Posts Tagged ‘water quality’

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

DEC Celebrates Clean Water Investments, $1 Million for Town of Peru  

Students at the Lake Champlain Youth Water Summit learning how to study water quality. Photo by Zachary Matson

On March 18, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos joined representatives from the town of Peru and other local officials along the shores of Lake Champlain to announce the finalization of the Lake Champlain Watershed Implementation Plan. The plan creates a detailed path forward to build upon progress to reduce phosphorus that impairs Lake Champlain and contributes to harmful algal blooms (HABs). The Lake Champlain Watershed Implementation Plan will support and guide investments like the recent $1 million to the town of Peru, Clinton County, for wastewater improvements that will reduce pollutants and significantly improve water quality.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, January 21, 2024

State plan includes water quality grants, civic engagement

algal bloom on Rollins pond

Gov. Kathy Hochul will double the state’s grants to local governments that build new or renovate existing water and wastewater treatment systems, her State of the State message noted, vastly widening the pool of Adirondack communities that can now take advantage of state funding.

The Governor also outlined plans to curb harmful algal blooms and to engage more students in civic service that includes working to limit – and cope with — the impacts of climate change, the Adirondack Council noted today.

“Doubling the available clean water money will have an immediate positive impact on water quality across the Adirondacks,” said Raul J. Aguirre, Executive Director of the Adirondack Council. “For many small Adirondack communities, a state matching grant of 25% was not enough to make a multi-million-dollar wastewater project affordable for local taxpayers. Doubling those grants to 50% of the project cost changes the whole landscape for the better. Many more Adirondack hamlets and villages will be able to act to protect their residents, their lakes and the water that flows to the rest of the state through rivers that begin here.”

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, October 12, 2023

SCALE-ing up

paddlers on a lake

Last week I joined Phil Snyder of the Ausable River Association and Leigh Walrath, a retired Adirondack Park Agency water specialist, as they navigated Moss Lake, collecting water samples, measuring temperature and oxygen levels and searching for macroinvertebrates under rocks and logs.

The water and biological samples are among the first collected for what could be the largest scientific survey of Adirondack lakes since the 1980s. A consortium of researchers across the state are working together on the Survey of Climate and Adirondack Lake Ecosystems (SCALE). The survey aims to examine the health and state of Adirondack lakes and better understand how climate change is affecting them.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Students help save a stream

Students helped save a trout stream with the historic conservation practice of planting trees.  Warner Brook, Town of Arietta, has been negatively impacted by bank erosion for years, and the Halloween Storm of 2019 worsened the stream’s condition.  The Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District teamed up with partners and students to get conservation on the ground and stabilize Warner Brook.

Warner Brook has been plagued by erosion for decades.  During the Halloween Storm, fast moving flood waters, rocks, and boulders scoured and undercut the banks.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, May 19, 2023

What local water quality concerns do you have? WQCC meeting announced!

LAKE PLEASANT – After a yearlong hiatus, the Water Quality Coordinating Committee (WQCC) will hold a meeting on June 5 at the Lake Pleasant Public Library from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  During the meeting hosted by the Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District, attendees will learn about impending invasive species, well water programs, and provide input on their local water quality needs and concerns. Experts from these fields will discuss issues and offer potential solutions and input.

Erik Reardon is an Aquatic Invasive Species Outreach Specialist with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and will present on the invasive Round Goby.  Florence Braunius previously worked with the Village of Speculator Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and will present on a Well Water Program.  Following will be an open discussion of water quality needs throughout the county and refreshments will be served.

Both in person and virtual meeting options are available.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Testing for ‘forever chemicals’

Ice at the old Corinth drinking supply reservoir earlier this winter. Photo by Zachary MatsonThe federal Environmental Protection Agency this morning proposed the first national drinking water standards for the so-called “forever chemicals” that are pervasive in waterways across the country.

The proposed regulation – which is open for public comment and EPA suggested would be finalized by the end of the year – would establish legally-enforceable “maximum contaminant levels” for six types of PFAS.

The rule would require public water systems to monitor the contaminants, report levels to the public and achieve new thresholds for the different chemical types. The proposed rule establishes maximum contaminant levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS) of 4 parts per trillion in public drinking supplies. It creates a hazard index for four other chemical types, limiting their levels to less than 1 part per trillion.

The ubiquitous chemicals are found in countless items of everyday life, such as waterproof clothing and toilet paper. Hundreds of millions of Americans are estimated to be exposed to some levels of PFAS in their tap water.

Check out coverage of the proposed rule in the New York Timesthe Washington Post and the Associated Press.

Water conference

In New York City, the United Nations is hosting a global water conference. Known officially as the 2023 Conference for the Midterm Comprehensive Review of Implementation of the UN Decade for Action on Water and Sanitation, the conference aims to refocus efforts to address the numerous challenges to freshwater first outlined at a 1977 UN conference. Participants will serve as a review of goals established to avert international water shortfalls.

This first appeared in Zach’s weekly “Water Line” newsletter. Click here to sign up.

Photo at top: Ice at the old Corinth drinking supply reservoir earlier this winter. Photo by Zachary Matson


Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Money for infrastructure

Improving water infrastructure across the Adirondacks is key to protecting water health. Explorer file photo

Gov. Kathy Hochul in her State of the State policies promised $500 million in clean water infrastructure funding.

A book offering more details about the proposal, which will be fleshed out even more when Hochul presents her budget in the coming weeks, said she planned to establish “community assistance teams” to work with small municipalities on advancing projects.

Those teams “will provide proactive outreach to small, rural, and disadvantaged communities, and assist with accessing financial assistance to address their clean water infrastructure needs.” That assistance could be critical to many North Country communities, which often struggle to garner funding through key state water programs.

