The Municipality of Chester, the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg, and the Sherbrooke Lake Stewardship Committee are committed to monitoring the water quality in Sherbrooke Lake as it relates to the development of the Public Access site. Earlier this year the Sherbrooke Lake Stewardship Committee shared with lake property owners and others in the community a report outlining the results of the water quality sampling program last summer. This report presented a picture of the lakes condition during the summer of 2018. The report also highlighted the need for continued vigilance if we are going to maintain an excellent water quality condition in the lake. 

This year many people have reported the occurrence of unusual concentrations of  algae along shorelines and in the water itself. These algae are naturally occurring microscopic bacteria that take many forms in our freshwater lakes, and are often associated with warmer temperatures and influx of nutrients. There are some forms of algae called cyanobacteria (often referred to as blue-green algae) that are toxic to humans and animals and, for this reason, two samples were taken for analysis this summer. This analysis has confirmed that those samples did not contain cyanobacteria and therefore were not toxic. Nonetheless, NS Department of Environment requests that all algae blooms are reported to them. The department's field staff have already visited the lake once and will do so again if the lake experiences any further blooms. We thank all residents and visitors for contacting the committee, and encourage all those who contact NSE to also inform Sarah MacLeod – the project manager of Sherbrooke Lake’s water quality program at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – to inform her about what was seen and who was contacted.

For more information on blue-green algae please visit the Department's website at https://novascotia.ca/nse/environmental-health/blue-green-algae.asp. Its important for all of us to remember that we all play a role in protecting our waters, and that there is a direct link between further enrichment of the lake through the use of lawn fertilizers, malfunctioning septic systems, and direct grey water discharges from washing facilities and the growth of algae in the lake. With further development around the lake, property-owners, the municipalities, and visitors to the lake must all take ownership of the lake and take steps to prevent the lake from becoming nutrient enriched and degrading the water quality. 

To further help understand changes in water quality, the committee has also installed a weather station on the lake. This weather station, paid for by the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg and the Municipality of Chester, measures temperature, humidity, pressure, and rainfall at the lake. The Stewardship committee, and both municipalities welcome the public to access the weather station for weather information. To access the site, please go to myacurite.com and create an account, then under the ‘Settings/Share Weather’ section ‘Add’ an account to follow - Sherbrooke Lake Weather Station with device ID: 24:C8:6E:0B:49:C0. 

Sherbrooke Lake 2018 Info Sheet

Read the complete Sherbrooke Lake Water Quality Monitoring Report

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why was this program created?
This program was created to monitor any effects the development and use of the Public Access site would have on Sherbrooke Lake.

2. Who runs this program?
As jurisdiction of the lake is shared by both the Municipality of Chester (MOC) and the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg (MODL), both municipalities help direct and fund the program.

The program itself was created and is overseen by the Sherbrooke Lake Stewardship Committee. This committee is comprised of five citizen representatives of MOC and MODL, a water quality specialist, a representative from MOC, a representative from MODL, and technical support from a member of Coastal Action.

The hands-on work of the program is organized by a member of Coastal Action and implemented by a group of trained volunteers. The volunteers consist of property-owners around the lake, who have been trained in proper water sampling techniques.

3. What does this program test for?
The program is designed to monitor the health of the lake, in addition to monitoring key areas and times when water quality may be at risk – including after rainfall events and close to the Public Access site. The program runs from May to October and tests for both the physical and chemical qualities of the water.

At each site, volunteers use a multi-parameter instrument to measure temperature, dissolved oxygen, salinity, conductivity, pH (acidity), and total dissolved solids. Water samples are also collected at each site for lab testing.

Of the 11 sites included in the program, three lake sites are sampled monthly for total suspended solids (TSS), nutrients (phosphorus and nitrogen), fecal coliform, and chlorophyll A. One additional lake site – close to the Public Access’ planned swimming beach – is tested for fecal coliform monthly. Four primary inlet streams are tested for TSS, nutrients, fecal coliform, and chlorophyll A bimonthly, with seven inlet streams tested for the same parameters once per summer after >20 mm of rain. In addition, once during August, nutrient samples are collected from deeper waters at two lake sites, and sediment samples are collected at three lake sites and one stream site. 

4. Where are the results published?
The program’s results are published annually in two forms: a 2-page booklet and a full technical report. Both documents are available from the MOC and MODL’s websites, and on Coastal Action’s website.

5. What are the results used for?
The results from the program are used to inform evidence-based decisions by both municipalities. The program also helps inform citizens of the quality of their lake and what they can do to help reduce their own negative impacts on water quality.

6. How can I get involved?
Helping such an important program is always encouraged. The committee is always welcoming new volunteers to conduct the water sampling, and each year the committee seeks nominations for people to stand as committee members. If you’d like to participate, please contact either MOC or MODL’s representatives to discuss how you could help.