At the regular session of Carleton Place Council held on April 24, Rob Bell, president of the Mississippi Lakes Association made a presentation on a study of algae blooms. His group had sought out help in dealing with blue-green blooms which often bring increased levels in toxins. Queen’s University’s Dr. Nader Nakhaei has been working with the association and the Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority to develop computer models to help predict when and where these blooms will appear. The project began last November and is expected to wrap up with a full report this fall.
As many community members rely on the Mississippi watershed area for drinking water, knowing this information will go a long way to create effective treatment methods and may offer hope in reducing the blooms in the first place. Bell noted that in 2015 these blooms were observed in record numbers and some levels of toxicity were measured but without any threat to the town water supply. But he also remarked that the risks to health were a real possibility, necessitating the need to call in some advanced assistance. Nakhaei has studied other water sources during his career, most notably Lake Erie where a major bloom in 2014 forced the city of Toledo to such down its municipal water system for several weeks and deliver bottled water to its residents.