North Dyke PRA on Gleniffer Reservoir/Lake

Spruce View, Alberta

The Gleniffer Reservoir was created by the Dickson Dam for hydroelectric power generation purposes. It provides the drinking water to Red Deer and serves to moderate flow of the Red Deer River downstream. The North Dyke Provincial Recreation Area has camping, a beach, and a boat launch nearby. Gleniffer Reservoir/Lake is popular for water-based recreational activities with usually clear summer waters and more turbidity during the spring run-off. The beach experience can vary because of changes to water levels in the reservoir over the bathing season.

History

Gleniffer Lake is named after the tiny post office that was located near the present dam site. Dickson Dam takes its name from the nearby hamlet of Dickson, which was named after Mr. Benedickson, a settler who arrived from Norway near the turn of the century (Holmgren and Holmgren, 1976).

The need for a reservoir on the Red Deer River became apparent in the late 1950s with the expansion of communities along the Red Deer River in central Alberta. This expansion led to increased water demand and a need for flow stability. In winter, dissolved oxygen concentrations in the river from Red Deer to the Saskatchewan border dropped well below levels that could support fish (Beak Consult. Ltd. 1977). Alberta Environment initiated technical studies in 1971, and after seven years of engineering and environmental studies and a series of public hearings, a decision was made to build Dickson Dam. Construction began in 1980 and the reservoir started to fill in the summer of 1983.

COVID-19

Keep your distance from other people.

Practicing social distancing is essential right now. Follow the advice of the health experts. If your community has asked that you remain indoors and away from others, do so. Heading to the beach should only be considered an option if social distancing practices can be followed. Spending a day in any crowded place is the worst thing we can do for our most vulnerable right now and will counter the efforts to curb the virus’ spread.

For more information, please visit the World Health Organization public resource on COVID-19.

Water Quality
  • No data available

  • Special Status
  • This means the affiliate organization managing a beach has set the beach status based on special local knowledge or information. Check the beach description and the Sources section for details.
For water quality icon legend, click:  
Current Weather
14°C
Cloudy
Monitoring Frequency

North Dyke PRA on Gleniffer Reservoir/Lake is not sampled

Source Information

Alberta Health Services (AHS) monitors freshwater beaches across the province of Alberta. Water samples at this beach are collected by AHS staff and processed by Alberta Public Laboratories.

Beaches are sampled on varying frequencies for Enterococcus and for cyanobacteria and microcystins (blue-green algae) during the summer months.

Water quality is monitored in accordance with the proposed Alberta Safe Beach Protocol, using the Environmental Protection Agency’s Recreational Water Quality Criteria.

Enterococcus is measured using the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) based molecular method of testing recreational water. High Enterococcus levels can indicate fecal contamination which poses human health risks. Guidelines recommend that a water quality advisory be posted when the tests demonstrate calibrator cell equivalents (cce) surpassing 1,280/100ml.

When a Water Quality Advisory is issued, a notice is erected at the beach indicating that the location is unfit for swimming or bathing. In addition, a Water Quality Advisory is issued through the AHS website, local media.
An advisory is rescinded once water quality meets the above standards.

In addition to Enterococcus, AHS monitors blue-green algae throughout the swimming season. Algal blooms are monitored through visual observation and through testing for cyanobacteria and microcystins (toxins produced by blue-green algae).

AHS issues a Blue-Green Algae Advisory when a bloom is identified. Advisories are posted online to https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/news/bga.aspx, circulated by local media. Appropriate signage is posted around the water body (public beaches, access points, campgrounds, etc). These advisories remain in place for the duration that the health risk persists.

Swim Guide posts all advisories (enterococcus and blue green algae) that are announced. However Swim Guide is not able to share monitoring data for Alberta beaches on an ongoing basis as AHS does not share water quality test results with the public. Therefore, the swim icon will appear grey for monitored beaches due to a lack of public access to AHS recreational water quality data. Advisories will appear on the beach page as a special status red, with an ad.

