Water Quality Monitoring Program

The Last Mountain Lake Stewardship Group (LMLSG)
Water Quality Monitoring Program

The Last Mountain Lake Stewardship Group established a water quality-monitoring program on Last Mountain Lake in 2001, a cooperative effort between the LMLSG, Saskatchewan Watershed Authority (SWA) and Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). Water samples were collected from nine sampling locations around Last Mountain Lake – seven shoreline locations and 2 baseline locations. Baseline stations are located at both the south and north ends of the lake and provide an overview on general lake water quality. Shoreline stations are used to investigate water quality in areas under intense recreational use and development. Water samples collected from each station are then analyzed for various nutrient and metal concentrations. Up to 36 parameters are measured from each sample taken. This program provides an historical database that will provide a record of lake water quality.

In 2008 LMLSG was notified that the provincial government was canceling the Lake Stewardship Program. SWA would no longer be assisting LMLSG in the Water Quality Monitoring Program.

Since the Water Quality Program is an essential element of our group’s existence, a decision was made to purchase our own water quality testing equipment and continue with this program through grants and private donations. Our group obtained the sampling protocols and GPS locations from SWA and trained our members to take and preserve these water samples. Our members generously donate both their time and equipment to make this program successful, often taking time of from work to accommodate our needs.

In March 2009, LMLSG secured a funding agreement with WUQWATR (Wascana and Upper Qu’Appelle Watersheds Association Taking Responsibility Inc). A news release announcing the agreement was printed in the Regina Leader Post and other local newspapers around Last Mountain Lake. This funding was used to purchase the water quality monitoring equipment required to properly collect lake water samples. We are truly appreciative of the support that we have received from WUQWATR.

LMLSG resumed water sampling effective February 2010. By April of 2010, water samples have already been collected and analyzed from Arlington Beach, Pelican Point and Valeport. We will continue to collect and analyze water samples throughout 2010. These results will later be posted on our website and included in our Water Quality presentation. Analyzing these samples is expensive, with our group expecting to spend in excess of $10,000.00 on water analysis in 2010.

SWA has recently provided our group with much needed assistance and technical advice to help get us started. We appreciate their assistance greatly.

Please feel free to contact our group if you have any specific water quality concerns regarding Last Mountain Lake.