Tagged: Hutchinson Environmental Services

15 May

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Musselman’s Lake Is Healthy And Vibrant

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While none of us like to see the amount of algae mats that are in the lake this spring, it is important to understand why they are there and to look at the long term trends in water quality that fortunately are positive.

A synopsis of what is happening in our lake, by Dr. Brian Laing.

Please feel to send us your photos taken in the Mussleman's Lake Community

Musselman’s Lake is healthy and vibrant!

So, why are we seeing more algae this Spring?

This winter has been long and hard and the spring late in coming. This has delayed the normal slow blooming of algae and had made it come all at once. Algae cells are able to rise into the warmer water at the surface of the lake and consequently take advantage of the sudden warming of the water. This has been one of the harshest winters in living memory so it stands to reason that it will have a transitory effect on the ecology of the lake.

Of greater concern are the trends in water quality in our lake. As detailed in Dr Hutchinson’s water quality study of the lake, the overall health of the lake is good, and improving.

Lake Report Final_cvr1

CLICK ON IMAGE for the Water Quality and Management of Musselman’s Lake Report

As we have suspected, Dr Hutchinson determined that one of the major problems controlling algae blooms and plant growth is the internal loading of phosphorus. Phosphorus is the primary nutrient that controls growth of plants and algae in most lakes. When plants and algae die and decompose on the bottom they release phosphorus into the water. Under aerobic conditions (plenty of oxygen) the phosphorus is bound up and unusable for plant or algae growth but under anaerobic conditions (little or no oxygen) this phosphorus is released back into the water in usable form. This is called internal phosphorus loading an it is largely responsible for the algae blooms and plant growth. In the winter the bottom of the lake becomes particularly anoxic and results in extra phosphorus being available for algae and plant growth in the spring. This winter was harder than usual likely resulting in greater phosphorus being available. The other ingredient for algae growth is warm water. Because this was delayed this spring, when it did come there was plenty of phosphorus available for eager algae to use.

Past studies have shown that the phosphorus level in Musselman’s Lake have decreased by 50% between 1989 and 2006. Dr Hutchinson’s results show that it has reduced further in 2013. This is good news. Our lake’s total phosphorus concentration is below the Provincial Water Quality Objective ‘for protection against nuisance growth and algae, and would not be indicative of impaired water quality, particularly for a lake in Southern Ontario’.  Because of this, Dr. Hutchinson has recommended that we not pursue phosphorus sediment inactivation techniques such as phospholock at this time. He did however recommend that we continue to monitor water quality to track the inter-annual variability and if the internal phosphorus loading is in an up trend then the community should consider phosphorus sediment inactivation techniques at that time.

So in conclusion, while the algae mats are unsightly, they do not mean that the health of our lake has suddenly a turn for the worse. Fortunately Geranium homes generously supported the detailed professional analysis of the Lake by Dr. Hutchinson which gives us a baseline of the lake’s water quality.

It is our belief that we as a community should organize and raise money for ongoing monitoring of the lake so that trends can be identified and informed decisions can be made on if and when remedial action is necessary. The monitoring also enables us to gauge the effects of the actions we institute.

 

RELATED LINKS

LAB RESULTS ARE BACK
REMEMBER… “THE LAKE ISN’T A SWIMMING POOL”
GREAT NEWS! NO SERIOUS WATER QUALITY ISSUES WITH LAKE
NO WORRIES
WOW, WHAT AN EARTH DAY TO REMEMBER AT MUSSELMAN’S LAKE

08 May

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REMEMBER… “THE LAKE ISN’T A SWIMMING POOL”

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Posted originally May, 2014. Due to misinformation being spread in the community we have reposted this valuable information.

Musselman’s Lake Is A Healthy Lake And Not A Swimming Pool. Rooted Plants (weeds) And Algae Are An Integral Part To Its Health And Delicate Ecology.

The Results are in…The Lake Is Doing Fine!

The Geranium Corporation sponsored Water Quality and Management of Musselman’s Lake report has been completed by Dr. Neil Hutchinson of Hutchinson Environmental Sciences Ltd., and the findings are very positive.

