Three Mile Lake Algae Bloom Update – Entire Water Body Affected – September 20, 2023

 

We wish to inform the public that the blue-green algae bloom in Three Mile Lake has expanded, now impacting the entirety of the water body. This information is based on recent reports from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP).

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) in collaboration with MECP is actively monitoring the situation. As updates emerge, we will ensure they are promptly shared with the community.

For a comprehensive understanding of blue-green algae and its implications, we invite you to explore our dedicated page at Simcoe Muskoka Health Unit.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. We are committed to keeping our community informed.

Important Shea Road Boat Launch Update – August 24, 2023

We wanted to update you about the ongoing developments at the Shea Road Boat Launch. The Township of Muskoka Lakes, with its commitment to community infrastructure, completed the construction of the new dock this year – a testament to the progress we are making together.

However, as with any community-driven project, there can be challenges. In the recent Request for Proposal (RFP) for the boat launch, the submitted proposals surpassed the planned budget. Therefore, the Township of Muskoka Lakes has taken the decision to reschedule the comprehensive repairs for the boat launch.

Recognizing the importance of the boat launch to our community, temporary minor repairs are set to take place this year. This ensures that the launch remains functional and safe for everyone. Furthermore, the TMLA Board is diligently working to ensure that the essential repairs are considered for the 2024 planning.

Stay tuned to our website for further announcements and updates. Your understanding and support are the pillars of our community’s success.

Thank you, and stay safe!

TMLA Board

Blue-Green Algae Bloom Confirmed North-West Three Mile Lake in the Sandwood Road Area – August 21, 2023

The Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) has confirmed a blue-green algae bloom in Three Mile Lake, specifically in its Northwest region near Sandwood Road.

Blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, can produce toxins detrimental to human and animal health in high concentrations. With the confirmation of this bloom, residents and visitors are urged to be cautious, as harmful toxins might also be present in the water.

For safety, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) recommends the following precautions for residents and businesses:

▪ Avoid using water from private supplies affected by the lake where the algae has been detected, especially for preparing infant formula.

▪ Keep pets and livestock away from water where visible algae blooms are present, both for drinking and swimming.

▪ Be cautious when consuming fish caught in waters with visible cyanobacterial blooms due to potential toxin contamination.

▪ Refrain from using herbicides, copper sulphate, or other algaecides, as they could rupture algae cells, releasing more toxins.

▪ Stay clear of water sport activities in areas with visible algae blooms.

The health unit, in collaboration with the MECP, will continuously monitor the situation. For updates, please check the SMDHU website: www.smdhu.org/algae.

For more details, reach out to Health Connection from Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 1-877-721-7520. Additional resources and updates on blue-green algae can be found at www.simcoemuskokahealth.org.

 

Township of Muskoka Lakes notice can be found here.

Event Notice: An Afternoon with Dr. Norman Yan

Exploring the Depths: The Mysteries of Ontario’s Lakes – Blue-Green Algal Blooms

Date: Thursday, August 10th

Location: Muskoka Chautauqua: Theatre in the Woods

1039 Golf Avenue Windermere Village

Time: 1 – 3 pm

Event Link: The Threat of Algal Blooms in Muskoka with Research Scientist Norman Yan

 

Dive deep into the environmental enigmas surrounding Ontario’s pristine lakes with Dr. Norman Yan, the esteemed Director of Friends of the Muskoka Watershed. As algal blooms resurface in our waters, Dr. Yan will unravel the intertwined factors at play, from invasive species like the spiny water flea to the increasing usage of road salt and the profound impact of climate change.

Dr. Yan’s illustrious 50-year journey, spanning the Ontario government to his significant role at York University, has been dedicated to understanding and preserving the integrity of our lakes. His vision paints a future where Muskoka stands as a beacon for environmental research, illuminating the path forward in safeguarding our invaluable lakescape.

This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to gain insights from a renowned expert whose life’s work has significantly influenced lake ecology understanding on a global scale.

Key Takeaways:

– Understand the root causes of the resurgence of algal blooms.

– Learn about the multifaceted challenges our lakes face in the modern era.

