11615 Sterling Ave, Riverside, CA 92503    Phone: (951) 354-4220 / Fax: (951) 352-3422
 
Category Archives:

News Release

News Release – Canyon Lake Alum Applications Scheduled for Feb. 7-10

Recent rains push flows of excess nutrients into lake; alum also reduces sedimentation

Canyon Lake, CA – Our historic drought created a thirsty region for Southern Californians. In the southwest portion of Riverside County, Lake Elsinore reached low lake levels suffering algae blooms over the hot summer months. Recent storms hit hard, bringing much needed rain and snow. In the San Jacinto and Lake Elsinore Watersheds, snowmelt and rain flow downward and end up in Canyon Lake and eventually Lake Elsinore. As water enters Canyon Lake, along with it comes an increase in excess nutrients and sedimentation. Alum treatments to Canyon Lake have been effective in reducing nutrients and sediment concentrations related to flows of nutrients that enter the lake.

An alum application has been scheduled for February 7- 10, pending final testing and recommendation from scientists. The Lake Elsinore & San Jacinto Watersheds Authority (LESJWA) is responsible for managing the alum applications. LESJWA, a joint powers authority, exists to improve water quality in Canyon Lake and Lake Elsinore within the watershed. Canyon Lake has a history of receiving high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus that enter the lake through water run off. By reducing nutrients in the lake, the severity of algae blooms decreases, as algae feeds on phosphorus.

“Historically, Canyon Lake receives high loads of nutrients, especially following heavy storm events, such as those which taken place over the past two months,” shares Mark Norton, LESJWA Administrator. “Since early 2016, alum treatment of Canyon Lake has expanded to include sections of Canyon Lake north of the causeway; an area plagued with repeated concerns over algae blooms. The alum treatments have been proven effective in reducing the phosphorus concentrations in the lake water and thereby minimize the prevalence of algae blooms.”

Alum application to Canyon Lake will be applied at levels that are safe for humans and marine life. It has continued as the preferred treatment to improve water quality in Canyon Lake. Minimal disruption will take place for lake recreation. Prior to alum applications, water samples will be tested for dissolved oxygen, pH and temperature to confirm appropriate water quality conditions, a procedure that is always followed prior to beginning the treatment process. During the application, sections of the lake being sprayed will be blocked off, however access will be open immediately following. To view live project updates, residents can visit www.canyonlakealum.wordpress.com

In order to comply with water quality regulations, enforced by the State through the local Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board, the Lake Elsinore & Canyon Lake Nutrient Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Task Force continues to conduct alum water treatments in Canyon Lake. The TMDL Task Force evaluated several options and determined that alum application provides the best option as a step to effectively treat the entire lake in a timely manner with minimal impact to Canyon Lake residents.

Funding for the alum applications is being provided by the Lake Elsinore and Canyon Lake Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Task Force, which consists of cities, the County of Riverside, agriculture and dairy coalitions and other organizations in the San Jacinto River watershed. Implementation of the alum project is being coordinated by the City of Canyon Lake, the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District, LESJWA, the TMDL Task Force and the Canyon Lake Property Owners Association.

Contact: Mark Norton 951-354-4221

# # #

LESJWA is a joint powers authority entrusted with state and local funds to improve water quality and wildlife habitats in Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake and the surrounding San Jacinto watershed. For more information about LESJWA, please visit www.mywatersheds.com.

Click here for PDF Version of this Press Release

Lake Elsinore’s Complex Field and Laboratory Studies Provide New Insights

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2016

CONTACT:
Mark Norton
951-354-4221

 

Click here to download the News Release in PDF form

Canyon Lake Alum Treatments Prove Successful in Managing Water Quality
Recent study reports results from lake study on alum applications

Lake Elsinore, CA – On-going studies, administered by the Lake Elsinore & San Jacinto Watersheds Authority (LESJWA), demonstrate a continued effort to keep Lake Elsinore in balance. Established to improve water quality and ecology in the watersheds, LESJWA seeks solutions to accomplish these goals. Recent study results conducted by Dr. Michael Anderson, Associate Dean at the University of California, Riverside, identified historical challenges plagued by the lake, as well as current lake water quality management programs and their effectiveness.

“An extensive set of field and laboratory measurements and long-term computer simulations have provided important new insights into Lake Elsinore,” shares, Dr. Anderson. “The results from the studies of Lake Elsinore provide a new understanding about the past historical factors affecting water quality, and aids in better understanding and guiding future strategies for attaining water quality goals.”

Included in the lake study, hydrological and climatic conditions were collected and evaluated, demonstrating factors that can vary dramatically and alter the lake over time. The data collected was used to create models to understand how the factors can affect lake levels and quality. With hot summer temperatures quickly approaching and a constant need to elevate water levels remaining as a concern, the lake is likely to experience a possible die-off of vital fish populations causing an ecological imbalance, as was witnessed last summer.

The lake receives recycled water from Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District; however, one critical factor studied was the lake’s salinity, as a result of the supplemental water source. Lake water levels, evapoconcentration, and watershed inputs all effect salinity concentrations, in addition to natural nutrients that flow to the lake, due to its location at the end of the watershed. High levels of salinity can impair sport fish and beneficial zooplankton reproduction. It negatively alters the ecology and water quality of Lake Elsinore. The key to minimizing high salinity levels requires significant circulation of lake water with outflows of high saline lake water leaving the lake as stormwater enters the lake.

