Why Is Our Lake Turning Green?
Many people love living on a lake or having a backyard or community pond. Often times though these lakes and ponds become green, stinky and downright gross. Homeowners will try pellets, fountains and other remedies but their pond still ends up being and eye sore instead of a beautiful focal point.
Typically by mid Summer many lakes and ponds have turned green. This is due to a microscopic plant growth called algae. Algae grow in the water when sun and nutrients combine and create an ideal growing situation for the plant. One of the main nutrients for algae is phosphorus.
Phosphorus is a compound that is found in road salt, lawn chemicals and household chemicals. While Phosphorus is naturally in lakes and ponds and needed, it is the excess levels caused by runoff that create issues for pond owners and lake dwellers.
When the phosphorus levels of a lake or pond get too high, algae takes over. Algae is a natural plant that is also good for lakes and ponds in the right doses, but in high levels causes severe destruction to lakes and ponds.
If you have stood by a very green lake or pond and noticed a stinky smell coming from the green water, you are smelling dead, decomposing algae. When the plant dies off, it floats to the surface and rots. Now we have a problem for the natural ecosystem of the lake or pond as well as the people who want to enjoy the water. Nobody is winning any more.
Here are a few things you can do to help.
1) Use less fertilizers on your lawn, or don’t use any at all. This is a huge cause of lake and pond pollution.
2) Use phosphorus free road salt, lawn chemicals and household chemicals. Did you know that dishwasher detergent accounts for nearly 10% of phosphorus that enters our water? Using phosphorus free soaps, salts and fertilizers will greatly reduce the amount of phosphorus going into the water. Also, try to encourage your community and city to do the same.
3) If you live on a lake, plant a natural filter of plants and grass between your lawn and the lake. This will clean any runoff before it enter the lake.
While these are important for anyone living on or near a lake, they are also important for everyone. We all contribute to water pollution and if everyone pitched in, our lakes and children will be grateful.