Water Quality Update for Friday, July 9 2021

  • Water Quality Update for July 7 2021
  • Be Flare Aware: Converting to LED Flares for our Ring of Fire Celebrations   
  • About HABs: photos, resources, and further reading

Water Quality Update for 7/9/2021

Cooler temperatures and a few rain events this week have kept water conditions quite nice. There have been no blooms observed by volunteers or watershed staff in our routine surveys this week. 

We received results from last week’s isolated blooms. As you may recall from last Friday’s update, volunteers observed blooms on Tuesday 6/29, and Thursday  7/1. Two samples were collected from the bloom on 7/1; one representing a typical bloom condition, and one from a “worst case” scenario, showing the heaviest concentrations of cyanobacteria. 

Samples were brought to our research partners at the Finger Lakes Institute in Geneva, and analysis was performed in their lab using a fluoroprobe- an instrument that measures chlorophyll with algal class determination. Profiles for Green Chlorophyll, Cyano Chlorophyll,  Diatom Chlorophyll, Cryptophyte Chlorophyll, and Total Chlorophyll are part of this analysis, and the occurrence of and measurements for each are used to deem an active bloom. In New York State, a bloom is defined as having a cyano chlorophyll concentration of greater than 25 μg/L (micrograms per liter). 

Results from the three blooms reported last week are shared below.  



As you can see, the two samples collected were above the bloom threshold. Within the day, blooms had dissipated, which reiterates the fact that water conditions can change very frequently. 

Secchi Disk reports from this week show the average weekly clarity has held in the 6.6 – 6.8 meter range for the last two weeks. After a nearly 10-degree average surface water temperature spike at the end of May / early June, our current average water temperature has been holding in the 60-70 degree range for the last several weeks. 

Volunteers and watershed staff will be continuing our monitoring throughout the summer and will share notifications of condition changes. 

Enjoy the weekend! 

Be Flare Aware: Converting to LED Flares for our Ring of Fire Celebrations   

You may have seen the new LED Flares available at Wegmans these last few weeks . CLWA hopes that if you normally purchase road flares for the Ring-of-Fire celebration over Labor Day weekend, that you instead consider buying LED Flares. They are a much safer alternative (for humans and the watershed) without compromising the fun!  

Please read more about LED Flares and how Wegmans in Canandaigua is donating $1/flare sold to CLWA!


LED Flares: A Lake Friendly Alternative for Ring of Fire

Every summer, incendiary highway flares create the beautiful red glow we know and love during the Ring of Fire. While creating an exciting fizz and bright light, they also leave behind potassium perchlorate burn-off, which contaminates the air, soil, and lake, in addition to leaving behind metal spikes that can pollute the lake.

Consider a new lake-friendly tradition this summer: LED flares. 

CLWA, with the wonderful assistance of CLWA members Greg Talomie and Charlie Constantino, has found an environmentally sensitive alternative without compromising tradition: we invite all Canandaigua lake-side residents to join with the numerous area lakes that have taken a pledge this year to convert to LED flares, cutting down on the use of approximately 77,000 incendiary flares. 

In 2017, CLWA stopped selling incendiary flares as a fundraiser to align with our mission to protect the lake’s water quality and shores from environmental hazards. Today, CLWA’s efforts have gone a step further with a special collaboration courtesy of Wegmans grocery stores. 

Purchase your LED flares from Wegmans in Canandaigua.

Wegmans in Canandaigua, and in eight other Finger Lakes locations, will no longer sell incendiary flares. The grocery store now will carry a Wegmans branded LED flare that is re-useable, shines long into the night, has a flicker mode, and can be seen one mile across the lake–all without leaving a chemical residue. These units resemble traditional flares and average approximately 90 to 100 hours of run time on regular or re-chargeable +AAA batteries. Although more expensive than the chemical flares, LED flares can save money over time because they are re-useable from year to year and can be used in a vehicle or boat.

Wegmans also is donating to the Canandaigua Lake Watershed Association $2.00 for every two-pack sold and $6.00 for every six-pack sold at its Canandaigua store through the end of September.

One more thing: Please recycle your batteries. Recycling batteries keeps dangerous materials out of landfills. Batteries contain heavy metals such as mercury, lead, cadmium, and nickel. If released, these metals may be harmful to humans and the environment. Check with your town or trash hauler to find out if they can separate batteries that you divert from your trash. Or, consider using re-chargable batteries.

CLWA encourages the conversion from using incendiary flares to LEDs!