Lake Preservation Tips and Info
ALMA Update: Keep the lake beautiful, do not use fertilizer and maintain your septic system.
Greetings to all members. As we look forward to the 2023 summer season we wanted to update you on lake water quality activities. ALMA has been studying water quality and weed growth in the lake for many years. As we have mentioned before, there are several factors affecting our lake that we are actively monitoring. Some of the key issues are:
1) Eutrophication. This is the excessive plant and algal growth due to increased concentrations of nutrients such as phosphates and nitrates. Northeast Aquatics Research continues to conduct lake quality studies, including monthly water quality monitoring, inlet water sampling, perimeter evaluation of nutrient hot spots and an annual full-lake plant survey along with ALMA. We have accelerated the schedule of these studies so that we can react early if there is evidence of a weed problem. A major contribution to lake eutrophication is fertilizer runoff. We can all help to protect the lake by avoiding the use of fertilizers. Note that organic fertilizers also contain nutrients that drive the unwanted growth of plants and algae. Failing septic systems can leach nitrogen into the lake and regular pumping and
inspection of septic systems is critical.
2) Filling in. Over time, lakes naturally fill in due to material carried into from streams and run off as well as material produced in the lake itself. We continue to take regular measurements of the water clarity. Our lake is approaching 100 years old, so this process has impacted our lake bottom.
2) Temperature. Lakes naturally form layers of water with different temperatures. ALMA has placed an array of temperature monitors in the lake to monitor the temperature profile of the water column. This
information will allow us to detect storm-induced mixing of the layers that can induce release of nutrients from the lake bottom.
3) Weather. The mild winter and early spring will provide a longer growing seasons for weeds. We will monitor weed growth and take appropriate action if necessary. It is our intention to avoid the use of herbicides in the lake if at all possible. However, in an abundance of caution, we have applied for the
necessary permits in case herbicide treatment is required to mitigate weed or algae growth.
Retaining Walls & Docks
ALMA must approve all docks, floats and walls constructed or placed on the Lake. This applies to new docks, floats, and walls, as well as to changes to existing docks, floats, and walls beyond simple maintenance. A written description of the project must be submitted to ALMA. The DFW committee will review these proposals. Before erecting a dock or float or building a wall - please click here to read the Docks, Floats and Retaining Walls Regquirements Also Pulling weeds consent must first be obtained from ALMA.
Click on the links for detailed guidelines and applications for each.
How you can help to keep the lake clean
>Pick up your dog’s droppings from all paths, right-of-ways, dam area and roadways.
> Phosphates are a major source of algae blooms, weed growth, and poor water quality in lakes. ALMA and ALPOA discourage the use of any lawn fertilizer, but if you must, use one without phosphates. New state laws restrict the use of fertilizers with phosphates. Use phosphate-free detergents.
> Landscaping does affect the flow of nutrients into the lake. A buffer zone of native vegetation along the shore and rain gardens to collect runoff are proven to reduce the flow of nutrients into the lake. A rain garden is a planted depression or a hole that absorbs rainwater runoff from impervious areas, like roofs, driveways, and walkways. Often it is an area that has been excavated, filled with sand, and planted with native shrubs.
> Pump your septic tank and have it inspected on a regular basis – every three years is recommended.
As owner of the lake and right of ways ALMA makes every effort to protect the lake environment and keep the lake clean and healthy. Here are a few things that you can do to help preserve the lake:
Eliminate the use of fertilizer especially Organic fertilizer
Keep your Septic system well maintained and pump it every three years
Remove any organic matter from the lake such as leaves or grass clippings
Even if you don’t live on the waterfront this will help protect our beautiful lake.
Sediment Report: Click on Sediment Report to read the final report that describes investigations on the nature of sediments in the south Bay (aka the “cove”) of Andover Lake by Drew Hyatt and his students from Eastern Connecticut State University (Department of Environmental Earth Science).
This report describes findings based on (a) probing the thickness of sediments in the bay, (b) recovering and analysing sediment cores from the bay, (d) determining the age of sediments, and (d) collecting ground penetrating radar to map sediment thickness and water depths throughout the bay. Key findings and implications for potential dredging are summarized on pages 328-31.”