The City of Castlegar has hired a consultant to figure out what can be done to prevent unsightly algae blooms on the Millennium Park ponds.
Urban Systems will be tasked with coming up with options to make the popular swimming hole more appealing.
“We know this is a concern for some of the residents and visitors since algae doesn’t always look the best,” says municipal services director Chris Hallam.
He says they have tested the algae, but to date none of the blooms have been demonstrated to be harmful to people. Still, they would like to be rid of it.
“This has been an issue we’ve been trying to get on top of for a while,” Hallam says. “Some our attempts have not been successful. We hope to have a plan in place for the summer. However, depending on what regulatory approvals are required, that might not be possible. But we’re going to do everything we can.”
The ponds typically open in early summer, and the algae blooms appear once it gets very hot — right when they would be most popular but for their appearance. The blooms can last for weeks at a time.
Hallam says the city tests the water quality in the ponds regularly when they are open and submits the samples to Interior Health for review.
If they are unable to find a solution this year and the blooms reappear, they will post some signage, including a QR code directing people to water quality reports, so they can see the status for themselves.