RLEF has joined with the Big Rideau Lake Association, the Upper Rideau Lake Association, the Otter Lake Landowners Association and the Bass Lake Property Owners Association to express concern about the turn-around times for analysis of samples in Ministry of Environment laboratories.
A letter to Steve Clarke, MPP Leeds-Grenville, Thousand Islands and Rideau Lakes, notes that despite the presence of a robust protocol for sampling and reporting, it has take upwards of two weeks to learn whether blooms contained toxic blue-green algae. While ministry staff were on-hand promptly to take samples, results were very slow in coming back. This resulted in a delay of more than two weeks this fall between a report of a possible bloom on Bass Lake, and the issuance of a warning by the local Health Unit.
The group urged the Ministry to consider using private laboratories if necessary to ensure that delays like this in the future do not jeapordize public health and safety.