Lunenburg Harbour Water Quality Monitoring Program - Update


In the spirit of World Oceans Day, the Town of Lunenburg would like to outline our voluntary water quality monitoring program for 2018. (There are currently no Federal or Provincial government requirements to test Lunenburg Harbour waters for recreational use beyond the extensive range of testing the Town of Lunenburg does for treated wastewater before it is released.) 

As announced in November 2017, we are pleased that respected local environmental research, education and action charity Bluenose Coastal Action Foundation will be conducting the testing on the Town’s behalf this year.  

Harbour Water Quality Monitoring 

1.  Weekly monitoring begins next week and continues through to the end of September. Coastal Action will monitor two sites once a week, the Broad Street Boat Launch and Zwicker Wharf, for enterococci (an indicator for fecal bacteria) and for YSI water meter parameters (dissolved oxygen, water temperature, pH, total dissolved solids, salinity).  

2.  They will also be monitoring five sites throughout the harbour by boat on five occasions through the season: June, August, October, and after two heavy rainfalls. These tests will be for enterococci, nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), and YSI parameters.  

3.  Lastly, Coastal Action will collect sediment samples from four sites throughout the harbour once (probably in August) and analyzed for enterococci. They are confident this will give useful data on the harbour health. 

Please note that Lunenburg Harbour is a working harbour and does not have any designated recreational swimming areas. Recreational harbour users must make this determination themselves as you would at any unsupervised, commercial waterfront.  

Lunenburg Harbour Health Advisory Group 

Coastal Action issued a call for applications for citizen representatives with a willingness to offer their time, knowledge and ideas to serve on an Advisory Group they are managing. Unfortunately, they have received no applications from residents to date. There are business, industry, and government stakeholders participating. 

If you missed the call for applications and are interested in participating, Coastal Action will have some information at their booths for tomorrow’s (Saturday, June 9) activities on the Lunenburg Waterfront – please visit them on Saturday! They anticipate the first meeting to take place by the end of June.  

The Town of Lunenburg is delighted to be partnering with Coastal Action in our continuing efforts to improve the long-term health of our beloved harbour.  

Celebrate World Oceans Day on the Lunenburg Waterfront with Coastal Action tomorrow 10:00am – 3:00pm!

Definitions and Guideline Values 

- Primary Contact: Recreational activity in which your whole body or the face and trunk are frequently immersed or the face is frequently wetted by spray, and where it is likely that some water will be swallowed. Inadvertent immersion, through being swept into the water by a wave or slipping, would also result in whole body contact. Examples include swimming, surfing, waterskiing, white water canoeing/rafting/kayaking, windsurfing or subsurface diving. The primary contact guideline value for Enterococci in marine water is ≤ 70 Enterococci/100 mL

- Secondary Contact: Recreational activity in which only the limbs are regularly wetted and in which greater contact (including swallowing water) is unusual. Examples include rowing, sailing, canoe touring or fishing. The secondary contact guideline value for Enterococci in marine water is between 70 Enterococci/100 mL and 175 Enterococci/100 mL.