Water Quality Monitoring

 
The Program:

NPLA partners with the Kawartha Lake Stewards Association to monitor the water quality of Pigeon Lake and Bass Lake. We test surface waters for E. coli bacteria levels. Testing for E. coli is primarily to inform us about the safety of the water for swimming.

NPLA samples five locations in North Pigeon Lake (additional locations in Pigeon Lake are sampled by other associations) from late May to early October:

  • Riverside (1A) (until 2019)
  • Pigeon Hollow (5A)
  • Bell Haven (6)
  • Pigeon Lake Resort – Marina (8)
  • Mouth of Channel (13)
  • Watergarden Park (14) (starting in 2020)

Samples are transported to the SGS Canada laboratory, in Lakefield, for analysis.

NPLA also tracks water quality over time by sampling two locations in North Pigeon Lake for total phosphorus, calcium, and water clarity as part of the Ontario Lake Partner Program.

  • 400m N of Big (Boyd/Chiminis) Is. (12)
  • 300m N of Bottom Is. (16)

These data can tell us about the health of our lake from year to year and monitor long term trends. The Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks coordinates this program from the Dorset Environmental Science Centre (DESC) (where samples are sent for analysis) in partnership with the Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations.

In 2017, NPLA members Line Pinard and George Brown, with help from Kent Crawford, took over the sampling program from Francis Currer and Tom McCarron. Francis and Tom conducted the sampling on behalf of NPLA for 15 years! Thank you Francis & Tom!

In 2020, Brenda Wall and Kathy Price volunteered to sample Bass Lake. NPLA also supports sampling of E. coli on Nogies Creek, which is part of broader water chemistry sampling initiated by local residents.

Results:

The Kawartha Lake Stewards summarize findings from across the Kawartha Lakes for both programs in the KLSA Annual Reports which are posted on their website.

You can also find annual total phosphorus, calcium and water clarity results either via the Lake Partner Program Map, or via Ontario’s Open Data Catalogue.

Follow the links below for recent E. coli results and Nogies Creek water quality results:

2020 Pigeon Lake E. coli Test Results

2019 Pigeon Lake E. coli Test Results

2018 Pigeon Lake E. coli Test Results

2017 Pigeon Lake E. coli Test Results

2020 Bass Lake E. coli Test Results

Nogies Creek Water Quality Test Results

Photo of Francis pulling up a water sampling bottle, while Tom looks on.

Francis Currer and Tom McCarron conducting water quality sampling on north Pigeon Lake, May 2016. Francis and Tom volunteered their time for 15 years.