Lake water quality topic of display at provincial park

The pristine water quality of Sylvan Lake is highlighted on a new website which reports conditions across Alberta.

The pristine water quality of Sylvan Lake is highlighted on a new website which reports conditions across Alberta.

More information about lake water quality and swimming conditions will be available at a beach display next Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m. at the waterfront.

Glen Isaac, executive director and riverkeeper with North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper program, said the display will be set up in conjunction with Sylvan Lake Watershed Stewardship Society (SLWSS) and Alberta Lake Management Society (ALMS). He, Graeme Strathdee of SLWSS and Dana Stromberg with ALMS will be on hand to answer questions.

The Waterkeeper Alliance maintains a website www.theswimguide.org to provide up-to-date information on water quality and swimming conditions.

By clicking on an interactive map you may check locations throughout the province and in other locales.

Swim Guide began in Toronto when a team of staff and volunteers at Lake Ontario Waterkeeper set out to answer the simple question: Is it safe to swim in Lake Ontario?, according to the website.

Now Waterkeeper organizations across Canada and the USA are involved.

Sylvan Lake’s information is updated by North Saskatchewan Riverkeeper (http://saskriverkeeper.ca/).

According to the Swim Guide website, “In Alberta, the five regions of Alberta Health Services select and monitor beaches and swimming areas during the bathing season (usually May-August). They are monitored in accordance with the Canadian Recreational Water Guidelines, Alberta Surface Water Quality Guidelines and Alberta Nuisance and General Sanitation Regulation.”

While Sylvan Lake has had a green status throughout each of the past three seasons, other Alberta lakes have had their problems with blue green algae making this resource useful.

Under the description of Sylvan Lake, it states, “This is THE beach for Central Alberta. Very popular with all ages and a hangout for boaters as well. There are grassy areas, picnic tables, volleyball nets and great people watching opportunities.”

The beach’s ‘green’ status, which “means the beach was tested recently and met water quality standards” was last confirmed by N. Sask. Riverkeeper on Tuesday afternoon.