– Envision the future of environmental research in Muskoka.

Dark Sky in Muskoka

On June 14, 2023, the Council updated the Dark Sky By-law originally introduced in 2014 in the Township of Muskoka Lakes. The revised legislation aims to enhance the municipality’s objective of mitigating light pollution and conserving a dark sky environment by regulating outdoor lighting practices. The by-law particularly focuses on properties zoned as Waterfront Residential, Community Residential (R4 only), and Waterbody Open Space under the Township of Muskoka Lakes Comprehensive Zoning By-law.

The update also extends the ‘grandfathering’ or ‘sunset date’ deadline to June 1, 2027. This implies that outdoor lighting fixtures installed prior to the initial Dark Sky By-law of April 17, 2014, must be in compliance with the revised by-law by the new deadline. However, the update specifies certain conditions under which the grandfathering status of a luminaire may be forfeited. These conditions include any replacements, modifications, or relocations of light fixtures, instances where a fixture is deemed to create unnecessary glare or public safety concerns, and when a property obtains a building permit for a new building, an addition, enlargement, or exterior renovation.

As part of the by-law, the council also pledged to continue offering educational resources to residents, visitors, and businesses to promote awareness and understanding of the importance of a pollution-free night sky. The council encourages individuals unsure about lighting compliance to consult the by-law or contact their office for assistance.  You can read more about Dark Sky in Muskoka Lakes on the Township of Muskoka Lakes website.

Changes Coming to Muskoka’s Waste Fees – March 2, 2023

On February 28, 2023, the District of Muskoka Council approved staff recommendations to help families meet new garbage limits in response to changes in the waste program. The changes aim to reduce garbage and extend the lifespan of Muskoka’s only remaining landfill. However, the district is struggling to meet diversion goals, with only 34% of waste being diverted. In contrast, other top municipalities in the province recycle, reduce, and divert over 60% of their waste.

Effective March 1, tipping fees for garbage and non-divertible material at District waste facilities will increase. On the other hand, District facilities will still accept blue box recycling and green bin organics at no cost. Residents can now deliver one clear bag of diapers and incontinence products free of charge every week to any transfer station. They can also purchase bag tags at a discounted price of five tags for $35 when bought in bulk from any transfer station. Furthermore, residents can set out one extra garbage bag without a bag tag on their regular collection day the week of Victoria Day, Canada Day, the Civic holiday, and Labour Day long weekends.

According to James Steele, the Commissioner of Engineering and Public Works, the District of Muskoka is dedicated to reducing garbage and extending the life of its last landfill while also assisting families to reach their diversion target. These changes will help residents divert more materials to their blue box and green bin programs.

To learn more about the updated rates and acceptable materials in the blue box or green bin programs, visit muskoka recycles or download the Muskoka Recycles app and use the waste wizard. Finally, Muskoka’s Roadmap to 60% Waste Diversion offers new and bold initiatives to create a better waste management system. By working together, positive change can be brought to Muskoka’s environment.

Read the official announcement at No Time To Waste – Working Together

Application for Consent and Zoning By-Law Amendment – Sandwood Road – January 20, 2023 – Planning Committee Meeting Update

An update on the Planning Committee Meeting on January 20th regarding the application to sever a back lot and rezone the back lots. Thanks to all of the concerned Three Mile Lake property owners who voiced their concerns on this application. Your voices were heard, loud and clear, particularly with the 4 new Township councillors who are new members of the Planning Committee. They decided to defer a decision and to go back to the District of Muskoka (which is responsible for water quality, not the Township) for an explanation as to why the District wasn’t opposed to this application, even though the District lists Three Mile as an endangered lake.

This application will be submitted again and discussed at a future Planning Committee meeting. We’ll keep you posted.

John Roberts, President Three Mile Lake Association

Beatrice Townline Road Closed at Falkenburg Road to 1738 Beatrice Townline Road Due to Flooding – January 6, 2023

MUSKOKA LAKES, ON – As of 2:30 pm on Friday January 6, 2023, Beatrice Townline Road from Falkenburg Road (Muskoka Road 47) to 1738 Beatrice Townline Road is closed due to flooding. There are spots through this portion of the road where water levels would be considered unsafe for vehicles.

