Reducing Nutrient Loading
After reviewing and prioritizing issues around the lake, the Wabamun Watershed Management Council identified nutrient loading as the most significant issue to act on. After learning more about the issue (see presentations under Information Sessions), the council prepared a nutrient reduction strategy to address this problem.
The reason nutrient loading is such an issue is that phosphorus build up in lake sediments (called internal loading) now accounts for as much as 56% of total phosphorus releases annually. If we allow too much nutrient into a lake, undesired amounts of aquatic vegetation and algae will occur. While we cannot do much about the nutrients contained in sediments, we can do our best to limit the nutrients entering the lake due to our activities on the land (called external loading).
Members of the Council attended events throughout the watershed over two summers to discuss this issue further with watershed residents. A specific focus in 2008 and 2009 was to work with the Living by Water Program and the Alberta Conservation Team (ACT) to do free home-site consultations at Seba Beach in 2008 and with Moonlight Bay, Kapasiwin & Lakeview in 2009. These consultations helped to provide guidance specific to what homeowners can do to maintain healthy lakes and improve water quality. Of special interest was a Shoreline Naturalization Information Session that was held at the end of August to outline the proper steps and techniques a cottage owner would use in order to naturalize a lakefront property.
One More Thing
You may also be interested to learn that a certain amount of the phosphorus that enters the lake comes from the everyday household cleaners and lawn fertilizers we use. The good news is that we can buy or make phosphate-free and lake-friendly alternatives. See the attached file for more information:
Phosphate Free Cleaners to Buy and Make (PDF)