Environmental News

The State of the Lake

A Message from all of the Council for Seba Beach

For each of the last 3 years, Wabamun Lake has experienced Cyanobacteria (Blue-Green Algae) blooms. We know that these events reduce our already too-short use of the lake in the summer months. They are also deadly to pets and children, reduce our property values and result in fish kills. It is also known that algae blooms are directly tied to increased nutrient loading from many sources.

Your Summer Village council is committed to reducing the nutrient load on the lake from sources within our control. We should all be very proud that the SVs of Betula Beach, Lakeview, and Seba Beach was the first on the lake to enact fertilizer/herbicide bans to reduce runoff from lawns. If you haven't already, we ask that for the health of the lake, you stop the use of cosmetic fertilizers within the Village boundaries.

 Another point source of nutrient loading is improperly handled sewage, both blackwater, and greywater. At a recent "Septic Sense" workshop put on by the Alberta Onsite Wastewater Management Association (AOWMA), it was made clear that all septic handling methods require regular maintenance and inspection to ensure they are not leaking effluent into the water table. It should also be noted that under current guidelines for new construction, only watertight holding tanks are permitted for Lake Lot properties! "

To help you assess how your wastewater management practices may be impacting the health of the lake, Seba Beach in conjunction with AOWMA will be hosting an online information session later this summer. Council sees this as the first step in a move to educate and improve wastewater disposal in the Summer Village. Everyone is encouraged to attend the seminar to better understand how we can all reduce our impact on the lake we enjoy so much. For more information on wastewater management and the fine work of the Alberta Onsite Wastewater Management Association, you can visit their website at aowma.com.

On Wednesday, July 20th, at 6:30 PM, the Summer Village of Seba Beach will be hosting an online, Septic Sense Workshop for anyone interested in helping to preserve the water quality in our lakes. The workshop will be presented by the Alberta Onsite Wastewater Management Association, (AOWMA) and will focus on the proper handling of sewage adjacent to water bodies.

Cyanobacteria, (Blue-Green Algae) blooms result from increased nutrient loading on our relatively stagnant prairie lakes. One major source of nutrients is improperly managed sewage leaking into the water table, or directly into lakes and streams. To better understand how to assess the effectiveness of your system and what to do about ensuring that it is not contributing to the problem, we encourage you to attend this free meeting. Whether your system is lakefront or anywhere in the watershed, this seminar will be of value to you as we will be addressing proper maintenance of all septic systems.

Registration for the workshop can be made by emailing the Administration Office at Svseba@telusplanet.net or calling 780.797.3863A free information package and guide to the presentation will also be available at the Seba Village office. Please feel free to contact us for any additional information.


Property development is increasing on Alberta’s lakeshores. Shoreland development can have cumulative, detrimental effects on lakes and lakeshore areas. Concerns include:

  • water quality changes
  • erosion of banks and shores
  • user conflicts
  • increased boating
  • loss of habitat and natural shorelines

Development Approval
Landowners must obtain authorization before modifying shorelands. This ensures that:

  • all aquatic and water resource management issues are reflected in the approval
  • any unanticipated issues are addressed before construction
  • construction does not occur during sensitive times when fish spawn or birds nest

Learn more here: Shoreline Modification Process

WWMC Ice Heave Information

WWMC Ice Heave Information.pdf • 743 KB

Lake Shoreline Stabilization Techniques

Lake Shoreline Stabilization Techniques.pdf • 1.6 MB

Himalayan Balsam
Himalayan Balsam is an invasive species of plant, common in riparian areas in Alberta. Click the link below for more information!

Himalayan Balsam.pdf • 665.1 KB

Blue Green Algae - Health Information

Residents living near the shores of Wabamun Lake, as well as visitors to this lake, are advised to take the following precautions during blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) blooms:

  • Avoid all contact with blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) blooms. If contact occurs, wash with tap water as soon as possible.
  • Do not swim or wade (or allow your pets to swim or wade) in any areas where blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) is visible.
  • Do not feed whole fish or fish trimmings from this lake to your pets.
  • Consider limiting human consumption of whole fish and fish trimmings from this lake, as it is known that fish may store toxins in their liver. (People can safely consume fish fillets from this lake).

As always, visitors and residents are reminded to never drink or cook with untreated water directly from any recreational body of water, including Wabamun Lake, at any time. Boiling this water will not remove the toxins produced by blue-green algae. An alternate source of drinking water should also be provided for pets and livestock while this advisory is active.

Blue-green algae are naturally occurring and often becomes visible when weather conditions are calm. Appearing like scum, grass clippings, fuzz or globs on the surface of water, blue-green algae can be blue-green, greenish-brown, brown, and/or pinkish-red, and often smells musty or grassy.

People who come in contact with visible blue-green algae or who ingest water containing blue-green algae may experience skin irritation, rash, sore throat, sore red eyes, swollen lips, fever, nausea and vomiting and/or diarrhea. Symptoms usually appear within one to three hours and resolve in one to two days. Symptoms in children are often more pronounced; however, all humans are at risk of these symptoms. 

Weather and wind conditions can cause algae blooms to move from one location in the lake to another. Due to this, the advisory will remain in effect for Wabamun Lake until further notice.  

Please note that areas of Wabamun Lake in which the blue-green algae bloom is NOT visible can still be used for recreational purposes, even while this blue-green algae Health Advisory is in place.

If you suspect a problem related to blue-green algae, or if you require further information on health concerns and blue-green algae, please call Health Link at 811. Additional information is also available online, at ahs.ca/bga.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

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