By Patrick Dowd
Polluted stormwater isn’t just a problem in developed areas around Lake George. Just last week Lake George Association staff worked with the Town of Putnam’s Highway Superintendent, Gary Treadway, to implement a solution that stems the flow of polluted stormwater and protects the Lake’s water quality.
A small grassy swale (designed to capture stormwater) adjacent to the Town of Putnam Fire Department’s Lake access area in Glenburnie (northern Washington County) was filled to capacity with sediment, causing polluted stormwater to run into the lake and onto the neighbor’s dock and property.
The neighbor, an LGA member, called LGA Project Manager Randy Rath to notify him of the issue and seek help to remedy the situation.
“Our members know that the LGA’s mission is to protect water quality with practical, actual projects,” said Randy. “I get calls like this a lot from people asking if we can help. Fortunately, we were able to help the property owner and help the lake.”
Randy called Gary Treadway to schedule a site visit to review the problem and determine what potential solutions could be found.
After the site visit, Randy and Gary developed a remedy, and the project was scheduled. “What we did was similar to cleaning out the sediment basins around the lake – a regular maintenance project for the LGA,” Randy said.
Taking full advantage of the recent beautiful weather, Town of Putnam crews went to work on June 17.
Using an excavator, they removed eight cubic yards of accumulated material – soil, rocks, and plants that were removing nutrients from the stormwater – and hauled offsite. Eight cubic yards is roughly the size of a commercial dumpster, six feet wide and long and six feet tall.
To stabilize the area and ensure there would be no sediment from erosion from getting into the lake, the crews spread grass seed and added erosion control measures that will work until the native vegetation grows back.
“Removing just that amount of material made all the difference to the lake,” said Randy. “There’s plenty of room now for it to continue protecting the lake’s water quality thanks to Gary and his crew.”
“Working together with homeowners, municipalities and state agencies is how the LGA multiplies our efforts to directly protect the lake,” said Walt Lender, the LGA’s Executive Director. “All of the communities in the watershed understand the importance of these kinds of projects, and call on the LGA to help complete them. When everyone pulls together, great things can happen.”
For more information on LGA’s lake protection projects or outreach programs, call (518) 668-3558 or go to http://www.LakeGeorgeAssociation.org.
Patrick Dowd is Communications Director of the Lake George Association