» Continue Reading.


Friday, December 9, 2022

Lake George residents get pumped for septic inspections

lake george

new septic inspection program around Lake George could commence as early as the spring, with just over 500 properties becoming the first to submit to a new requirement that septic systems in critical areas in the lake basin get inspected every five years.

The Lake George Park Commission, which has been developing the regulatory proposal for around 18 months, cleared its latest process hurdle with a public hearing the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. 

The comments were largely supportive of new septic inspection requirements, but some raised concerns about newer, better maintained systems being treated the same as old, malfunctioning ones.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, September 29, 2022

HABs plans

DEC scientist and section chief Lauren Townley presents an update on the state's HABs action plan at a Lake George Park Commission meeting in Bolton on Tuesday. Photo by Zachary Matson

Harmful algal blooms were first confirmed on Lake George in October 2020, suspected to have been spurred on by a warm, dry fall.

With Lake George residents and advocates keeping a careful eye on the lake, DEC scientist Lauren Townley (pictured here) updated the Lake George Park Commission on the state’s latest HABs action plan for Lake George, which was updated in August. She shared the update in Bolton at the Lake George Park Commission’s first in-person meeting since prior to the pandemic.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, September 12, 2022

Bond acts and water projects

The 1996 environmental bond act funded the purchase of Whitney Park and Little Tupper Lake. Explorer file photo by Jonathan Esper.

In my almost 11 months at the Explorer, I have done a lot of reporting on the Adirondack Park’s critical water infrastructure. Infrastructure that cleans water for drinking, protects lakes and streams from pollution, mitigates flooding and literally holds up much of the region’s watery landscapes.

A lot of that infrastructure is in dire need of repair or replacement and plays a part in water quality issues like salt pollution, harmful algal blooms and stream connectivity crucial to hedging against the threat of climate change. In March, I found around $500 million of clean water infrastructure needs listed for projects throughout the Adirondacks.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, July 9, 2022

A Lake Placid plan

lake placid

proposed Lake Placid management plan focuses on studying boat traffic, mitigating the potential harm of outdated septic systems and preventing the introduction or expansion of invasive species.

The Adirondack Watershed Institute and the Ausable River Association on Tuesday released a draft management plan for the largest lake in Essex County and one of the most iconic lakes in the Adirondacks. The plan was commissioned by the Shore Owners’ Association of Lake Placid. They are seeking public comments through July 19.

» Continue Reading.


Sunday, June 12, 2022

Lake George Association Launches Bay-by-Bay Lake Protection Events

Lake GeorgeLAKE GEORGE – With the water quality threats facing Lake George varying in type and intensity at different points along its 32-mile length, the Lake George Association (LGA) is presenting a series of educational programs to help property owners understand what’s ailing the water quality in their neighborhood and what they can do to help. The LGA’s 2022 Bay-by-Bay Summer Event Series will kick off on Tuesday, June 14, and Wednesday, June 15 at Warner Bay in the town of Queensbury.

A walking tour will be held on June 14 beginning at 4 p.m. This one-hour tour will introduce the priority issues facing the Bay. Attendance is limited to 12 participants and registration is required. The starting location for the tour will be provided upon registration. On Wednesday, June 15, from 4-6 p.m. at the North Queensbury Fire House, the LGA will present a detailed presentation on the greatest threats facing Warner Bay and provide specific guidance on actions residential and commercial property owners can take on their properties as Lake Protectors to safeguard water quality.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, June 9, 2022

This week’s water news

lake champlain

Lake Champlain straddles an international border, a state border and is the focus of scores of government agencies, scientific researchers and nonprofit organizations.

It’s a big lake with a lot happening, but there’s a government plan for that. 

The Lake Champlain Basin Program – a federal program established to guide and fund research, restoration and protection of the lake – on Friday released the latest 5-year update to its guiding plan.

The plan outlined continued threats like high phosphorus levels, harmful algae blooms (HABs), toxic substances and pathogens, and aquatic invasive species. It championed the more than $20 million in grants to more than 600 groups and individuals the program has made to reduce pollution, educate the public, and research the lake and its health.

The new iteration will increase the focus on climate change impacts in the basin and seek to engage a more diverse group of stakeholders.

There’s plenty more happening on the water beat this time of year.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Septic systems need funds to start fixes flowing

By David Miller, Adirondack Council Clean Water Program Coordinator

Failing septic systems are degrading pure waters in the Adirondack Park. Many of these waterbodies serve as drinking water supplies for the Park’s year-round and seasonal residents and visitors.

Thankfully, the New York State historic Clean Water Fund includes septic replacement grant funds for homeowners. Under this program, money is allocated in bulk amounts to counties that then provide grants to homeowners who have applied for them. Homeowners can receive up to $10,000 in these grants to help them pay for their septic system replacements, which typically range between $15,000 and $30,000. These grants make an enormous difference to residents in the rural counties by making septic improvements affordable.

There is a great need for this funding in the Adirondacks, but the question remains why so little of this money has actually made its way to the Park.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Celebrating fresh water

water in the southern ADKs

Happy World Water Day (on March 22). This United Nations observance day was established in 1993 to celebrate water and raise awareness of the 2 billion people across the world living without access to safe drinking water. This year’s theme is a focus on groundwater: “Making the invisible visible.”

The world relies almost entirely on groundwater for drinking water supplies, sanitation systems, farming and other uses, according to the UN. The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report emphasized concerns about the future of drinking water as warming trends and human development accelerate threats to water supplies.

» Continue Reading.



Wait! Before you go:

Catch up on all your Adirondack
news, delivered weekly to your inbox