septic field retains 74% of the P. when it is 100 m away from a stream or lake.  That amount is reduced by one-third- 200 m away,  Reduced by two thirds- 300 m away, and is assumed as zero escapement of P.
  21. 21. Clearing of the land = more phosphorous released Clearing of the land = more phosphorous released  Any time and any where the soil is disturbed, phosphorus is released.  The sediments containing phosphorus run off the land into streams and into lakes when it rains.  Even clearing of ditches in the watershed contributes to phosphorus loading.  Any time and any where the soil is disturbed, phosphorus is released.  The sediments containing phosphorus run off the land into streams and into lakes when it rains.  Even clearing of ditches in the watershed contributes to phosphorus loading. Photo by Wayne Hewitt
  22. 22. Increases in PhosphorousIncreases in Phosphorous  Forest changed to agriculture= 4x increase in P  Forest changed to clear cut = 8x increase in P  Forest changed to agriculture and urban = 8x increase in P  Forest changed to residential development (urban) = 8x to 85x depending on density increase in P  Forest changed to agriculture= 4x increase in P  Forest changed to clear cut = 8x increase in P  Forest changed to agriculture and urban = 8x increase in P  Forest changed to residential development (urban) = 8x to 85x depending on density increase in P from Dillon and Kirchner , and Omernik
  23. 23. Trees and vegetationTrees and vegetation  “Following tree removal, P concentrations increased by an average of 40% in lakes. The more surprising observation was that a nearly 2-fold increase in cyanobacterial biomass following tree removal coincided with a 10 -fold increase in cyanotoxin concentration- a pretty dramatic increase.” (Ellie Prepas)  “Following tree removal, P concentrations increased by an average of 40% in lakes. The more surprising observation was that a nearly 2-fold increase in cyanobacterial biomass following tree removal coincided with a 10 -fold increase in cyanotoxin concentration- a pretty dramatic increase.” (Ellie Prepas)
  24. 24. Challenges to protect our Watersheds- -people seek forgiveness rather than applying for permission! -removal of too many trees and vegetation -too much soil disturbance Challenges to protect our Watersheds- -people seek forgiveness rather than applying for permission! -removal of too many trees and vegetation -too much soil disturbance
  25. 25. Photos by Wayne Hewitt
  26. 26. Land DevelopmentLand Development  Residents have cleared the riparian area without first obtaining a permit for Development Area 4- Lake, Streams and Wetlands.  Land has been cleared high in the watersheds many miles away.  Residents have cleared the riparian area without first obtaining a permit for Development Area 4- Lake, Streams and Wetlands.  Land has been cleared high in the watersheds many miles away. Photos by Wayne Hewitt
  27. 27. Soil Deposits / In Filling on Lakeshore Soil Deposits / In Filling on Lakeshore  Some residents clear the riparian area and then deposit fill in the form of sand, gravel or other foreign material.  Sand is a biological desert and does not support vegetation that is commonly found around the lakes. It is a great way to encourage sand fleas and other microscopic organisms  Some residents clear the riparian area and then deposit fill in the form of sand, gravel or other foreign material.  Sand is a biological desert and does not support vegetation that is commonly found around the lakes. It is a great way to encourage sand fleas and other microscopic organisms Photo by Wayne Hewitt
  28. 28. Photo by John Sprague Photo by John Sprague
  29. 29. Photo by John Sprague
  30. 30. PhotoByJohn Sprague
  31. 31. Other Problems in the watershed Other Problems in the watershed
  32. 32. Oil spillsOil spills  Oil spills have occurred frequently along narrow Cusheon Lake Road over the past few years.  One litre of oil can contaminate up to 2 million litres of water.  Oil spills have occurred frequently along narrow Cusheon Lake Road over the past few years.  One litre of oil can contaminate up to 2 million litres of water. Photo by Wayne Hewitt
  33. 33. GarbageGarbage  Over the years residents and visitors have used our lakes as a dump or landfill site to rid themselves of large amounts of garbage.  Over the years residents and visitors have used our lakes as a dump or landfill site to rid themselves of large amounts of garbage.Photo by Doreen Hewitt
  34. 34. Who benefits from improvements in our watersheds? We all do! Who benefits from improvements in our watersheds? We all do!
  35. 35. Birds and AnimalsBirds and Animals  These creatures are part of a healthy eco system. They need a healthy habitat and fresh water like you and I.  The riparian area is needed for breeding and raising their young.  These creatures are part of a healthy eco system. They need a healthy habitat and fresh water like you and I.  The riparian area is needed for breeding and raising their young. Photos by Wayne and Doreen Hewitt
  36. 36. FishFish  Fish need even better quality water then we do. They cannot filter it.  If we are stewards of the watershed for fish and other wildlife we may be able to improve our domestic water.  Fish need even better quality water then we do. They cannot filter it.  If we are stewards of the watershed for fish and other wildlife we may be able to improve our domestic water. Photo by Geoff King
  37. 37. What is the Stewardship group doing? What is the Stewardship group doing? Photos by Doreen Hewitt
  38. 38. MeetingsMeetings  People meet to clean up the shorelines and remove garbage.  Meetings are held with government officials to provide input for development of bylaws.  They helped create the Management Plans  People meet to clean up the shorelines and remove garbage.  Meetings are held with government officials to provide input for development of bylaws.  They helped create the Management Plans Photo by Doreen Hewitt
  39. 39. Secchi disk & Temp, Oxygen Profiles Secchi disk & Temp, Oxygen Profiles This shows the how clear the water is and is a measurement of water transparency. This shows the how clear the water is and is a measurement of water transparency.
  40. 40. Lake levels indicate fluctuations in the depth of the water Lake levels indicate fluctuations in the depth of the water In Cusheon Lake, we have noticed that the higher the water level is going into the summer the onset of an algal bloom is often later in the fall. If it occurs with the fall rains then it is flushed out to the ocean. In Cusheon Lake, we have noticed that the higher the water level is going into the summer the onset of an algal bloom is often later in the fall. If it occurs with the fall rains then it is flushed out to the ocean. Photo by Doreen Hewitt
  41. 41. Other Observations in Cusheon Lake Other Observations in Cusheon Lake  15 years ago it took 3 days for the lake to peak after a rain storm.  Today it is about 24 hours or less to peak.  Less waterfowl birds all year round.  15 years ago it took 3 days for the lake to peak after a rain storm.  Today it is about 24 hours or less to peak.  Less waterfowl birds all year round.
  42. 42. What’s Needed Next ?What’s Needed Next ?  Implementation and monitoring of the Management plans is most important.  Implementation of the Riparian Areas Regulations (RAR).  Strong DPA’s and bylaws are needed to support the RAR to protect our drinking water.  Implementation and monitoring of the Management plans is most important.  Implementation of the Riparian Areas Regulations (RAR).  Strong DPA’s and bylaws are needed to support the RAR to protect our drinking water.
  43. 43. This Power Point Presentation was Created by Doreen Hewitt B.A.Sc With information provided by the CLSC To stimulate discussions on WATER PROTECTION Please do not use in whole or part without permission This Power Point Presentation was Created by Doreen Hewitt B.A.Sc With information provided by the CLSC To stimulate discussions on WATER PROTECTION Please do not use in whole or part without permission

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