An algae bloom in Langford Lake has city officials cautioning people and those with pets to stay out of the lake, due to concerns over toxicity.
The bloom began in mid-December, despite the use last summer of a new aerator installed to control these types of situations.
The 4,627-kilogram device was put in place in August and replaced a much smaller one installed in 1985. The aerator was turned off less than two months later, since the lake generally produces enough oxygen on its own in cooler months.
“The aerator may not eliminate (blooms) completely, but it will help with it,” said Langford parks department spokesperson Yari Nielsen.
Blooms occur naturally in fall and winter and happen when the lake “turns over,” he said. “So many nutrients come to the top of the lake.”
While parks staff noticed an improvement last summer with the new aerator, it wasn’t running long enough to make a difference in the winter bloom, Nielsen said.
This year’s plan is to run the device from mid-spring until fall, he added.
“The new aerator was installed because the oxygen was so low. It’s already made a big difference. The fish are more active.”
Before it was installed, he said, “all of the big fish would hang out in one zone.”