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Aug. 7, 2020 | Friday
Local News
Lake water high, but no immediate threat
High water at Nelson Park, near the NOTL sailing club. (Dariya Baiguzhiyeva/Niagara Now))

The water levels in Lake Ontario seem to be levelling off, a Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake official says.

“(The levels) are fluctuating an inch right now, up and down,” said Brett Ruck, the town’s manager of environmental services. “But we’re staying pretty status quo, I would say, on average right now.”

The exact height of the water is hard to pin down as different organizations report different levels. The town says the water level was at 75.80 on Monday. 

"We test in three different locations: behind the historic culvert (near River Beach Drive), at the end of our storm pipe by the historic culvert and the marina parking lot," explained Ruck in an email response to The Lake Report Tuesday.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates the level at 75.90 as of Tuesday, June 25, and it measures the water level in Lake Ontario by collecting data from six gauges located in Oswego, Rochester, Toronto, Kingston, Port Weller and Cobourg.

"These gauges are operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the U.S. and the Canadian Hydrographic Service in Canada," Keith Kompoltowicz, chief of watershed hydrology, said in an email to The Lake Report.

Ron Simkus, a NOTL resident and a retired engineer, said he uses the two closest stations – Port Weller and Rochester – for local measurement. On Wednesday, June 26, Simkus said the water was at 75.91 metres.

Earlier this spring, the water level in Lake Ontario passed the 2017 record of 75.75 metres.

The town took steps to protect residents from flooding by placing sandbags and flood protection bladders along the dock area as well as installing fencing along the bladders.

“Those bags, everything that’s out there right now, is protecting us from the high water,” Ruck told The Lake Report. “And we’re comfortable that everything is good so far.”