New study of Lake Coeur d’Alene shows water quality gradually improving

Idaho News
Spokane Public Radio The new study says heavy metals, phosphorus levels are steadily decreasing. Doug Nadvornick/Spokane Public Radio A National Academy of Sciences draft report concludes the quality of the water in Lake Coeur d’Alene has improved over the years. The report was shared this week at a symposium in Coeur d’Alene. Dan McCracken from the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality says the study found that the main sources of pollution — heavy metals and phosphorus — are entering the lake at lower levels than in the past. “Although we are still a long ways away from where we want to be, we’re starting to see some water quality improvements, just in the last five-to-10 years. Metals loading, coming from the upper Coeur d’Alene River, has consistently been improving since…
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County will fund lake water analysis

Idaho News
By Kaye Thornbrugh; Coeur d'Alene Press COEUR d’ALENE — Kootenai County commissioners voted Wednesday to commit $50,000 to a project analyzing lake water samples for trace and toxic metals. Bill Brooks and Chris Fillios voted to provide the funds, which will come from the fiscal year 2022 community support budget. Leslie Duncan was not present for the meeting. The University of Idaho is working with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality to study the impacts of wakes on water quality in the nearshore zone in Lake Coeur d’Alene. Though IDEQ will fund the two-year study, there was no available funding to perform additional analysis on water samples for trace and toxic metals associated with past mining waste from the Bunker Hill and Silver Valley mining districts. The Kootenai County Natural…
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Health Advisory Issued For Spirit Lake

Idaho News
Coeur d'Alene Press The Panhandle Health District issued a health advisory for Spirit Lake on Wednesday. A health advisory has been issued for Spirit Lake. The Panhandle Health District in collaboration with the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare and Idaho Department of Environmental Quality issued the warning Wednesday for Spirit Lake and Lake Cocolalla, according to a press release. Recent water sampling by DEQ indicates the presence of cyanobacteria, also known as a harmful algae bloom or blue-green algae in Spirit Lake and Lake Cocolalla. The public is urged to use caution when recreating in or near the water, especially where ingestion is a risk, the release said. Cyanobacteria are a natural part of Idaho’s water bodies. When temperatures rise, their populations can bloom and toxic chemical compounds, or…
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Health advisory issued for Fernan Lake in North Idaho, yet another cyanobacteria victim

Idaho News
Idaho Statesman Algae is pictured along the shore of Fernan Lake this month. A public health advisory was issued Thursday for Fernan Lake. The advisory, issued by Panhandle Health District in collaboration with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, states that recent water sampling indicates the presence of cyanobacteria, a harmful algae bloom, in the lake. The agencies are urging the public to use caution when recreating in or near the water, especially where ingestion is a risk. TOP VIDEOS × Cyanobacteria are a natural part of Idaho’s water bodies. When temperatures rise, their populations can bloom and toxic chemical compounds, or cyanotoxins, can be released into the water. Caution should be taken anywhere where the water appears discolored or murky as…
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Idaho DEQ to answer questions on cyanobacteria

Idaho News, Research
BoiseDev After toxins were found in Lake Cascade last month, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality is holding an event for the public to learn more about cyanobacteria, cyanotoxins, and water quality monitoring at Lake Cascade. Representatives from a host of agencies, including DEQ, Idaho Fish and Game, Central District Health, and Cascade Medical Center will be on hand to answer questions about health effects and water quality. The open house is scheduled for Wednesday, July 13 at the American Legion Hall at 105 E Mill St in Cascade from noon to 6:45 p.m. While toxins were present in Lake Cascade in June, levels didn’t meet the threshold for a health advisory. Exposure to cyanotxins can cause skin irritation and an upset stomach. The toxins can be particularly harmful to…
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Heading to Lake Cascade this weekend for water fun? You may need to change your plans

Idaho News
By Rachel Roberts; Idaho Statesman Photo by Idaho DEQ. Harmful algae blooms can have negative impacts on humans, pets and environments Harmful algal blooms are blooms of species of algae that can have negative impacts on humans, marine and freshwater environments, and coastal economies. Public health officials are asking the public to steer clear of Lake Cascade this weekend. The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare cited possible cyanobacterial harmful algal blooms in the lake, according to a tweet from the department. Samples are being tested but won’t be available until Monday. “Until then, we recommend people and animals stay out of the water,” the tweet said. Among the largest bodies of water in the state, Lake Cascade is a popular summer recreation area because of its opportunities for fishing,…
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OPINION: Everyone can help keep pollution out of Payette Lake

Idaho News
The Star-News We are on the cusp of another robust summer season on Big Payette Lake. The Big Payette Lake Water Quality Council wants you to know that we have reintroduced Lake*A*Syst. This is a five-part packet on how to help prevent pollutants and contaminants from entering the lake. This pertains to homeowners, landscapers, builders/contractors and other activity that can impact the water quality from the shoreline. You can find these informative packets at https://bigpayettelake.org. The up-to-date information is divided into the following: Preventing Contamination of Drinking Water, Lawn and Garden, Roads and Driveways, Landscape and Construction and Stormwater Runoff. The website also has a Resource Guide for further access to more specific information. Now is the time to educate yourself on best practices to ensure Payette Lake’s beautiful waters.…
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Cascade Reservoir Water Quality Study Set

Idaho News
By Brad Carlson, Capital Press The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will study the Cascade Reservoir in Idaho to figure out ways to improve its water quality. Cascade Reservoir, near timberlands and meadows about 80 miles north of Boise, is shallow and subject to algae blooms. The blooms are driven by high water temperatures and nutrient levels. It also is known as Lake Cascade. The Snake River Area Office received a $308,200 grant for the pilot project to model the reservoir's operations. The goal is to find operations-related ways to improve water quality. The pilot project will evaluate whether operations at Cascade and nearby Deadwood Reservoir can be coordinated to improve water quality. Operating alternatives will consider “all requirements and constraints” such as physical capacity, irrigation demands, flow augmentation and flood…
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Idaho Seeking $2M Worth Of Project Ideas To Reduce Phosphorous In Lake Coeur d’Alene

Idaho News
By Samantha Wohlfeil, Inlander Idaho's Department of Environmental Quality will soon be awarding $2 million to projects that will reduce phosphorous on Coeur d'Alene Lake. The funding from the state is part of Gov. Brad Little's "Building Idaho's Future" plan. The projects are intended to prevent the lake from reaching a dangerous tipping point where heavy metal contamination that has mostly remained in sediments could become suspended in the water column due to a shift in the water chemistry. Like much of North Idaho, the lake faces issues with contamination deposited during decades of silver and lead mining in the region. To be eligible, projects must include on-the-ground reductions in phosphorous, be located in Idaho within the watersheds that drain into Coeur d'Alene Lake, and have community support. Projects on…
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