Protecting Our Water

What to look out for to help protect our Lake!

Please click on the links below for more information on the environment.

  1. Blue Green Algae
  2. Zebra  Mussels
  3. Septic Systems
  4. Outhouses
  5. Lawn Fertilizers

1.  Blue Green Algae forms in shallow, warm, slow-moving or still water. It is a cyanobacteria, which relates to its blue colour, cyan. They are made up of cells, which can house poisons called cyanobacterial toxins. A mass of cyanobacteria in a body of water is called a bloom and appears on teh surface as a blue-green scum, which is toxic and can get into our drinking water as well as prohibit nearby water sports, or other uses of the lake. It is important to know that this bacteria is alive and can move… So ensuring it never grows in our lake is a key concern. The single most important thing we can do to prevent Blue-Green Algae is to reduce eliminate the introduction of nitrogen into the lake. This means do not fertilize your property, and ensure your septic systems are running properly.

2.  Preventing the spread of Zebra Mussels to Lac Bernard is critical as this species out-competes native species for food by growing on top of and suffocating the native clams and mussels. The most important thing you can do is ensure your boat is inspected and cleaned, including the bilges and trailers, before entering the lake. Essentially, THOROUGHLY CLEAN YOUR BOAT AND TRAILER. Dry your boat and trailer in the sun for at least five days, or if you use your boat sooner, rinse off the boat, trailer, anchor, anchor line, bumpers, and engine with hot water or at a car wash. Inspect your boat and trailer carefully… Also, leave live aquatic bait behind – give it to someone using the lake to prevent spread to other lakes and watersheds.

3. Maintaining your Septic System is critical to a healthy lake. We regularly monitor water quality around the lake, and it is easy to identify systems that are not working. If a septic system does not work properly it can pollute the lake and make the local water unsafe and unusable. The municipality of Low began an inspection program in 2011 for the residences located at Lac Bernard in that municipality and we work together with them to ensure the lake stays safe. As a lake community, we have made great strides in addressing prior issues, and today we are in very good shape. Let’s keep it that way! Regularly Pump out your septic tank. Your system works on living bacteria, so do not flush biodegradable products, chlorine, or bromine which will kill that bacteria. Do not overuse the system. so as to prevent overflow from going into the lake. Drain grey water into your septic (from your sinks & showers) and not drain them into the grounds of your cottage.

4. Outhouses may be nostalgic and can be handy, but they can also be dangerous. An outhouse pit must be must be located at least 15 metres from the lake and a minimum of 15 metres away from a drilled well, or 30 meters from a spring used for drinking water or a dug well, Also, they must be more than 3 metres from your property line. The bottom of the pit must be at least 90 cm above the high groundwater table in your area.

5. Fertilizers are not a good idea. Some cottagers like to add fertilizers and other chemicals such as weedkillers or pesticides to their property.Weedkillers like “Roundup” and pesticides will kill wildlife, fish, insects and birds as well as harming people.Please do not use fertilizers on lawns or gardens at the cottage, or use a certified phosphate-free product. Fertilizers contain nitrogen and phosphorus that will leach into the lake, causing weed and algae growth.