With water quality sampling season nearly over, Island Health has placed Stowel Lake in its “red” category for quality issues — meaning swimming is not recommended.
A bacteriological sample taken Aug. 16 showed an abnormally high number of E. coli bacteria present in the water, 495 per 100 ML; the last sample taken one month earlier was 15.
The “red” warning is triggered when results exceed 400 per 100 mL, or when the most recent five samples show greater than 200. Island Health notes there is significant risk for illness when bacteria levels are this high.
Samples are generally taken starting in May and continuing through late summer, when it is most likely swimmers and other lake users would encounter bacteria that flourish in warmer months.
Stowe L., not Stowel Lake. Not enough room on an old map to write “Lake” in full. Stowe Lake is shown in the field notes by Ashdown Henry Green for the original survey near Stowe’s house and Stowe’s garden.