Lake Update : May 20, 2017

Contributed by Matt Verdirame and John Tucci

Lake Update as of May 20, 2017


I know we are all on pins and needles at this point with regard to the lake and rightfully so.

Below is an analysis from our last algae sampling in the lake.  In summary it shows that in the deep end of the lake and in the middle of the lake on May 9 (this was right before our second treatment) there was almost no living blue-green algae in the water column.

In the Upper end of the lake the ratio was 50-50 diatoms to Blue-Green Algae.

In the prior sample before the first treatment there was 27% Blue Green Algae in the Deep/Middle Sections.

I think this is an excellent indication that our strategy can and does have a big impact.  The key is getting the frequency and the overall program dialed in.

Here is our Immediate Plan

  1. The Lake Saver team will come down Friday and treat the coves with the PureO2 product to see what impact that product can have on the surface scums.
  2. John Tucci will come Sunday and start the Brewing process.  He will be bringing his Big Boat from Michigan.  This will allow LS to load 250 gallons on the boat at a time for treatment.  This will increase the daily treatment amount significantly by shortening the amount of time it takes to deliver the product to the lake.  This boat will also allow LS to treat every cove heavily by boat in less time.
  3. LS will treat Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for full days.  We will make the call on Copper Treatment by end of day Tuesday.  We will do this together and in agreement.
  4. If no Copper is needed, we will most likely treat again Thursday for 2/3rds of a day.

With this strategy, we will more than double our product treatment from the past two treatments.  We will also be adding up to 150 lbs of Pure O2 product on Friday to the coves.

In fact, I expect that we will be able to treat the lake with close to 20,000 gallons of product.

Beyond Next Week

While we are confident that the Bacteria works and is the BEST possible strategy for both increasing Lake Health and controlling algae, we still do not know how long the benefits last between treatments.

We were fully expecting that treating every two weeks would be extremely high frequency.  We still think this should be the case once we get the lake more “shifted” from a nutrient stand-point.  This double treatment is designed to try and push us over the edge.

However, it is possible that the lake may need something done on a weekly basis until we move the needle out of the danger zone.

The testing on the PureO2 product this week may be helpful in seeing if that is an option for the “off-weeks” for any films/scums that appear in the coves.

Another option would be to schedule copper treatment in the off-weeks.  This is something that we want to discuss and make a decision on based on what we see happening next week.

Lake Savers is asking Lake Heritage to stick with the Biology Strategy for another 4 treatments beyond next week.  I believe that we really need to give this a full trial.

There is just no way that a “copper only” strategy will deliver a more lasting result on the algae and it will set back everything else we are trying to achieve to get the lake healthy again.

In conjunction with this we have had input from other sources regarding how we can get phosphorus out of the lake.  Essentially we need to get the proper types of aquatic plantings into the lake and into the runs to the lake.  Then at the end of the growing season, after these plants have taken up phosphorus we then must harvest these plants and compost them away from the lake.

Recommended plants are cattails and pickerel weed to be planted in pots in the lake or in stream runs leading into the lake.  In addition we will be putting water hyacinths and water lettuce into floating islands around the lake.  These will also be harvested and composted.

On June 5 and 7 students from Wilson College will be visiting the lake to survey the lake and take samples, then they will recommend possibly other remediation to our situation.