Officials are increasing outflows from Buffalo Pound Lake as water quality issues continue to plague the treatment plant that serves Regina and Moose Jaw.

Saskatchewan’s Water Security Agency says it’s conducting a controlled release from Lake Diefenbaker to replace a small portion of water in Buffalo Pound Lake.

The Buffalo Pound Water Treatment Plant requested the measure because high levels of algae and oxygen have slowed the filtration process. The plant is only producing about half as much clean water as usual.

Over the next four days, outflow from Buffalo Pound Lake to the Qu’Appelle River will be increased by 10 cubic metres per second to 11.2 cubic metres per second. The water level on the lake is expected to drop by roughly 10 centimetres.

The outflow will then be reduced to the previous flow of 1.2 cubic metres per second and the lake level will be increased by 15 centimetres over seven days as water from Lake Diefenbaker enters Buffalo Pound. However, the increased flows are expected to remain well within the channel.

The agency says the release won’t increase water levels on Last Mountain Lake and the Qu’Appelle Lakes, but will slow the recession as they return to normal operating levels.

Earlier this week, people in Regina and Moose Jaw were asked to reduce their water use by 25 per cent.