What We Do

KLSA: Who We Are, What We Do

Click here to find out more about KLSA KLSA Role January 2016

Water Quality Monitoring

Our initial mandate was to test surface waters in our lakes for E.coli bacteria and for phosphorus levels. Testing for E.coli is primarily for swimming safety, while tracking phosphorus levels over time (through MOE’s Lake Partner Program) can tell us about the health of the lakes.


Recently, KLSA has expanded its activities into research studies to understand certain changes that volunteers have noted in the lakes, especially the copious weed growth in recent years. This is probably helped along by phosphorus and other nutrients in the water.

In 2010 we began a major study of algae which appears in our waters, funded in part by a generous grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation. This culminated in 2012 with a guide to algae identification, and an analysis of possible prevention and control methods.

In 2008 KLSA conducted a major study of weed control methods in the Kawarthas. The end product was a scientific report and a comprehensive aquatic weed control guide for shoreline residents and businesses. This guide, published in 2009, includes:

A survey of weed management techniques now in use
An evaluation of each technique
A summary of existing literature and field studies
Advice to help shore dwellers choose effective and appropriate weed management techniques
Pictures to help with plant identification
Eventually KLSA hopes to be able to use the knowledge gained from these research studies to better protect and improve the health of the Kawartha Lakes.

Another study with students at Sir Sandford Fleming College and their teacher Sara Kelly, focuses on phosphorus levels in the sewage treatment plant effluents that enter the lake system.

In 2006 Michael White, a PhD student at Trent University, completed a research study documenting the sources of phosphorus in the Kawartha Lakes. The results of this work will help us determine whether much of the phosphorus is coming from human sources and therefore can be controlled. See Michael’s report here.

Annual Reports

Every year we publish a well-received, illustrated annual report describing our test results, research programs, and related information about our watershed. You can select and download any of these reports from the sidebar at the upper left of this page.

Founded in 2000, KLSA represents 40 cottager associations on more than a dozen lakes along the Trent Severn Waterway. Run entirely by volunteers, KLSA partners with three levels of government as well as local businesses. Concerned cottagers and permanent residents from all over the Kawarthas make up its volunteer Board.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or if you would like to become involved.


4 thoughts on “What We Do”

  1. Hello.
    My name is David and I would like to be involved in the organization.
    My wife and I are full time residents on Little Bald lake, and would like to be more involved in water quality issues.
    Please advise as to how and where we can start.

    Many Thanks!

  2. Hi David.
    Your contact email has been sent to some of the board, the secretary has added you to our contact list and the testing coordinator will also have your contact info. Watch for notice of our spring meeting in early May where the 2014 Lake Water Report will be available. Our report committee is busy putting that together over the winter for release in late April/early May of 2015.

    Jeff Chalmers, Clear Lake
    KLSA & Birchcliff Property Owners Association

  3. I have a cottage on Gloucester Pool, part of the Trent Severn.
    I’m sure all the same issues of water quality apply in my area as well.
    Do you lobby politicians to stop people fertilizing grass down to the water’s edge?

  4. Our group is involved in research and public education around lake water quality. Because of the support we have had by organizations such as the Trillium fund and municipalities in our area, we have to be very careful not to be lobbying on particular issues. At the same time you will see information in our annual reports and at our twice yearly public meetings about things such as naturalizing shorelines, phosphorus loading, land use and invasive species to name just a few.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Monitoring and Sustaining the Health of the Kawartha Lakes

%d bloggers like this: