Community Herald: Assessing watershed policy of Sandy Lake

Coined as the Point Pleasant Park of Hammonds Plains, local residents concerned for Sandy Lake Watershed had an opportunity to hear the final study report and summary of development scenarios for Sandy Lake and Marsh Lake on Sept. 11 at Bedford Hammonds Plains Community Centre.

“There is a trend of increasing phosphorus in Sandy Lake over time,” said Timothy Baschiu, geoscientist with AECOM Consulting.

The study examined areas serviced by water and waste water; measuring water quality objectives based on increasing phosphorus levels due to factors like stormwater runoff, aging septic systems, waste water facilities and urban development.

Baschiu presented four scenarios, from Sandy Lake’s current condition of 12 micrograms-per-litre (ug/L) of phosphorus, to a maximum recommended water quality objective of 18 ug/L, or up to a maximum capacity increase of 50 per cent. The study concluded a “robust water quality monitoring plan be proposed for the Sandy Lake watershed.”herald2

Full story here.

“It’s communities and people who decide what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. We are using science here to help describe what is and what can change … it’s up to you as residents, who are concerned for the lake, to decide what do you want the lake quality to be,” said Cameron Deacoff, an environment officer with HRM and project director on the watershed study.

Once parameters are set, Deacoff said it’s municipality’s responsibility to set standards and policy to achieve these societal objectives.

Have your say

Have a say in policy development and an input in the future of Sandy Lake Watershed: Residents are invited to send their opinions and comments on the draft final study report to HRM or AECOM until 11:59 p.m. on Mon. Oct. 13, to be taken into consideration for the final study report for HRM. The final study report will then be submitted to North West Community Council for approval as background for future community planning around Dec. 15. Cameron Deacoff, Halifax Regional Municipality cameron.deacoff@halifax.ca, 902.490.1926 Timothy Baschiu, AECOM timothy.baschiu@aecom.com, 902.428.2048 A copy of the report can be found on www.halifax.ca.