What’s in Your Water?
The Loon Lake Water Quality Standing Committee held its first meeting on July 18th. The committee is comprised of six members representative of the Loon Lake Association, The Loon Lake Watershed Improvement Alliance, and two interested lake residents. The goal of the committee is to define strategies to improve water quality in the lake, and thereby influence the conditions for blue green algal blooms.
The committee is focusing on two new strategies as well as the refinement of existing strategies to build healthful lake conditions. For each new project, we would partner with area universities to collect and use significant scientific data.
Submerged Aeration/Oxygenation Pilot Project (Loon Lake/SUNY Programs at Geneseo & Brockport)
A pilot program to slow algae development and remove loose sediment in or near the shoreline is under consideration. One or two demonstration areas, as well as a control area, would be determined by biologists. Aeration systems would be installed at or near the shoreline by a chosen company. Pre and post testing would be conducted by supervised university students in order to determine the success at demonstration sites. Future expansion would depend on results and funding options.
Testing for Internal Loading of Phosphorus
NYS is conducting a study on strategies to slow blue green algae formation in freshwater lakes. One of the research areas is using an alum-type treatment in the deepest water to hinder the rising of accumulated phosphorus-stores that fuel blue green algal blooms. This seems to be promising research. Getting our data in order may be useful for future planning as well as for grant funding that could be available.
A big thanks to the Loon Lake Watershed Alliance and the Loon Lake Association for donating funds to help us get this project off the ground. We are also most grateful to Dr. Sid Bosch, Professor of Biology at SUNY Geneseo and Michael Chislock, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at SUNY Brockport for guiding us through the initial stages of this project. So much more to do. Stay tuned.
Loon Lake Water Quality Joint Standing Committee
Committee Update August 7, 2020
Committee Members: Joe Carlson, Alice Publow, Paula Thoma, Joe Harrington, Doris Gross, Maureen Morsch, Bernie Thoma (Facilitator/Grants)
Loon Lake Association and Loon Lake Watershed Improvement Alliance have approved matching funds of $5,000 each for the water quality project. We now have a total budget of $10,000.
Alice Publow has been in touch with the science team.
- Monday, Dr. Michael Chislock (SUNY Brockport) will tour the lake with the doctoral student working on the aeration project.
- Week of 16th, Dr. Sid Bosch (SUNY Geneseo) and Dr. Michael Chislock (SUNY Brockport) will be on site to collect data for the deep lake phosphorus testing (internal loading). Data will be on file for future considerations of deep lake treatments/filtering strategies for algal blooms (HAB’s).
- Paula Thoma consulted with Stephanie June (DEC/CSLAP). She confirmed that although our lake is in the Mesotrophic category (average concerning overall lake health), indicators show that we are experiencing increased BG algae and related toxins in the water column, particularly in late summer and early fall months. She also reviewed the water samples from CSLAP and from Alice Publow (dissolved oxygen). Combined data indicates there is internal loading of phosphorus in the deep waters that contributes to algal blooms (HAB’s), especially in the fall when the water mixes. The state HAB study will be informative for lakes throughout NYS. Although not widely permitted, alum is being discussed in many studies as one remedy for However, the more environmentally sound technique is Phoslock or bentonite clay. This application can be applied in NYS by permit. Google Peach Lake.
Other techniques such as bio mats, biochar and floating plant-like filters are being used for nutrient inflow. Watershed efforts to limit nutrients flowing into the lake (including septic), must be always considered before any whole lake treatment like Phoslock. Aeration/oxygenation is always good to improve the existing conditions.
- Paula and Bernie Thoma were visiting downstate and connected with the lake manager on Wolf Lake. Although the lake is twice the size of our lake, it has many cove areas similar to our coves. They have two solar-powered aeration units installed by Solitude in two different coves. Units have required little maintenance (filter changes) over a 2-3 year period. No significant algal blooms have presented in or near those areas. Noise and size were similar to an air conditioner. They are discussing mobile stations to be moved to alternate locations every two years. They are also looking into harvesting for their weeds. See photos below.
- Joe Carlson is continuing to research various companies in relation to aeration equipment and future proposals.
Wolf Lake Solar-Powered Units (L)battery back-up (R) No battery back-up