Christie Lake Water Quality
Groundwater is an important resource that many of us rely on for drinking and other purposes. Many residents and cottagers within the Christie Lake watershed rely on drilled wells. Groundwater also plays a critical role in maintaining aquatic and terrestrial habitats, such as wetlands, lakes, streams, and forests.
When it rains, some of that water may be lost through evaporation, taken up by plants and released through transpiration, move to surface water bodies to replenish wetlands, streams, and lakes, or seep into the ground to become groundwater. Of the total precipitation that falls on this area, it is estimated that 60% is lost through evaporation and transpiration from plants. Precipitation that filters into the ground, moves through soils (such as clay, gravel, or sand) and through pores and fractures in bedrock (e.g. granite or limestone). This layer of sediment and bedrock is known as a formation. As water collects in these formations, they become saturated with water. This collection of water is also known as an aquifer. Drilled wells draw their water from aquifers.
Eventually, groundwater is returned, or discharged to the surface through wells, springs, or areas with shallow water tables (such as wetlands). Groundwater provides base flow for streams and lakes throughout the year, and is a main source of base flow during the summer and winter months. Areas with high groundwater infiltration, or recharge areas, are typically upland areas with shallow bedrock or areas where soil is sandy. If sandy soil is underlain by clay, much of the infiltration will likely be directed to surface, rather than be recharged to deep aquifers. Wetlands have a critical role as groundwater discharge and recharge areas. Small isolated wetlands with no surface water connection to the lake or its tributaries are likely important to the maintenance of groundwater quality and quantity in our area.
Data on groundwater quality, quantity, flow, and recharge in our area is limited. Although many property owners test their drinking water for bacteria (e.g. E. coli) on a regular basis, the information from those tests is not shared publicly. There is also little quantitative data on the vulnerability of our groundwater from land use activities; therefore, it is difficult to outline long-term trends. More in-depth monitoring and research is currently being carried out in the Mississippi and Rideau watersheds that will help develop a better knowledge base and understanding about groundwater quality and quantity on a local level.
NOTE: If there is no result posted for any given year as displayed on the right side of this graph then all readings for those years were below the stated standard.
- Ontario Trillium Foundation research summary-Dr. Vermaire 2015 – pdf 688kB
- People, Aquatic Plants, Healthy Lakes Dr. Vermaire 2015 – pdf 4.7MB
- Frontenac Stewardship Council -Merriam- water quality-paper – pdf 2MB
- RVCA watershed watch report 2006-2009 – pdf 637kB
- Interpreting Surface Water Test Results and Why We Test June 2016 – pdf 885kB