Please take time to view both videos below as they are very enlightening. You will learn how both rooted plants (weeds) and algae play an integral part in the health of the Lake’s delicate ecology. The first video is a short summary and the second one is Dr. Neil Huthchinson’s full presentation on the Lake. Dr. Neil Hutchinson does such a great job of explaining how there is more to our Lovely Lake than meets the eye. It is a very complicated ecosystem that goes through some pretty amazing seasonal changes that most of us are unaware of. The full video is well worth taking the time to watch.

Also below are links to related posts about the Water Quality and Management of Musselman’s Lake report.

Dr. Neil Hutchinson’s Earth Day Presentation Summary Video “The Lake Isn’t A Swimming Pool”

 

 Dr. Neil Hutchinson of Hutchinson Environmental Sciences Ltd. making his Earth Day presentation of  the much anticipated Water Quality and Management of Musselman’s Lake report.

 

RELATED LINKS
GREAT NEWS! NO SERIOUS WATER QUALITY ISSUES WITH LAKE
NO WORRIES
WOW, WHAT AN EARTH DAY TO REMEMBER AT MUSSELMAN’S LAKE

 

29 May

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REMEMBER… “THE LAKE ISN’T A SWIMMING POOL”

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Musselman’s Lake Is A Healthy Lake And Not A Swimming Pool. Rooted Plants (weeds) And Algae Are An Integral Part To Its Health And Delicate Ecology.

The Results are in…The Lake Is Doing Fine!

The Geranium Corporation sponsored Water Quality and Management of Musselman’s Lake report has been completed by Dr. Neil Hutchinson of Hutchinson Environmental Sciences Ltd., and the findings are very positive.

Please take time to view both videos below as they are very enlightening. You will learn how both rooted plants (weeds) and algae play an integral part in the health of the Lake’s delicate ecology. The first video is a short summary and the second one is Dr. Neil Huthchinson’s full presentation on the Lake. Dr. Neil Hutchinson does such a great job of explaining how there is more to our Lovely Lake than meets the eye. It is a very complicated ecosystem that goes through some pretty amazing seasonal changes that most of us are unaware of. The full video is well worth taking the time to watch.

Also below are links to related posts about the Water Quality and Management of Musselman’s Lake report.

Dr. Neil Hutchinson’s Earth Day Presentation Summary Video “The Lake Isn’t A Swimming Pool”

 

 Dr. Neil Hutchinson of Hutchinson Environmental Sciences Ltd. making his Earth Day presentation of  the much anticipated Water Quality and Management of Musselman’s Lake report.

 

RELATED LINKS
GREAT NEWS! NO SERIOUS WATER QUALITY ISSUES WITH LAKE
NO WORRIES
WOW, WHAT AN EARTH DAY TO REMEMBER AT MUSSELMAN’S LAKE

 

09 May

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GREAT NEWS! NO SERIOUS WATER QUALITY ISSUES WITH LAKE

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Water Quality & Management Of Musselman’s Lake Report Has Positive Findings

Dr. Neil Hutchinson of Hutchinson Environmental Sciences Ltd. with Cheryl Shindruck, Senior Vice President Geranium Corporation presenting the Lake Report at Earth Day

Dr. Neil Hutchinson of Hutchinson Environmental Sciences Ltd. with
Cheryl Shindruck, Executive Vice President Geranium Corporation presenting the Lake Report at Earth Day

The Geranium Corporation sponsored Lake environmental report has been completed by Dr. Neil Hutchinson of Hutchinson Environmental Sciences Ltd., and the findings are very positive which means that the residents of Musselman’s Lake have been doing a great job of managing the Lake.

Since its inception back in 2006, the MLRA had noticed positive environmental  indicators such as the return of frogs and turtles to the Lake in numbers. This led the MLRA to implement projects such as The CUPPEL (Controlling Unwanted Phosphorous and Pollution Entering Lake) Project. Until a full comprehensive study could be funded and completed, a weed harvest or other even more drastic measures to reduce the amount of weeds on the Lake were shelved.

