The water quality of our lake is paramount to safe recreational activities, a healthy ecosystem, and a beautiful lake! There are some things we can all do to help improve water quality, and the association spends significant time and effort to help the effort along.
Below you'll find some prominent issues facing water quality, tips, and what we are doing.
Erosion causes the displacement of soil and sediment, which can result in the accumulation of silt, sand, and other particles in the lakebed. Excessive sedimentation can lead to shallowing of the lake and a reduction in clarity and quality of the water. The sediment may carry nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorous, which can trigger eutrophication in a lake, further reducing water quality
Tips for Controlling Erosion
Plant native grasses, shrubs, and trees along slopes and shorelines to stabilize the soil and reduce erosion. Their root systems help hold the soil in place.
Use erosion control blankets, terraces, retaining walls, or rock riprap to prevent soil erosion and minimize runoff.
Divert water from downspouts and roof gutters away from slopes to prevent concentrated runoff and erosion.
Apply mulch to bare soil areas to protect against erosion caused by wind and rain.
What projects are we working on?
Eutrophication of a lake happens when there is an excessive amount of nutrients in the lake, an 'overloading'. This can result in a degradation of water quality and Harmful Algae Blooms, that could produce toxins harmful to fish, plants, and other organisms. The limiting nutrients that cause eutrophication are often nitrogen and phosphorous, which are the primary nutrients in fertilizers.
Over time, we've relied very heavily on fertlizers in order to keep up with the growing demand! But plants can only take up so much fertilizer, and much of it ends up in run-off in waterways.
Tips for Controlling Fertilizer Run-Off
Conduct a soil test to determine its nutrient levels before applying fertilizers. This will help you understand the specific needs of your lawn or garden.
Choose slow-release or organic fertilizers that release nutrients gradually, providing a steady supply to plants.
Follow the recommended application rates and timing provided on the fertilizer packaging. Over-application can lead to nutrient runoff and harm water bodies.
Maintain a buffer zone between fertilized areas and water bodies to minimize the risk of fertilizer runoff. Leave a strip of natural vegetation along shorelines to act as a filter and reduce the flow of nutrients into the water.
Minnesota has recently implemented the 'Minnesota Buffer Law', which requires that there be 50+ ft. of vegetative buffer along lakes, rivers, and streams as of November 1, 2017. More about the Buffer Law, how you can implement one, and their many benefits can be found on MN DNR's website.