UNDERSTANDING WATER QUALITY AND THE PRESENCE OF MICROCYSTIN-LR IN A SMALL DRINKING WATER SUPPLY
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Over the past 15-20 years, changes in water quality have been observed in the northern hemisphere. These changes could be attributed to climate change and/or recovery from acidification due to reduced atmospheric deposition. For this reason, water quality was evaluated on going sample collection from 2014 to 2017 within the drinking water source Lake Fletcher in Wellington, Nova Scotia. The algal toxin microcystin-LR was detected within Lake Fletcher in both 2016 and 2017. Accordingly, the objective of this thesis was to understand this occurrence of microcystin-LR in the system through the analysis of general water chemistry (e.g. pH, dissolved oxygen, alkalinity, turbidity, true colour and dissolved and total organic carbon) and microbial indicators (e.g. biomass adenosine triphosphate and chlorophyll a). Furthermore, passive sampling was explored as an alternative microcystin-LR monitoring tool within Lake Fletcher, and it was found to be a successful and suitable monitoring tool for microcystin-LR analysis.