The Ausable River Association (AsRA) and Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) have released the 2017 Water Quality Report for Mirror Lake.
The lake serves as a focal point for the Village of Lake Placid. For the past three years, AsRA and AWI have been studying the water quality of Mirror Lake with a goal to provide science data for decision making.
Road salt pollution continues as the primary concern for the health of the lake. The report provides details regarding road salt sources, their direct impacts, and options for reductions. It concludes that continued monitoring and focused efforts by the local and state government, the community, and stakeholders are important to identifying and measuring the effects of potential solutions.
The report documents a buildup of road salt in the deep water of the lake over the winter months. As a result, the water at the bottom of the lake is denser than that at the surface during the period of spring turnover, inhibiting the complete mixing of the lake. The disruption of this fundamental physical process in the lake threatens many forms of aquatic life, including its population of lake trout.
AsRA is working with the town, village, and other stakeholders to assess road salt application rates, but that work is contingent on funding to implement salt application monitoring programs. The report documents the importance of parking lot and sidewalk salt application within the watershed, highlighting the need for the issue to be addressed at more than just the municipal level.
A full copy of the report can be found here.
Photo of Mirror Lake courtesy Ausable River Association.
There’s no need to waste money to monitor salt use when we know extra salt is bad. How about require snow rated vehicle tires during winter months and just sand the roads like the old days. The troopers then ticket everyone not using snow tires, one ticket per tire, mandatory $100 fine per tire.
It certainly wouldn’t be a bad idea, especially upstate. But sand is also an issue for aquatic organisms in streams and rivers. Perhaps minimize sand usage by only sanding roads within village limits, steep hills, sharp turns, and intersections?
I put snow tires on both my cars. One set cost 600, the other 900. I am sure this type of expense is something that everyone can afford! The kind of fines you suggest ($400) are the type of fine that keep low income people locked up unnecessarily.
“The disruption of this fundamental physical process in the lake threatens many forms of aquatic life, including its population of lake trout.”
What if we relied on these trout as our only real source for omega 3’s which are beneficial to our health? What if that water was like the food we need to survive? What if we treated the environment that surrounds us the way some of us cherish our cars….all of the energy we put into them to keep them spit shine! What if Mirror Lake was thought of like the way we think of material goods…. security blankets which we will go lengths to secure? What if?