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Amber Moss

MSc Integrated Environmental Studies, University of Southampton, 2004

Nutrient Enrichment, Algal Blooms and the Recreational Potential of Poole Park Lake


Eutrophication poses a great threat to the recreational potential of lakes due to the health effects associated with toxic algal blooms.  Increased nutrient loading can stimulate algal growth.  Although there are established management practices in place for eutrophicated shallow lakes; there is a distinct lack of guidance for unusual water bodies, such as coastal lagoons and saline lakes, which are suffering the effects of eutrophication. 

Poole Park Lake is a saline lake that is experiencing elevated nutrient levels and consequently increased algal growth.  To control the algal blooms, the lake is flushed fortnightly during the summer months with seawater from Poole Harbour, putting the lake out of action for several days.  The problems associated with eutrophication are threatening the recreational potential of the Lake. 

The objectives of this project were to determine the water quality of Poole Park Lake, advise on whether the levels of nutrients and presence of algae is harmful to human health and recommend measures to control the algal blooms, thus reducing the need for flushing.

Water quality analysis established that there were high nutrient concentrations in the lake, although no algal blooms were experienced during the sample period.  Sources of nutrients were identified.  One issue of concern is the potential threat to human health due to poor microbial water quality.  Recommendations concerning reducing nutrient loading and controlling algal blooms are made.

Download paper (PDF 1.5MB)

Appendix B - water sample results (excel file)

Appendix E - lake flushing schedule (excel file)

Contact the author: mossamber@hotmail.com

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