1. Whole-lake experiments were conducted in two hardwater lakes (Half-moon and Figure Eight) in Alberta, Canada, to investigate the effectiveness of repeated lime (slaked lime: Ca(OH)(2) and/or calcite: CaCO3) treatments (5-78 mg L-1) for up to 7 years.2. Randomized intervention analysis of intersystem differences between the experimental and three reference lakes demonstrated a decline in euphotic total phosphorus and chlorophyll a concentrations in the experimental lakes after repeated lime treatments.3. After the second lime application to Halfmoon Lake, mean winter total phosphorus release rates (TPRR) decreased to <1 Mg m(-2) day(-1) compared with 3.6 mg m(-2) day(-1) during the winter after initial treatment. In the final year of lime application, mean summer TPRR decreased to 4.5 mg m(-2) day(-1) compared with 7.6 mg m(-2) day(-1) in the pretreatment year.4. Mean macrophyte biomass declined and species composition was altered at 1 and 2 m depths in Figure Eight Lake during lime application. Over the first 6 years of treatment, macrophyte biomass at 2 m declined by 95% compared with concentrations recorded during the initial treatment year. In the last year of the study, macrophyte biomass at 2 m reached initial treatment concentrations, which coincided with the greatest water transparency. Over the treatment period, macrophyte species shifted from floating to rooted plants.5. Multiple lime applications can improve water quality in eutrophic hardwater lakes for periods of up to 7 years.