With summertime heavy rains and downpours abundant, this is a good time to think about a storm water pollution prevention plan for erosion and sediment control. Our fragile lakeshore properties demand utmost care in managing storm water runoff to avoid harming the lake. Impervious structures such as pavement on driveways, buildings and roofs increase the velocity and energy of storm water. Direct runoff can introduce both nutrients and pathogens to water bodies. One potential effect of this can be an increase in plant and algae growth offshore from a camp. Waterfront property values drop dramatically with increased weed and algae presence.
Some things you can do to help:
- Maintain native vegetative buffers along the lakefront and tributaries. APA regulations prohibit removal of more than 30% of shorefront vegetation within six feet of the water and 30% of trees within 35 feet of the water.
- Avoid the use of fertilizers. If you have to use lawn products use only “phosphorusfree” fertilizers and never fertilize the strip directly along the shoreline. Pesticides and fertilizers can harm fish, cause algae blooms and accelerate the lakes eutrophication.
- Reduce the total amount of impermeable surfaces by replacing them with natural walkways, gravel or permeable pavements. Avoid the use of asphalt near the lake.
- Replace expanses of lawn with landscape patches of trees, shrubs and mulch to capture and hold rain water and divert on-site runoff and rain gutters to gardens or small depressions where water has time to infiltrate the soil.
- Never wash anything near or directly in the lake. Using soap or a cleaning agent to wash dishes, pets or people contributes pollutants to the water. Avoid washing boats or cars where the detergent can get into the lake.