This recent satellite photo (click on the photo for a larger view) of North and East Ponds in central Maine shows how algal blooms impact water quality. The two lakes are similar in most respects but East Pond (right side) blooms yearly, threatening recreation and property values. This problem is believed to have come about due to increased phosphorus from storm water runoff into East Pond. Years of work by the lake association to stop overland storm water pollution have failed to correct the problem. Now, local conservation efforts have raised the $1,000,000 needed to treat the lake with aluminum phosphate in order to clear the water. The aluminum phosphate [alum] combines with the phosphorus and sinks to the bottom of the pond and keeps it there. This stops the recycling but does not remove it.
Watchic Lake is similar to East Pond; its spring fed, shallow, and without enough flow to wash phosphorus out. Algal blooms are a real risk to Watchic Lake, and are a situation none of us want to face. Stopping storm water pollution before it gets into the lake is the best way to preserve water quality, avoid algal blooms, and protect the way of life we all enjoy on Watchic Lake.
The LakeSmart program is a great way for property owners to learn how best to manage their properties to avoid storm water runoff . Click here for more information on LakeSmart. Feel free to Contact Us as well to learn more.
Algal Blooms Happen All Over – With Serious Impact
In Florida, an unusually large algae bloom has filled Lake Okeechobee with with a pea soup-like mixture that has built up because of rain, hot weather and a heavy concentration of phosphorus and nitrogen from fertilizer. The bloom has covered about 90 percent of the lake. Lake users have been warned that if people come in contact with the algae, they should wash it off to avoid irritation to their skin. The algae in Lake Okeechobee, while it has no effect on fish, can be toxic if consumed, he said. It can also be fatal for dogs that swim in or drink the scum, the foamlike substance that forms near the surface, he said. More can found in the New York Times Algae Bloom in Florida Prompts Fears About Harm to Health and Economy.