Water Quality


The Township of the Archipelago

Since 2001, the Township has partnered with ratepayer associations within The Archipelago to conduct water quality monitoring. The Archipelago has partnered with the Georgian Bay Biosphere (GBB) on environmental programming, which includes coordinating the Township’s water quality monitoring program.

In 2016 the Township recommended changes to its water quality (WQ) monitoring program, with the main recommendation being a shift from bacteria to phosphorus monitoring. These changes came about as a result of a partnership with the GBB. Over three years, as part of their Coordinated Nutrient Monitoring Program, GBB worked with partners to review existing nutrient monitoring efforts along eastern Georgian Bay and develop a new set of guidelines and  recommendations to improve effectiveness and efficiency of the collective efforts of volunteers, associations, agencies and other organizations.

Visit the Environment section of the TOA website and review the latest results from 2018.  

Blackstone Water Quality Report

Click here to read our 2016 Blackstone Lake Water Testing Report.

State of the Bay

Working with dozens of partner organizations in eastern Georgian Bay, the Georgian Bay Biosphere creates an ecosystem health report called “State of the Bay” that is issued every 5 years. The goal goal is to gather the best available research about water, wetlands, fisheries, and habitats in this unique landscape, and share it with people who care about Georgian Bay.

Click here to read the 2018 State of the Bay Report and click here to read more about State of the Bay.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is phosphorus?

Phosphorus is a naturally occurring element and one of the three nutrients required by all forms of life. It's very important in our lake ecosystems because it is the limiting nutrient in them. In other words, there is naturally an abundance of potassium and nitrogen, so any extra P that is added to a lake is quickly used by the ecosystem to create new plant growth, like algae.

How often should I pump my septic?

You should have your septic tank pumped out at least once every five years, even if it is not full. Every 2-3 years is even better those with higher volume use.  The BLCA coordinates an annual pump out event for water based cottagers which reduces the cost considerably. Muskoka Septic Services offers a further discount to BLCA members. 

What plants to use on the shoreline?

Always try to plant native species. More specific information is available on the GBBR website here, your local nursery or by contacting the GBBR office.

What makes the water discolour?

Most lakes in are very clear because they have very few nutrients but many factors can contribute to the colour of a lake. Dissolved organic carbon, usually found in lakes whose watershed is rich in peaty soils, is most often responsible for the `tea` colour of some lakes. Some lakes can appear green if they are biologically productive (that is, have higher nutrient levels).


Fire Rating

Current Rating: 

Day Time Burning Permits may be issued.