We now have that report and it supports the position of non-intervention.

See Summary Letter, Executive Summary and link to full report below.

Water Quality and Management of Musselman’s Lake – Summary Letter

Lake Report Final_Summary Letter1

Water Quality and Management of Musselman’s Lake – Executive Summary

Lake Report Final_Exec Summarypdf1

 

Water Quality and Management of Musselman’s Lake – Full Report

Lake Report Final_cvr1

CLICK ON IMAGE FOR FULL REPORT

 

25 Apr

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EARTH DAY “COMMUNITY SPRING CLEAN” EVENT

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JOIN THE FUN…MEET YOUR NEIGHBOURS AND HEAR FIRST HAND THE RESULT OF THE MOST COMPLETE & IN-DEPTH ENVIRONMENTAL REPORT ON MUSSELMAN’S LAKE. ALSO SURPRISE GUESTS WILL BE MAKING AN ANNOUNCEMENT.

Cedar Beach Park, Musselman’s Lake – Sat. April 26th, 2014 from 9am to noon. Rain or Shine! (please plan to bring your raincoat if necessary)

Yes, it’s that time again. Time to come out and “Spring Clean the Community”. Join the fun…meet your neighbours. Most Excellent Productions will once again be supplying music and entertainment to energize and enlighten you. There will be coffee, donuts and a BBQ lunch provided to those who help “Spring Clean The Community”. Councillor Phil Bannon has also arranged to have some free tree saplings available for volunteers to take home to plant.

Earth Day Special Guest
Cheryl Shindruk, Executive Vice-President of Land Development-Geranium Homes, Shauna Dudding, Vice- President of Land Development-Geranium Homes, Rick Wigmore, President-MLRA, Dr. Neil Hutchinson of Hutchinson

Cheryl Shindruk, Executive Vice-President of Land Development-Geranium Homes, Shauna Dudding, Vice- President of Land Development-Geranium Homes, Rick Wigmore, President-MLRA, Dr. Neil Hutchinson. President-HESL. Councillor Phil Bannon

This year we are going to have a special guest at our Earth Day Event. Dr. Neil Hutchinson, Ph.D. President, Principal Aquatic Scientist Hutchinson Environmental Sciences Ltd. Hutchinson Environmental Sciences Ltd. will be presenting to us the much anticipated Geranium Homes’ Sponsored Lake Environmental Report. This report is the most complete and in-depth environmental study of our jewel of a Lake that has ever been undertaken to date.

Dr. Neil Hutchinson is a highly qualified limnologist (a scientist who studies bodies of fresh water such as lakes and ponds with reference to their physical, geographical, biological and other features), who is well respected both locally and internationally.   We are estremly  lucky to have someone of his caliber not only prepare the Lake Environmental Report but also to present it to us personally at our Earth Day Event.

MLRA Earth Day Spring Clean Event

 

Earth Day - Great Family Fun

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTO GALLERY FROM LAST YEAR’S EVENT

Related Links

MLRA Earth Day “Spring Clean” Event 2013

 

08 Aug

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Scientists were back on the Lake again

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Hutchinson Environmental Sciences Ltd (HESL) continues study funded by Geranium Corporation.

Scientists from Hutchinson Environmental Sciences Ltd. (HESL) were back on the Lake again on Thursday August 1st.

Dr. Tammy Karst-Riddoch and an associate were able to continue the testing of the Lake in part thanks to resident Kevin Wigmore who made his aluminum boat available to the scientists. The HESL company boat was tied up on another assignment and threatened to delay this project. Kevin graciously said he would be glad to loan them his boat if it meant keeping the study on track. THANKS KEVIN!

Dr. Karst- Riddoch and her associate were focused once more on water quality with samples being taken from specific locations on the Lake. GPS is being used to ensure each time water samples are taken they are from the exact same locations as previous sampling.

