Canyon Lake and Lake Elsinore TMDL – Historical Background
In 1994, the Regional Board placed Lake Elsinore on the Clean Water Act Section 303(d) list of impaired waterbodies. This was due to the lake’s ongoing problem with hypereutrophication, or an excessive amount of nutrients, namely phosphorous and nitrogen, in the water. This in turn caused high algal productivity and fish kills. In 1998 and 2002, Lake Elsinore was listed for unknown toxicity, nutrients, organic enrichment/low dissolved oxygen and sedimentation/siltation.
Similar to Lake Elsinore, eutrophication has also caused water quality problems in Canyon Lake. The Regional Board placed Canyon Lake on the 303(d) list of impaired waters in 1998 and 2002 due to excessive nutrient levels (phosphorous and nitrogen) that has resulted in high algal productivity. The high amount of algae causes high turbidity in the lake, making Canyon Lake an uninviting murky green color at times. Canyon Lake serves as a domestic water supply to EMWD customers. The eutrophic conditions in Canyon Lake impact the MUN beneficial use.
An amendment to the Basin Plan to incorporate Lake Elsinore and Canyon Lake Nutrient Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) were approved by the Regional Board on December 20, 2004, by the State Water Resources Control Board on May 19, 2005, by the Office of Administrative Law on July 26, 2005 and by the US Environmental Protection Agency on September 30, 2005. The adopted TMDLs specified a set of implementation tasks, responsible parties, and compliance dates.
Move up to 2016. After ten years of research, monitoring and analysis the very active Canyon Lake/Lake Elsinore Task Force has begun the process to revise the TMDL. One of the key aspects of this revision is the review of the true history of these “lakes”. This presentation is focused on 200 years of lake history research. This data is important in order to provide a true baseline or natural condition of the lakes. A combination of historical references, descriptions and photos will be presented.
This presentation is tailored to present the historical reference on the lakes and to coincide with one other proposed CASQA presentation presenting the monitoring and lake analysis.