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Manitoba Prairie Lakes: In-lake remediation treatment summary

This is a summary of a comprehensive research study (Manitoba Prairie Lakes: Eutrophication and In-Lake Remediation Treatments Literature Review) in which IISD examines in-lake remediation treatments designed to control nutrients, plankton algae, and other related effects of over-production and species composition changes resulting from eutrophication.

This review identifies multiple in-lake biological, physical and chemical treatments to limit and control P-enriched sediments and remediate the effects of eutrophication on lake water quality. It reviews common remediation treatment methods but is not exhaustive. This summary document presents three biological treatments, five physical/engineering treatments and three chemical treatments for prairie lake eutrophication based on our study of the literature.

Eutrophication causes pronounced deterioration of water quality and is a widespread environmental problem affecting the quality of many of Manitoba’s prairie lakes. These lakes have deteriorated due to excessive loading of nutrients, organic matter and silt, which in turn cause increased primary producer biomass and reduced water quality. The success of a management technique varies greatly from lake to lake, and it is generally agreed that these technologies are usually not worth considering unless external nutrient loads can also be reduced and controlled.