Additional factors studied include increased concentrations of chlorophyll-a, green pigment tested in lakes to determine algae growth, and their relationship to the addition of recycled water to the lake. While the recycled water supplements did not demonstrate a significant correlation with an increase in chlorophyll-a, periods of low lake levels did show increased concentrations. There were slightly lower concentrations due to the recycled water additions.

“The complex hydrology of the region presents unique challenges in managing Lake Elsinore. These challenges will increase in the face of climate change that will raise temperatures, increase evaporative losses, and further increase climate variability in the coming decades,” states Dr. Anderson. “Application of numerical models offer valuable insights to the past, present, and future. Continued and creative efforts will be needed within the lake and the watershed to manage and help meet beneficial uses.”

The supplementation of recycled water to Lake Elsinore aids in preventing the lake from completely drying out. Aquatic life in the lake requires oxygen to survive. Microscopic bubbles of oxygen in water are known as dissolved oxygen, a critical element to maintaining healthy water quality. While the effect of the added recycled water supply on the mean dissolved oxygen levels are limited, the recycled water does provide an increased range of water column dissolved oxygen concentrations. This means that in certain depths studied within the lake there has been proof that the supplementation of the recycled water has contributed to an increase in dissolved oxygen levels.

Funding for these essential studies and projects, which help in the improvement and monitoring of Lake Elsinore’s water quality and ecology have been provided by a State grant, the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority – One Water One Watershed (OWOW), and by the Lake Elsinore and Canyon Lake Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Task Force, which consists of cities, the County of Riverside, agriculture and dairy coalitions, and other organizations in the San Jacinto River watershed.

Click here to download the News Release in PDF form

# # #
LESJWA is a joint powers authority entrusted with state and local funds to improve water quality and wildlife habitats in Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake and the surrounding San Jacinto watershed.

Canyon Lake Alum Treatments Prove Successful in Managing Water Quality

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 8, 2016

CONTACT:
Mark Norton
951-354-4221

 

Click here to download the News Release in PDF form

Canyon Lake Alum Treatments Prove Success in Managing Water Quality
Recent study reports results from lake study on alum applications

Canyon Lake, CA – Residents of Canyon Lake recently witnessed the sixth application of alum to the main body, coves, and north causeway of the lake. With the support of the Lake Elsinore and Canyon Lake Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Task Force that is seeking to significantly improve water quality and ecology in Canyon Lake, the applications have proven successful in minimizing algae growth.

Being that Canyon Lake is located near the end of the watershed, it receives high levels of nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, as a result of water runoff. These nutrients encourage algae growth. By adding alum to the water, it immediately binds to the phosphorus, causing it to neutralize and become inactive. This process was chosen as a means to improve lake quality due to its proven effectiveness in lakes throughout the country. Recently, a 3-D model of the lake was developed to better capture the complex hydrodynamics and water quality observed. The study has been monitoring the effectiveness of the alum treatments since 2013. Recent results demonstrate that levels of phosphorus have been consistently lower in the main body of the lake following alum treatments, as compared to 2009-2012.

Dr. Michael Anderson, University of California, Riverside Associate Dean, responsible for conducting lake testing shares that, “Control of phosphorus via alum has shown meaningful progress, although continued in-lake controls along with watershed best management practices are needed to further improve water quality. New 3-D modeling for Canyon Lake will provide greater understanding of relationships and unique water qualities of the distinct north, main, and east basins.”

Since 2000, the Lake Elsinore & San Jacinto Watersheds Authority has been conducting field studies, laboratory measurements and long-term computer simulations to provide new insights into the complex ecosystems and hydrology of the lake. In 2014, a two-day hydroacoustic survey was conducted to provide an assessment of the lake capacity. The survey illustrated that substantial sedimentation has lowered the capacity of the lake compared to 1993. The complex hydrology of Canyon Lake poses unique challenges in water quality and ecology management. Continued study and alum applications in the lake will take place in order to meet water quality targets.

Funding for the alum applications has been provided by a State grant, the Santa Ana Watershed Project Authority – One Water One Watershed (OWOW), and by the Lake Elsinore and Canyon Lake Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Task Force, which consists of cities, the County of Riverside, agriculture and dairy coalitions, and other organizations in the San Jacinto River watershed. Implementation of the alum project is being coordinated by the City of Canyon Lake, the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District, LESJWA, the TMDL Task Force, and the Canyon Lake Property Owners Association.

2015 Canyon Lake Alum Application video – https://youtu.be/D0iUtkTVGnc

Click here to download the News Release in PDF form

# # #
LESJWA is a joint powers authority entrusted with State and local funds to improve water quality and wildlife habitats in Lake Elsinore, Canyon Lake, and the surrounding San Jacinto watershed.

Public Information Meeting Encourages Community Involvement

NewsRelease - Alum Workshop

Latest News

LESJWA Fast Facts

Click on the infographic to learn more: LESJWA Fast Facts