Communities along the southeast short of Lake Huron largely depend on the tourism industry and the abundance of swimming, fishing and boating opportunities that the lake provides. Increased levels of bacteria, nutrients and sediment however, can result in degraded water quality and ultimately limit recreational opportunities. These contaminants are largely associated with both agricultural and urban non-point source pollution that gets washed into rivers, creeks and storm sewers during snow melts and rain events.
Since 2011, residents of the Main Bayfield watershed have been actively involved in a community-based watershed planning process to help improve water quality within the Bayfield River, which flows into Lake Huron at the village of Bayfield. The Bayfield Main Beach has been a recipient of the internationally-recognized Blue Flag program, which among other things, identifies beaches that meet strict criteria for water quality. In order to help maintain this certification and support water quality initiatives in the area, the Blue Flag Beach Management Committee was formed. This partnership involves the Pioneer Park Association, Municipality of Bluewater, Huron County Health Unit and Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA).
As the village of Bayfield has stormwater facilities that outlet along the beach, a stormwater monitoring program was initiated in the summer of 2014. The goal of this program was to gather some initial water quality data from the stormwater outfalls along the beach at the village of Bayfield. This information will help in determining whether the stormwater from the village of Bayfield might be impacting the beach and near-shore water quality.
Water Sample Collection Method
Water samples were collected every other week from July to August in 2014 and from June to August in 2015. These routine monitoring events took place on predetermined dates. They were not initiated by wet weather, but typically occurred during a dry weather day (dry sampling). Water samples were also collected after rain events (event sampling), which were characterized as greater than 2.6 mm of rain in less than one hour. If a rain event occurred overnight, sampling was done as soon as possible the following morning.
Grab samples were collected by holding the sample bottle within the flowing water from the outfall, and without touching surrounding surfaces. If water was not flowing from the outfalls, no sample was collected, regardless of whether ponded water was observed below the outfall.
In 2014, water quality was monitored at four stormwater outfalls along the beach adjacent to the village of Bayfield, Ontario and at one culvert along the road (Tuyll Street) adjacent to the shoreline (see map at right).
In 2015, water quality was not monitored at BeachN or BeachS because 2014 results indicated bacteria contamination was low.
Results for 2014 can be found in the Bayfield Beach Stormwater Monitoring Report, 2014.
Results for 2015 can be found in the Bayfield Beach Stormwater Monitoring Report, 2015.
Results for 2016 can be found in the Bayfield Beach Stormwater Monitoring Report, 2016.
Preliminary results for June to August 2016 can be found in the tables below. For a full report on the 2016 results, see the Bayfield Beach Stormwater Monitoring Report 2016.
Table 1: Escherichia coli concentrations, in colony forming units (CFU) per 100mL on each sampling day in 2016 for three stormwater monitoring sites draining into Lake Huron along the shoreline of Bayfield, Ontario. Values in bolded italics denote concentrations that exceed the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care guidelines of 100 cfu/100 mL. Shaded columns indicate event sampling dates.
Table 2: Total phosphorus (TP) and soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) in mg/L on each sampling day in 2016 for three stormwater monitoring sites draining into Lake Huron along the shoreline of Bayfield, Ontario. Values in bolded italics denote concentrations that exceed the Provincial Water Quality Objective (PWQO) of 0.030 mg/mL for TP. Shaded columns indicate event sampling dates.
|Colina – TP||Colina – SRP||Tuyll – TP||Tuyll – SRP||Delevan – TP||Delevan – SRP|
|Aug 16||0.107||0.080||0 .090||0.072||0.126||0.102|