Updated Water Quality and Clarity Data

A letter from the BLPOA President…
The 2021 water quality testing results are now tabulated and confirm that our lake has good water quality and that it is either stable or slightly improving over time.  

The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) has been sampling Black Lake water quality twice a year (except in 2020, due to Covid-19) for many years.

For several years now, BLPOA has tabulated this data into a set of charts showing the historical record and trends.  

The 2021 sampling update is now available on the BLPOA web site, here.  The results are similar to the recent past.  As I said, water quality from a nutrient perspective (which is what causes algae and feeds weed growth) is good, not great, and either stable or slightly improving, depending on the metric and site.

Last summer, concerned about whether near-shore areas might have more quality issues, BLPOA volunteers did additional near shore sampling and BLPOA funds paid RVCA for the testing.  The good news is that those additional sites do not show results much different from the usual sites.

There is no reason to be complacent.  Further development, in particular more full-time presence on the lake, more run-off from more frequent heavy rainstorms and possibly ageing septic systems risks moving our water quality in the wrong direction.  The three key things owners can do about this are: Maintain a good riparian zone between your property and the lake to help filter nutrients. Do not use fertilizer on your grassy areas, as it can run off or leach into the lake. Make sure your septic system is in good shape, or you-know-what can leach into the lake.  Based on  inspections of properties on Tay Valley Township lakes that have agreed to mandatory septic inspection, I can surmise that of the 240+ properties around the lake possibly up to 24 might have failed septic systems and another quarter to third might need maintenance, maybe just pumping.  On septic systems see the piece in the 2020 BLPOA Newsletter “Where Does my Poop Go?” here.   So, welcome to Spring.  Hoping for a more normal year for all then the past two.  That said, stay safe and healthy.  These are not ‘the before times’.  
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