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The majority of good environmental practices around a lake aim to limit the excessive input of nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen, which promote the proliferation of algae and aquatic plants and allow the growth of water blooms and blue-green algae (cyanobacteria). As well, they improve conditions for the growth of invasive plants, while accelerating the aging of the lake (eutrophication)—see Issues and Consequences.

Eutrophication is the phenomenon of aging of a lake, characterized by nutrient enrichment, including phosphorus and nitrogen Nutrient-rich waters stimulate the growth of aquatic vegetation and its consumers. This hyperproductivity is then harmful; the aquatic environment suffocates! Oxygen decreases and the quality of the medium deteriorates. To reduce these contributions to water bodies, an individual and collective effort is necessary to:

  • ensure the maintenance and regeneration of a natural shoreline
  • avoid using fireworks or having unprotected fires
  • avoid using fertilizers and pesticides
  • avoid using treated wood
  • not use cleaning products and soaps containing phosphates
  • ensure the effectiveness of our septic systems
  • advocate for maintaining the natural forests around our lakes
I maintain a natural waterfront

The riparian strip is the edge of natural vegetation bordering a lake. It is a transition zone between aquatic and terrestrial environments. It is very important not to disturb the riparian vegetation band all around the lake. This band is a filter against pollution. It acts a bit like the filter of an engine retaining all the sediment, impurities and detritus that would otherwise flow directly to the lake. The mixing of roots and soil produces a natural barrier that plays several extremely important roles for water quality and provides filtering of all runoff from roads, lands and upstream watersheds. Provincial regulations exist and are applied by Quebec municipalities. If the vegetation band is disturbed, restoration techniques exist (for more details, see below). There is evidence that the more vegetated banks are, the more protected lakes and streams are.

I do not use fireworks
I do not use fertilizer or pesticides
I do not use treated wood near the water
My septic system is efficient
I do not use cleaning products and soaps containing phosphates
I wash my boat each time I visit another lake, to prevent introducing undesirable species
I use my boat carefully, consciously avoiding erosion on shorelinesI
Known effect of waves on bank erosion
I do not create a wake with my boat
I ensure I have wood fires in appropriate places
Avoid feeding ducks

Support documents

Q-2, r. 22 - Règlement sur l’évacuation et le traitement des eaux usées des résidences isolées

Règlement modifiant le Règlement sur l’évacuation et le traitement des eaux usées des résidences isolées (Q-2, r.22)

Septic Installations Guide

Phosphorus

Règlementation lavage des bateaux Messines

Video