© 2017 Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council

205 Saltonstall Street Canandaigua, NY 14424 • 585.396.3630

Water Quality Updates

Water Quality Update for October 2, 2019

Over the last two weeks we have seen a gradual diminishing of blooms around the lake.  However, we did have three reports of  potential blooms yesterday with the 87 degree weather.  We also went out on Sunday September 22nd after the bloom conditions of the previous two days and sampled for toxins and blue green algae concentrations in several different locations and depths to better understand the ambient (general levels) of both BGA and the associated toxin.  The good news is that the toxin levels at each of the locations were below the 4 ug/L level that would cause the DOH to close a public swimming beach.  The other good news was that the BGA levels were low: 1-2 ug/L.  However, the concerning part was that we had detectable levels of toxin in the water even though the BGA levels were low.  There were dots in the water in each location that we sampled.  We are seeing a little more algae diversity in the water with harmless green algae and diatoms starting to show quantifiable levels.

 

Based on this information - please continue to use your visual indicators before entering the water.  Please do the same for your pets.   We are finally starting to see some of the results from the DEC sponsored toxin testing that occurred earlier this season and it is confirming that when we have bloom level concentrations we are seeing high toxin levels in those samples. 

 

Our public water supplies continue to show nondetectable levels of the toxin in the finished water indicating that they are adequately treating the water for human consumption.  Users of private water systems (those not on municipal water, who are using their own surface water intake or nearshore well) need to continue to use caution and make sure their treatment system can adequately treat for the toxin.  If you are seeing blooms in the water, it is recommended that you do not use your private water system.  We did sample for toxins at an approximate 12 ft water depth because private water supplies intake lines are typically at that depth.  Each sample came back showing toxin levels in the 1-3 ug/L range.  Work with your private water treatment system provider to make sure the system is functioning adequately. 

Questions? Send to HABS@canandaigualakeassoc.org.

Kevin Olvany                                                                               Lindsay McMillan
Watershed Program Manager                                                  Association Director
Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council                                    Canandaigua Lake Watershed Council

2019 Shoreline HABs Monitoring Program


Twenty-nine trained volunteers around Canandaigua Lake and Watershed staff will be reporting current water conditions from August through the beginning of October. While it is not possible to document every bloom occurring on the lake in real time, trained observer reports help us bring you the most up to date information available.  

View the interactive map here: https://arcg.is/0S5nnu

Drinking Water and HABs


Learn more about drinking water and HABs HERE.

The six Canandaigua Lake water purveyors (the City of Canandaigua, the Village of Newark, the Village of Palmyra, the Village of Rushville, the Town of Gorham, and Bristol Harbour) are working alongside the Geneva District Office of the Health Department and the New York State Department of Health to monitor the public drinking water for the presence of toxins associated with harmful algal blooms. Samples of the public drinking water are routinely collected and sent to a State approved laboratory on a regular basis during the harmful algal bloom season to determine if toxins are present. Click HERE for results.

Previous Water Quality Updates

October 2, 2019

Over the last two weeks we have seen a gradual diminishing of blooms around the lake.  However, we did have three reports of  potential blooms yesterday with the 87 degree weather.  We also went out on Sunday September 22nd after the bloom conditions of the previous two days and sampled for toxins and blue green algae concentrations in several different locations and depths to better understand the ambient (general levels) of both BGA and the associated toxin.  The good news is that the toxin levels at each of the locations were below the 4 ug/L level that would cause the DOH to close a public swimming beach.  The other good news was that the BGA levels were low: 1-2 ug/L.  However, the concerning part was that we had detectable levels of toxin in the water even though the BGA levels were low.  There were dots in the water in each location that we sampled.  We are seeing a little more algae diversity in the water with harmless green algae and diatoms starting to show quantifiable level...

September 18, 2019

After a “quiet” week with minimal harmful algal bloom reports from volunteers and the public, activity picked back up again today, with several reports and samples collected from the west side of the lake. Photos coming in showed areas of surface streaking and shoreline accumulations of algae from several spots around the lake.  We are starting to get more algae bloom reports from the southern half of the lake. 

And while the sunny, calm, warm weather forecasted for the next several days will be great for getting in those end-of-summer activities, it is also ideal conditions for blue green algae (cyanobacteria) to pop up.  As we cannot predict when or where blooms may appear, please continue to use your visual indicators before recreating in the lake.

September has been the month when we have experienced our most significant bloom events, and last year was no exception, with many blooms being designated as “Confirmed with High Toxins”. This year, the DEC will not be releasing tox...

September 4, 2019

Yesterday we experienced significant streaking and surface scum accumulations of blue green algae (cyanobacteria) along several shoreline areas. Twelve samples were collected as part of the shoreline HABs network and were brought to the Finger Lakes Institute for screening with the Fluoroprobe. If samples come back with high levels of blue-green chlorophyll a through this screening process (confirming bloom status), they will be sent on to the DEC’s designated lab for toxin analysis. While FLI results should be forthcoming in a few days, the toxin analysis can take much longer. This emphasizes the need to use extreme caution when recreating in the lake.

Although yesterday’s blooms were not experienced lake-wide, the areas they were observed were severe in some cases. Reported blooms were seen in coves, shallow beach areas, by docks, or trapped in corners of a break wall – all areas where blooms get pushed by wave and wind action. Unfortunately, these easy-access areas are also where pe...

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