By Haley Ryan - Metro Halifax
HALIFAX - The lakes around HRM are one step closer to regular testing after council asked staff to explore reinstating the Lakes Water Quality Sampling Program.
On Tuesday, Coun. Darren Fisher asked for a report on how much the program would cost and how to get a better use out of the data collected, or “perhaps better data,” in 2014.
“I think it‚s so critical we keep sampling our lakes,” said Dartmouth councillor Gloria McCluskey, adding that Banook and Micmac lakes are in “serious trouble.”
“If we don’t start looking after them better, we‚re not going to have any lakes that are fit for swimming,” McCluskey said.
Coun. Barry Dalrymple said testing lakes is good, but bringing back the same old program isn’t the best idea.
He said the program was cut a couple of years ago because it cost more than $100,000 a year to collect baseline data which the municipality already had.
Dalrymple said since then, he’s heard about the issue from all kind of environmental groups and beach goers who aren’t satisfied with the level of testing.
“It is a service that the people are demanding, and I think it’s up to us to bring it back and make it as effective as we can,” Dalrymple said.
Two HRM lakes flushed with success
Two of HRM’s most popular swimming spots are getting permanent washrooms.
On Tuesday, regional council awarded the tender for new Chocolate Lake and Albro Lake washrooms to Dora Construction Ltd.
“It’s about moving into the 21st century in terms of responding to people’s needs,” said Coun. Jennifer Watts. “Making our natural resources more inviting and family-friendly and accessible is very important.”
The upgrades include the washroom/changing room buildings, exterior lighting, security improvements, landscaping, and emergency access to the beach areas.
An accessible link will also be created from the parking lot to the Chocolate Lake beach and tennis courts.