Clear water Lake
Most surface waters such as lakes and rivers will have distinct characteristics depending on the source of water that feeds them. The watershed or drainage basin surrounding the lake can have a very profound impact on the water quality of the lake.
Lakes that are spring fed such as Skeleton Lake have exceptionally high water quality while lakes that are fed by a watershed that is overpopulated by beavers will have water that is of poor quality. Overall the lakes in the Parry Sound / Muskoka area have exceptionally good water quality. When analyzed for heavy metals from aluminum to zinc, physical factors, volatile organics, herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides you will find that save and excepting a little turbidity, colour and bacteria the overall water quality is better then most bottled water.
The system you choose to purify your lake water is dependant on the characteristics of your untreated lake water. Keep in mind that the characteristics of your lake will change throughout the season. In winter when ice covers your lake oxygen levels can drop to zero if there is no incoming source, such as a river with rapids or waterfalls to airate the water. Without oxygen your lake will go into an anaerobic condition. Metals such as iron and manganese will become soluble, while sulphates will give up their oxygen and the water will have the stench of rotten eggs. These problems usually only occur on small swampy lakes. The best way to improve your lake water quality on small lakes is to install a dock deicer that will aerate the water over the winter. This will reverse the eutrophication or dying of your lake. Many lakes have been restored to vibrant health by aeration.
I often hear " You could drink right out of the lake before all these cottages and septic systems were here". Not true lakes have always been subject to bacterial contamination. There are a lot of animals pooping our there and they don't have septic systems. Their feces get washed into the lake during a rain storm or spring runoff or as in the case of rats like the beaver and muskrat they just poop as they swim along over top of your water line intake.
Don't be a fool and drink untreated surface water. Eventually you'll pay the price. You may not die. You might only be sick for a long, long time.
What type of lake do I have? Clear or Tea?
This is simple. Take a clean white 5 gallon pail and fill it with your raw lake water with no filtration. If you have a tea lake the water in the pail will have a distinct yellow, greenish/ yellow, or brown tint to it. This would be a tea lake. If the water is very clear, almost refracting a blue tint, then you have a clear lake. Compare your lake water to the pictures below.