Dr. Karst-Riddoch indicated there would be another group on the water from HESL taking a weed census. They will be taking samples, identifying varieties of weeds and their location on the lake.

Once again, THANK-YOU to Geranium Corporation for funding this study and we look forward to the results of the study and recommendations in November.

08 Aug

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Be Careful What You Wish For

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Concerned about water clarity, be wary of large-scale vegetation control programs on shallow lakes.

Information and Resources supplied by
Dr. Neil Hutchinson, Ph.D.
President, Principal Aquatic Scientist
Hutchinson Environmental Sciences Ltd.

Aquatic ecologists tend to avoid the term “weeds” when referring to macrophytes – the rooted aquatic plants that many swimmers and boaters disdain. These plants provide food for waterfowl and habitat for fish, but they can also play a critical role in maintaining water clarity.

aug7-pond

Image – www.eoearth.org

This is especially true in shallow lakes and ponds. In ecology, the alternative stable states concept acknowledges that ecosystems can sometimes have more than one stable equilibrium point. Many lakes and ponds have two stable states: weedy and clear or devoid of weeds and muddy. This leaves riparian landowners and lake managers with a choice between two undesirable endpoints when nutrient levels are intermediate.
Nutrients (primarily phosphorus) have an important role in determining the balance between rooted plants (“weeds”) and the suspended phytoplankton (algae) that contributes to turbidity (“muddiness”).

At low nutrient levels, the rooted plants win out because water is clear and plenty of light reaches the bottom of the lake. At high nutrient levels, the algae win out and effectively shade out rooted plants – this means extremely low water clarity and sometimes harmful algal blooms. At intermediate nutrient levels, things get a bit tricky. In this case, lakes can be pushed in one direction or the other – sometimes inadvertently.

In these intermediate lakes, additional nutrient inputs (perhaps from septic fields or urban and agricultural runoff) can push a lake past its threshold and result in “catastrophic transition” to a muddy and algae-dominated state. When this happens, it can be very difficult to restore water clarity and rooted plant communities.

swans at the lake

Musselman’s Lake – Swans feeding among the weeds. (Photo – Dan Wigmore)

 

Here is an interesting tidbit to consider from the North American Lake Management Society newsletter. NALMS is a group of citizens and scientists who promote lake management. www.nalms.org

Weed management might also push a lake over its threshold point.

One study used computer simulations to investigate the outcome of various management strategies and found that management for intermediate vegetation density can be impossible in certain lakes. While intermediate levels of rooted vegetation are often ideal for fish, wildlife and human users, they can be impossible to attain in shallow lakes with intermediate nutrient levels.

While this might sound complex, reasons for the loss of water clarity following aquatic plant control are straightforward. Rooted plants prevent mucky bottoms from being stirred up by wind-driven currents, boating activity, and other disturbances. They also suppress algae growth by taking up nutrients. Some plants even release chemicals that further impede algae growth.

When rooted plants are destroyed, mucky bottoms get stirred up and re-suspend nutrients. Competition with algae ceases and foul blooms occur. If plant biomass is not mechanically removed, the rotting vegetation further adds to nutrient availability, turbidity, and algae growth.

If you are concerned about water clarity, be wary of large-scale vegetation control programs on shallow lakes. In other words, be careful what you wish for.

This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit http://www.msue.msu.edu.

30 Jul

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Exciting Project Was Launched Thurs. July 18th

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Hutchinson Environmental Sciences Ltd. (HESL) has started the Geranium sponsored in depth study of Musselman’s Lake.

HESL scientists have been working with Geranium Corporation on water quality management for over 12 years, and are pleased to be working with them again on Musselman’s Lake. On Thursday July 18th Dr. Neil Hutchinson and Dr. Tammy Karst-Riddoch launched their aluminum boat onto Musselman’s Lake.

jul29-boating

Dr. Neil Hutchinson & Dr. Tammy Karst-Riddoch conducting water quality testing on Musselman’s Lake (Photo – Linda Wigmore)

They then loaded their boat with copious amounts of scientific equipment and officially started the research project on Musselman’s Lake. HESL scientists expect to be back on the Lake in another 2 weeks conducting more tests through until the end of September. For their next visit, they will be measuring water quality at two sites on the lake with particular attention to the oxygen and nutrient status of the lake. They will also complete a survey of the aquatic plants (“weeds”) to establish the species that are present and their density. We expect a full report probably in November with recommendations on various courses of action going forward and costs associated with the various courses of action.

