Gull Lake group proposes projects to preserve water quality

Gull Lake Watershed Society proposes using geotubes and wetlands to clean stream water

Craig MacLeod, of Gull Lake Watershed Society

Alarmed by unsafe levels of phosphorous finding its way into Gull Lake, local activists are proposing ways to filter streams emptying into the lake.

Gull Lake Watershed Society is heading the proposal to buy enough land from an area farmer to build a 40-acre wetlands at the south end of Gull Lake. As well, the society is proposing to install “geotubes,” giant sacks made of a fine mesh that can capture contaminants before they hit the lake.

Lacombe County and Ponoka County will be asked to provide $160,000 each over four years to support the projects. The Summer Village of Parkland Beach has offered $28,000 over four years and the Summer Village of Gull Lake $26,000 contingent on the county funding coming through.


Gull Lake group not giving up on projects

Society past-president Craig MacLeod told Lacombe County council last Friday that nutrient loading in streams has been measured at 24 to 80 times the historically safe recommended phosphorous levels.

While phosphorous levels — largely caused by agricultural runoff — have remained relatively constant over the past five years, there is a danger that the accumulated amounts could cause a future disaster.

That scenario played out on Pigeon Lake, where phosphorous trapped in lake mud and sediments was disturbed and released.

The result has been years of blue-green algae warnings. The algae is a bacteria that causes skin irritation, sore throat and nausea.

“It’s like a nuclear bomb,” he said describing the environmental impact on the lake. “The horse is out of the barn at that point.”

To improve the quality of water draining into the lake, the society has proposed installing the geotubes at six sites.

As well, a wetlands would be created at the south end of the lake in an area now being used to graze cattle.

“What we’re looking at is creating a wetlands park,” he said, adding there would be information posted about the purpose of the feature and its ecology. “It would be a really neat feature to have there.”

Lacombe County council referred the funding to administration to prepare a report that will come back to a future meeting.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Gull Lake

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Albertans get an extra free order of COVID-19 masks

Packages will be available July 13 at fast food restaurants

COVID-19 scare sees Latvia-bound troops turn around, return to Canada

Those on board face another 14 days in isolation

2 dead, 8 hurt in South Carolina nightclub shooting

Police are searching for two suspects

Ponoka RCMP lay charges following home invasion

33-year-old man who arrived on bicycle is in custody

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

P.E.I. reports three new COVID-19 cases, including one seniors’ residence employee

CHARLOTETOWN, P.E.I. — Prince Edward Island reported new COVID-19 cases for the… Continue reading

Even pandemic can’t spoil July

July. Finally. It’s seems like the last three weird months have taken… Continue reading

‘You have to show up:’ NDP MP questions virtual attendance of Alberta Tories

NDP MP McPherson says she’s disappointed Tory MPs haven’t been participating in virtual meetings

Flood warning, mandatory evacuation for people in remote Alberta hamlet

A flood warning has been issued for the rain-swollen Smoky River near the Hamlet of Watino

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, Amnesty, sex worker advocates say

‘We need to make sure the existing laws on the books aren’t enforced’

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $25 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $25 million jackpot… Continue reading

At Mount Rushmore, Trump digs deeper into nation’s divisions

MOUNT RUSHMORE NATIONAL MEMORIAL, S.D. — At the foot of Mount Rushmore… Continue reading

Most Read