Assessing Impacts of Cyanobacterial Blooms on Skaha Lake

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Kaleden Irrigation District

Project Description:

In the fall of 2008 the residents of the Kaleden Irrigation District began experiencing a taste and odor in the water that was organic and described as musty and swampy. The District enlisted the services of Larratt Aquatic to determine the cause of this objectionable taste and odor. It was determined through water testing that the cause was a blue-green algae bloom in Skaha lake and was being experienced by the other water purveyors that were using Skaha Lake. The District had not experienced a situation like this before and decided that it was important to further study the bloom and look at possible solutions for the future. This project monitored cyanobacteria at various depths to assess exposure and rates of incidence at the Kaleden Irrigation District intake. Cyanobacteria produce toxins where chronic, low dose exposure can have human health effects. Larratt Aquatic confirmed the presence of high levels of blue-green algae in Skaha lake. The findings of the report formed part of the District’s source assessment.

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