How to be a lake friendly cottager
Professor David Lobb wrote a short article for UM Today about the state of Manitoba’s lakes in light of the fact that the University of Manitoba became the first post-secondary institution in Canada to sign the Lake Friendly Accord.
Cottagers enjoy the beauty of our lakes, and so UM Today also asked professor Lobb for some tips cottagers can follow to help clean our lakes and prevent further corruption.
Lake friendly tips for cottagers
- Know where your waste water goes. If you have a septic tank and filter field, have the tank cleaned regularly, inspect the tank and filter field, and replace old systems since they often do not function well and are leaky. Waste that leaks presents its greatest risk to the cottages in the immediate area.
- If you use local water (surface or ground water) for domestic use, have the water tested regularly. Make sure appropriate treatment systems are in place and inspect them regularly.
- Avoid swimming in water that has lots of algae or other debris floating in it. And, do not drink the water while swimming.
- Always rinse off after swimming in the lake.
- Use phosphorus free detergents where wastewater may enter the local surface or groundwater.
- Maintain a buffer zone of trees and natural vegetation along the shore to minimize erosion and nutrient runoff. Keep land clearing to a minimum.
- Make sure only rain and snow melt drains into the waterways
- Use an alternative to a standard flush toilet, such as a composting toilet
- When boating, never discharge black or grey water overboard. Fill portable gas tanks on shore.
- Learn more about being lake friendly at the cottage