Moncton plans to spend $6 million this winter to upgrade its water treatment plant, the first phase of a plan to deal with cyanobacteria in the municipal water supply. Cyanobacteria was found in 2017 in the Turtle Creek watershed, the drinking water source for Moncton, Dieppe and Riverview. Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, can form blooms and produce toxins harmful to humans and animals. The water remains safe to drink and the multimillion dollar upgrades are meant to keep it that way.
A handful of Chatham farms might hold the answer to reducing toxic algae blooms in the Great Lakes. These farms are collecting and analyzing their agricultural runoff, in hope of reducing the amount of phosphorus entering the waterways. It's part of a project, started by two organizations in Spring 2016, which aims to come up with a strategy to deal with toxic algae blooms. Out of that idea for the project — between the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative — came the Thames River Phosphorus Reduction Collaborative.
Moncton's $77.6-million capital budget sets aside millions to deal with blue-green algae in the municipal water supply. Jack MacDonald, Moncton's general manager of engineering and environmental services, said the city will work with Dalhousie University to study whether a water purification system could be added at the treatment plant to handle the algae.
A watershed board focused on protecting Lake of the Woods is calling on Manitoba's provincial government to reduce the amount of phosphorus running into the basin. The organization wants the governments of Manitoba, Ontario and Canada to commit to an 18.4 per cent reduction in phosphorus loads to improve the health of the water body.