Algae in Whistle Bend’s storm water pond in Whitehorse photographed on Aug. 5. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)

Growing algae problem plagues Whistle Bend pond

Water sampling underway to address issue

The City of Whitehorse and Yukon government are continuing to battle against algae in Whistle Bend’s storm water pond, with the territory now taking water samples as it looks for short and long-term solutions.

In a statement released Aug. 5, city officials outlined the efforts of both governments to reduce the amount of algae in the pond.

“Addressing higher than normal algae production in the pond requires a coordinated and comprehensive approach by both parties,” the release states.

As the developer of the neighborhood, the territory oversees the overall storm water management plan with the city being responsible for maintaining the system that’s in place.

Pond algae has been an ongoing issue at the neighbourhood pond.

The city has attempted to deal with it in a variety of ways including adding dye to the pond water to reduce heat and light absorption, which promote algae growth; applying Algaecide to the pond; physically removing algae; planting aquatic vegetation to stabilize the shoreline and for nutrient uptake; and operating and repairing the existing aeration system, water fountain and intake screen, which has been “overwhelmed” by algae growth.

City engineer Taylor Eshpeter said in an email that “very little” has been spent by the city on the efforts, though he could not provide a precise spending figure.

“We do not have the exact amounts that were spent.”

The Yukon government, meanwhile, is collecting water samples from the pond.

Yukon Department of Community Services spokeswoman Bonnie Venton Ross said sampling work began in July will be done by the end of August at which time the territory will work with the city to develop a management plan that would be implemented next summer. The water sampling and lab work is estimated to cost $4,200.

Over the short-term, it’s expected officials will gain an understanding of the nutrients in the pond. That will be used to develop the management plan for the pond and determine what actions will be taken.

“This data will contribute to determining future upgrades or management strategies,” according to the city’s statement.

Both the city and territory said the plan could include moves like reducing the amount of algae nutrients coming into the pond, adding structures that could inhibit the growth of algae, and enhancing aeration and/or vegetation near the pond.

In its statement, the city asked residents near the pond to “do their part by reducing their use of fertilizers in areas around the pond”.

The pond functions as part of the overall storm water system and, therefore, some algae growth is expected, the city said.

“Swimming and other recreational activities in or on the pond were never intended goals and are not permitted.”

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dawson the dog sits next to the Chariot Patrick Jackson has loaded and rigged up to walk the Dempster Highway from where it begins, off the North Klondike Highway, to the Arctic Circle. (Submitted)
Walking the Dempster

Patrick Jackson gets set for 405-kilometre journey

Liberal leader Sandy Silver speaks outside his campaign headquarters in Dawson City following early poll results on April 12. (Robin Sharp/Yukon News)
BREAKING: Minority government results will wait on tie vote in Vuntut Gwitchin

The Yukon Party and the Liberal Party currently have secured the same amount of seats

Yukonomist Keith Halliday
YUKONOMIST: The Neapolitan election

Do you remember those old bricks of Neapolitan ice cream from birthday… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Exposure notice issued for April 3 Air North flight

Yukon Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley has issued another… Continue reading

Crystal Schick/Yukon News file
Runners in the Yukon Arctic Ultra marathon race down the Yukon River near the Marwell industrial area in Whitehorse on Feb. 3, 2019.
Cold-weather exercise hard on the lungs

Amy Kenny Special to the Yukon News It might make you feel… Continue reading

lwtters
Today’s Mailbox: Rent freezes and the youth vote

Dear Editor, I read the article regarding the recommendations by the Yukon… Continue reading

Point-in-Time homeless count planned this month

Volunteers will count those in shelters, short-term housing and without shelter in a 24-hour period.

The Yukon’s new ATIPP Act came into effect on April 1. Yukoners can submit ATIPP requests online or at the Legislative Assembly building. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News file)
New ATIPP Act in effect as of April 1

The changes promise increased government transparency

A new conservancy in northern B.C. is adjacent to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (Courtesy BC Parks)
Ice Mountain Lands near Telegraph Creek, B.C., granted conservancy protection

The conservancy is the first step in a multi-year Tahltan Stewardship Initiative

Yukon RCMP reported a child pornography-related arrest on April 1. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press file)
Whitehorse man arrested on child pornography charges

The 43-year-old was charged with possession of child pornography and making child pornography

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The postponed 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been rescheduled for Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
New dates set for Arctic Winter Games

Wood Buffalo, Alta. will host event Jan. 29 to Feb. 4, 2023

Victoria Gold Corp. has contributed $1 million to the First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun after six months of production at the Eagle Gold Mine. (Submitted/Victoria Gold Corp.)
Victoria Gold contributes $1 million to First Nation of Na-cho Nyak Dun

Victoria Gold signed a Comprehensive Cooperation and Benefits Agreement in 2011

Most Read