Water Quality Graph

North Dyke PRA on Gleniffer Reservoir/Lake

Spruce View, Alberta

COVID-19

Keep your distance from other people.

Practicing social distancing is essential right now. Follow the advice of the health experts. If your community has asked that you remain indoors and away from others, do so. Heading to the beach should only be considered an option if social distancing practices can be followed. Spending a day in any crowded place is the worst thing we can do for our most vulnerable right now and will counter the efforts to curb the virus’ spread.

For more information, please visit the World Health Organization public resource on COVID-19.

Water Quality
  • No data available
  • Special Status
  • This means the affiliate organization managing a beach has set the beach status based on special local knowledge or information. Check the beach description and the Sources section for details.
For water quality icon legend, click:  
Current Weather
14°C
Cloudy

The Gleniffer Reservoir was created by the Dickson Dam for hydroelectric power generation purposes. It provides the drinking water to Red Deer and serves to moderate flow of the Red Deer River downstream. The North Dyke Provincial Recreation Area has camping, a beach, and a boat launch nearby. Gleniffer Reservoir/Lake is popular for water-based recreational activities with usually clear summer waters and more turbidity during the spring run-off. The beach experience can vary because of changes to water levels in the reservoir over the bathing season.

History

Gleniffer Lake is named after the tiny post office that was located near the present dam site. Dickson Dam takes its name from the nearby hamlet of Dickson, which was named after Mr. Benedickson, a settler who arrived from Norway near the turn of the century (Holmgren and Holmgren, 1976).

The need for a reservoir on the Red Deer River became apparent in the late 1950s with the expansion of communities along the Red Deer River in central Alberta. This expansion led to increased water demand and a need for flow stability. In winter, dissolved oxygen concentrations in the river from Red Deer to the Saskatchewan border dropped well below levels that could support fish (Beak Consult. Ltd. 1977). Alberta Environment initiated technical studies in 1971, and after seven years of engineering and environmental studies and a series of public hearings, a decision was made to build Dickson Dam. Construction began in 1980 and the reservoir started to fill in the summer of 1983.

Monitoring Frequency

North Dyke PRA on Gleniffer Reservoir/Lake is not sampled

Source Information

Alberta Health Services (AHS) monitors freshwater beaches across the province of Alberta. Water samples at this beach are collected by AHS staff and processed by Alberta Public Laboratories.

Beaches are sampled on varying frequencies for Enterococcus and for cyanobacteria and microcystins (blue-green algae) during the summer months.

Water quality is monitored in accordance with the proposed Alberta Safe Beach Protocol, using the Environmental Protection Agency’s Recreational Water Quality Criteria.

Enterococcus is measured using the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) based molecular method of testing recreational water. High Enterococcus levels can indicate fecal contamination which poses human health risks. Guidelines recommend that a water quality advisory be posted when the tests demonstrate calibrator cell equivalents (cce) surpassing 1,280/100ml.

When a Water Quality Advisory is issued, a notice is erected at the beach indicating that the location is unfit for swimming or bathing. In addition, a Water Quality Advisory is issued through the AHS website, local media.
An advisory is rescinded once water quality meets the above standards.

In addition to Enterococcus, AHS monitors blue-green algae throughout the swimming season. Algal blooms are monitored through visual observation and through testing for cyanobacteria and microcystins (toxins produced by blue-green algae).

AHS issues a Blue-Green Algae Advisory when a bloom is identified. Advisories are posted online to https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/news/bga.aspx, circulated by local media. Appropriate signage is posted around the water body (public beaches, access points, campgrounds, etc). These advisories remain in place for the duration that the health risk persists.

Swim Guide posts all advisories (enterococcus and blue green algae) that are announced. However Swim Guide is not able to share monitoring data for Alberta beaches on an ongoing basis as AHS does not share water quality test results with the public. Therefore, the swim icon will appear grey for monitored beaches due to a lack of public access to AHS recreational water quality data. Advisories will appear on the beach page as a special status red, with an ad.

Water Quality Graph

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