We thank residents for their patience during this time, and will provide an update when the road has reopened and water levels have receded.

Website Link

For more information, please contact:

Ken Becking

Director of Public Works

kbecking@muskokalakes.ca

(705) 765-3156 Ext. 250

www.muskokalakes.ca

Blue-Green Algae Public Notice Lifted – December 14, 2022

The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit (SMDHU) would like to inform residents and visitors to the Township of Muskoka Lakes that additional laboratory analysis confirms the blue-green algae bloom impacting Three Mile Lake and Hammell’s Bay, Township of Muskoka Lakes has dissipated.

Please be advised that the public health notice regarding precautions for blue-green algae issued on August 29, 2022, and updated on September 2, 2022, by the SMDHU for Three Mile Lake, Township of Muskoka Lakes has been lifted.

Additional Results from August 29th and September 2nd Water Samples – September 27, 2022

Three Mile Lake Community.

On Thursday, September 22 we received information concerning the blue-green algae bloom affecting Three Mile Lake from the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP).  The communication reported toxin levels from the samples taken on August 29th and September 2nd.

Some brief background information regarding cyanobacteria and cyanotoxins.

  • Blue-Green Algae is more correctly known as cyanobacteria
  • Some cyanobacteria can produce various cyanotoxins (toxins).
  • The cyanobacteria in Three Mile Lake produce microcystins and anatoxin. Microcystins are of greater concern.
  • The release of toxins in an algal bloom into the surrounding water occurs mostly during cell death and lysis (i.e. cell rupture)
  • Every governing body provides guidance with regard to microcystin exposure.
  • Health Canada’s guidance:
    • Total microcystins:
      • Drinking water: less than or equal to 1.5 micrograms per Litre (µg/L)
      • Recreational Use: less than or equal to 10 µg/L

The following toxin results were sent from MECP via email.  The toxin levels reported below are from the samples taken on August 29th and September 2nd.  As noted above, keep in mind toxin levels change as the bloom deteriorates and cyanobacteria die off.  These are point-in-time results.

 

The following are the results we received from our labs in regard to Three Mile Lake samples.

Location 1:  Cowan Rd. – West Basin

Results:

            • Total Microcystins – 0.12 micrograms per Litre (µg/L)
            • Total Anatoxin-A – below the detectible limit of 0.20 micrograms per Litre (µg/L)
            • Algal ID- Yes to a Cyano bloom – Algae condition was very deteriorated.
            • The most abundant algae in the bloom included blue-green algae; also known as cyanobacteria, which has the potential to produce toxins.

Location 2: Hammell’s Bay Three Mile Lake

Results:

            • Total Microcystins – below the detectable limit
            • Total Anatoxin-A – below the detectable limit
            • Algal ID – Yes to a Cyano Bloom – Algae condition was in deterioration
            • The most abundant algae in the bloom included blue-green algae; also known as cyanobacteria, which has the potential to produce toxins.

Location 3: Carlo Enterprise Road Three Mile Lake – East Basin

Results:

            • Total Microcystins – 0.13 µg/L
            • Total Anatoxin-A – Below the detectable limit
            • Algal ID – Yes to a Cyano Bloom – Algae condition was in deterioration
            • The most abundant algae in the bloom included blue-green algae; also known as cyanobacteria, which has the potential to produce toxins.

Barrie District

Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks

 

It is important to note lakes are dynamic ever-changing environments and toxins are released after cyanobacteria die and decay.  These results will change over the course of the bloom.  Please continue to use common sense when using the lake.  We anticipate further testing by the MECP over the next few weeks.  We will communicate information as we receive it.

The following are links to Cyanobacteria publications for your reference.

Cyanobacterial Toxins in Drinking Water Health Canada

Guidelines for Canadian Recreational Water Quality – Cyanobacteria and their Toxins Health Canada

Blue-green Algae Government of Ontario

Learn about Cyanobacteria and Cyanotoxins United States Environmental Protection Agency

TMLA Board