Local councils are getting a sober report on area water quality.

The Muskoka Lakes Association (MLA) plans to visit area councils they haven’t been to already to talk about their latest 2014 MLA Water Quality Initiative Report.

One area of concern is in Minett where e-coli levels have been found to be high. The MLA is working to find the source of the e-coli at this time – the main problem area identified there is referred to as Wallace Bay on Lake Rosseau.

MLA General Manager Lisa Noonan says the MLA doesn’t want to start panicking people, making them afraid to go into the water. Overall, she says there are 14 yellow light areas in the MLA’s catchement area –places which are posing some concern – the Minett spot is a red light area.

Noonan says e-coli is found in lakes for a variety of reasons, including natural ones like animals and human caused ones, namely faulty septic systems. Noonan says the MLA is the only body actively investigating e-coli amounts in area waters at this time. E-coli results are a snapshot in time, she points out – appearing high at times and not as high at others. Overall, water quality in Muskoka is great, she says. Noonan will be presenting to Bracebridge, Muskoka Lakes, Gravenhurst and Seguin councils in the future. She says the MLA will have asks for each municipality they speak to, including suggestions like regular septic system inspections on lake properties. To read the full report visit www.mla.on.ca (Photo: MLA water quality tester Gary Getson hard at work collecting samples)