We hope to then use this report to raise money from various corporations and government organizations to improve the water quality and hopefully better control the weeds.

15 Jul

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Historic Meeting on Musselman’s Lake Water Quality, Weed Control & Stewardship Plan

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Government, Developer, Environmental Company and Resident’s Association discuss ideas for improving local community.

Councillor Bannon arranged a meeting at Musselman’s Lake on Friday July 12th between Geranium Corporation, Hutchinson Environmental, Musselman’s Lake Residents Association, and Councillor Bannon, representing the Town.

jul15-historic-meeting

Cheryl Shindruk, Executive Vice-President of Land Development-Geranium Homes, Shauna Dudding, Vice- President of Land Development-Geranium Homes, Rick Wigmore, President-MLRA, Dr. Neil Hutchinson of Hutchinson Environmental, Councillor Phil Bannon

Thanks to Phil we are setting a new standard for communication and co-operation between a Residents’ Assoc., Environmentalists, Developer and Government. Our Community Of Musselman’s Lake is coming out a big winner in this uncharted territory.

In the first meeting between Mario Giampietri, President of Geranium Corporation and Rick Wigmore of the Musselman’s Lake Residents Association many community concerns and issues were discussed. Mr. Wigmore discussed the four main resident concerns revolving around Geranium’s proposed development on 12 acres on Lakeshore Road. Those concerns were 1) Density  2) Waterloo Biofilter Septic Sytems. 3) Water Flow across the property negatively affecting neighbouring homes 4) Increased Traffic Flow. Mr. Giampietri assured Mr. Wigmore that Geranium would investigate and address all the concerns which they subsequently did through Ms. Cheryl Shindruk Executive Vice President of Geranium Corporation.

(Click here for complete discussion of issues)

In the course of the conversation Mr. Giampietri expressed Geranium’s desire to be good corporate citizens in the communities in which they build and to only build the finest of communities. He asked if the residents had other concerns in the neighbourhood. Mr. Wigmore replied that water quality and weeds in Musselman’s Lake had always been a big topic of concern.

He asked if we had a Stewardship Plan to which Mr. Wigmore replied we did, but execution was hindered due to limited funding. He then offered the services of Dr. Neil Hutchinson head of Hutchinson Environmental to review our Stewardship plan at Geranium’s expense and to see what if anything could be done. Mr. Giampietri has worked with Dr. Hutchinson on a few projects and considers him one of the foremost experts on all things water in Ontario and our own Dr. Brian Laing concurs.

Click here for Dr. Hutchinson’s initial assessment of our existing Stewardship Plan.

15 Jul

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Now, The Big Geranium Homes Announcement

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Official Statement

For many years Musselman’s Lake has been the source of great community enjoyment. At the same time, environmental degradation has been a mounting source of concern for the community.

Local Councillor Phil Bannon and the Musselman’s Lake Residents Association are to be commended for their efforts to address these concerns. Together, they have sought input from Dr. Neil Hutchinson, a highly qualified limnologist (a scientist who studies bodies of fresh water such as lakes and ponds with reference to their physical, geographical, biological and other features), who is well respected both locally and internationally. Over the next four months, Dr. Hutchinson’s team will study the lake to confirm the cause of the problems, and then identify the best solutions to address the problems.

Geranium Corporation is proud to sponsor Dr. Hutchinson’s work and support the Ballantrae-Musselman’s Lake community in its endeavours to improve the environmental quality of the Lake. We have every confidence in Dr. Hutchinson and his team and are proud to contribute to this project which we are confident will bring lasting benefits for the Lake and the surrounding community.