Water Quality Report – 2020 AGM

Water clarity in May and June 2020 was to a depth of 10.5 meters at the Kanes Bay sample point. This is extremely clear.

The health of Upper Rideau Lake​ ​remains fragile, as any introduction of an unnatural component into our water would set our lake back. Currently, nutrient levels (such as phosphorus) are high but not rising. Maintaining a healthy lake depends on how we as lakefront owners treat it. One of the main functions of URLA is to monitor the health of our lake and we operate many programs to achieve this goal.

URLA continues to monitor our lake water quality by sampling the Upper Rideau monthly through the Lake Partners Program (LPP).

These sampling results can be found at https://www.ontario.ca/environment-and-energy/map-lake-partner​ .

After a significant rain event ( 25mm) URLA volunteers will sample 3 locations:​ ​in McNallys Bay (red dot), the mouth of Adrains Creek (light blue water droplet) and upstream at the Sunnyside culverts (dark blue dot).

Adrains Creek
URLA has always worked with the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) to share information which helps us to maintain a healthy lake. RVCA contacted us earlier this year with a concern they had identified in McNallys Bay. Adrains Creek was a possible source of nutrients flowing into our lake. To further investigate this concern, URLA and the Township of Rideau Lakes have joined with the RVCA to fund a special project.

RVCA is currently sampling Adrains Creek with the help of URLA volunteers after significant rain events to determine if the creek is indeed flushing excessive nutrients into McNallys Bay. The study is ongoing and results will be published upon completion. Having the Township of Rideau Lakes join URLA and RVCA is an important partnership we hope to maintain for the future. This project is in addition to RVCA’s regular monthly sampling.


Water Ranger Fresh Water Test Kit
To augment the Lake Partners Program and RVCA sampling, URLA has acquired a free Fresh Water Testing Kit from ​Water Rangers.​ This is being used to test creeks and streams that flow into our lake in the Township of Rideau Lakes.

The tests give us immediate results to establish a baseline of data. Dramatic change in a weekly test would suggest a possible pollutant and require upstream investigating to determine the source.

URLA is purchasing a second test kit to monitor the creeks and streams in and around Westport that flow into the Upper Rideau.

Water Rangers Testing in Adrains Creek.

Blue Green Algae?
The sight of any algae bloom is always a concern for folks around the lake. Is it really Blue Green algae? What should I do? Who should I contact?

To answer those questions, the following link to a PDF will show you a cost-free test to determine if what you have observed is blue green algae.  https://www.pca.state.mn.us/sites/default/files/wq-swm1-04.pdf

If you identify blue green algae in Upper Rideau Lake, please contact URLA immediately: waterquality.urla@gmail.com

For an emergency: Spills Action Centre 1 800-268-6060.


Hazard Buoy Program
The hazard buoys program also falls underwater quality portfolio. The strong winds of 2019 moved 3 buoys off their stations and one stayed missing until May of this year.


To address this issue we are increasing the anchor chain size to ⅜”. We will also do chain inspections in July to hopefully change out worn chains before they wear through.

All 10 Hazard Buoys were in position for the 2020 Victoria Day Long weekend even though the Rideau Canal remained closed.  We will continue to monitor the health of our lake through these and any new initiatives that become available.


Please enjoy our lake in a safe and respectful manner.

Dave Counter

One thought on “Water Quality Report – 2020 AGM”

  1. Thank you for the info on simple tests for blue green algae. It could save a lot of angst. Cheers Judy



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