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Case Studies
Water Management Associations
Aquatic Herbicides Cause Tension in Greely
Several residents of Lakeland Estates in Greely are upset over the continual use of algaecides and herbicides being used to treat the aquatic vegetation on these private man-made lakes. Homeowner Chris Leblanc believes it is an irresponsible way to manage the lakes, and that pesticide use is not meant to be a long-term management plan.

The Ministry of Environment continues to issue permits for the association to apply the herbicides although ministry official Ruth Orwin said the ministry “continues to encourage LELA to explore non-pesticide options to reduce the weed growth in their ponds,” but ultimately the ministry will not rule on the issue. “As this is private property, it is a matter between LELA and its members to effect a long term change in the management of the ponds. This decision lies with the lot owners, not with the ministry.”

LELA first applied herbicides on the lakes in July, 2008; six weeks later the larger water body experienced a massive and toxic blue-green algae bloom and Ottawa Public Health warned residents to not use the lake. The toxic bloom returned the following spring and that began the application of algaecide (copper sulphate) in April and June; and herbicides (diquat) in June. The treatment costs the association about $20,000 each season and according to biologist Fred Schueler, “when all the nutrients go into the water you get and algae bloom, this has been a textbook demonstration of how these plants work in water bodies.”

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