Aeration won’t work for Jessie Lake – it’s too shallow

The original plans to treat Jessie Lake by aeration has been tossed aside, said LICA, after they uncovered some new data.

LICA presented to town council on Tuesday night and explained their new data shows Jessie Lake only to be 1.75 metres deep, not 4 metres.

That means the aeration treatment of the lake won’t work.

“It’s a shallow wetland, which is what a lot of people told me when I started looking into it,” said Colin Hanusz, LICA.

“Aeration works better in a deeper lake where it can get circulating. We did go through with a technical working group and got a couple of quotes on it….the cost would’ve been $170,000.”

LICA will instead continue riparian repair which helps naturally drive the causes of the high phosphorus levels out over time.

Hanusz explained that the phosphorus levels in Jessie Lake had the highest phosphorus count of any lake tested in Alberta last year.

However, the actual microcystin count, microcystins are created by blue-green algae, was lower than Moose Lake.

“That confirmed my observation that it is filamentous type algae, not blue-green algae creating issues on Jessie Lake,” said Hanusz.

LICA will continue to do repairs to the riparian areas of the lake which will helps reduce the phosphorus counts over time.

“One of the other things they’re going to be doing is more natural cleanups to see whether we can mitigate some of the phosphorus in the lake,” said Mayor Gene Sobolewski.

“But again there’s a large avian population that congregates in the lake and the lake is also probably one of the more major storm runoffs for the town of Bonnyville.”

Hanusz recommended continuing the partnership with the town and their ability to haul away the algae matter so the smell of the lake isn’t as bad, continuing the tree planting, air monitoring Jessie Lake, and continuing water quality testing in five-year cycles.

The much-touted smell of the lake was reported as “not as bad” last year as in other years, council and Hanusz said.

Hanusz added in his recommendations: “From the comments, we add from the people out kayaking, how nice the water was. It meets the Alberta Health Services guidelines. If there was a dock that went past the shoreline, I know I would go kayaking.”