City of Whitehorse staff are once again working to address a large amount of algae in the Whistle Bend pond.
Coun. Laura Cabott brought up the issue at Whitehorse city council’s July 5 meeting, highlighting concerns from residents on the “overabundance” of algae in the pond. The issue has been one that has come up numerous times since the stormwater pond was installed in the neighbourhood.
“It’s the quantity,” Cabott said of the concerns over algae.
As the city has stated in the past, algae growth in stormwater ponds is normal, but management of it is important to ensure a healthy aquatic ecosystem.
Mike Gau, the city’s director of development services, highlighted a number of measures that have taken place in recent years.
An attempt at mechanical removal was the most recent effort which proved unsuccessful. With the city’s Vactor truck not able to reach the pond to deal with removal of algae, the city is now reaching out to a private contractor to see if they might have the required equipment as a short-term way of dealing with it. The city is also looking at potential projects for next year that could help address the issue in the long term.
An aeration system, building an access for the city’s equipment to be better able to reach the pond and a dye that would help block sunlight are among some of the options being looked at. Chemical treatment is also a possibility, though Gau described that as “a last resort.”