[caption id="attachment_82103" align="aligncenter" width="344"] City of Sudbury Needs Better Methods of Establishing Health of Lakes[/caption]Greater Sudbury, Ontario - Environmental Planning Manager Stephen Monet recently emerged from a city council meeting where he concluded that the standard provincial guidebook used to determine the health of lakes is inadequate for the city. He stated that while the guidebook does take into account a number of factors which can affect the water quality of a lake, it amounts to a conclusion based on guesswork when it determines phosphorous content in the water. The term "guesswork" may be a bit strong of a word choice, but Monet claims that following the current guide produces results which have an error rate of 20% which is statistically significant. He also claims the error rates are getting progressively worse.
While some may consider the water quality of lakes to not be such a high priority, in Greater Sudbury, it is not. The city of 160,000 residents contains no less than 330 lakes of 10 hectares or more. It also boasts the largest city contained lake with Lake Wanapitei at 13,257 hectares. The lakes drain into the two watersheds of the French River and Spanish River which eventually funnel into Lake Huron.
As per Monet, there are 33 lakes in the city that are in need of what he termed are "enhanced" safeguards. Another 142 lakes will require additional protections which he designated as being "moderate". The city must now go into a consultation phase with field experts to gather proposals for how to better protect the water quality of the lakes. That doesn't mean that the city isn't eying some environmental protections of their own. For one thing, some would favor limiting new development within the city limits and possibly restricting types of landscaping. No one expects new recommendations to be adopted any time soon. However, new recommendations would make only the beginning of the improvement process.