The Truth About Lake Waughop’s Disappearance Courtesy of Ecology and the Town of Lakewood – The Suburban Times
Submitted by Don Russell.
The truth about Lake Waughop’s disappearance, courtesy of Ecology and the Town of Lakewood, is revealed through a comparison of the lake’s water chemistry and biology before and after 40 mg Al alum treatments /L of March and July.
In 2020, before the two alum treatments, the concentration of Soluble Reactive Phosphorus (SRP) in Waughop Lake water chemistry, which is the nutrient that promotes the growth of harmful algae (cyanobacteria) population , was 0.000 mg/L; alkalinity, which is a measure of the ability of lake water to maintain its pH around 7.0 (neither too acidic nor too alkaline), was 15 mg/L (CaCO3), aluminum concentration , which is a recognized pollutant, was 0.000 mg/L; the sulphate concentration, which is a recognized pollutant, was 4 mg/L; and the conductivity, which is a measure of dissolved mineral concentration, was 60 µS/cm. These concentrations determined the biological response (algae, aquatic plants, amphibians, fish, waterfowl) of the lake prior to alum treatment.
Waughop Lake water chemistry in 2020 after March and July alum treatments was SRP 0.000 mg/L; the alkalinity was 10 mg/L; the aluminum concentration was 0.532 mg/L; the sulfate concentration was 194 mg/L; and the conductivity was 578 uS/cm! This drastic change in Waughop Lake’s post-processing chemistry had adverse biological effects. During the summer of 2021, Waughop Lake effervescent with toxic hydrogen sulfide (rotten egg smell) and methane bubbles released by sulfur bacteria in the lake dominated by nutrient-rich bottom sediments .
The 2020 alum treatments induced a chemical change in the water that had a dramatic negative impact on the biology of the lake. Waughop Lake’s algae population has shifted from that typically found in a healthy lake to the algae populations typically found in sewage-polluted ponds, native aquatic plants no longer inhabit Waughop Lake, its pre-alum population of frogs and turtles has disappeared, its carp and bass fishery is under considerable stress, migratory waterfowl that feed no longer visit the lake, and the lake’s water clarity and chemistry are seriously degraded.
The truth is that despite the ecology Lakewood town council members and public works engineering official were told by many citizens in 2019 that the alum treatment prescribed by TetraTech was not not necessary and that if implemented would have a negative chemical and biological impact on Waughop. Lakewood Water Quality, Ecology and Town of Lakewood Board members approved alum treatments in March and July 2020 with devastating ecological effect.
The City of Lakewood Communications Officer wants you to believe that the unprecedented TetraTech-prescribed, ecology-sanctioned alum dosage applied to Lake Waughop in 2020 was backed by numerous anonymous “experts” on the management of the water quality of the lake.
Now you know the truth behind Lake Waughop’s disappearance thanks to Ecology and the town of Lakewood.