Posts Tagged ‘water quality’

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.


Kid next to water
Monday, February 28, 2022

Safe Aquatic Weed Control for Ponds

grass carp

If you have a weed problem in your pond, you may want to consider stocking it with Grass Carp.  These fish have a tremendous appetite for aquatic vegetation and can be used as a non-chemical agent to control weed growth in ponds.  The fish that are available for stocking are Triploid Grass Carp, which means they are sterile and cannot produce viable young.  This non-native species of fish does not compete with native fish species that you may already have swimming around in your pond.

            Because these fish are not native to New York and because they have huge appetites, a permit is required from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.  The Herkimer County SWCD starts the permitting process now with stocking to take place in June 2022.  The permitting process conducted by DEC is free of charge. If permitted you will be able to purchase these fish from the Herkimer County Soil & Water Conservation District, an approved Triploid Grass Carp supplier.

            If you would be interested in more information, including a permit application for stocking Grass Carp, please contact the Herkimer County Soil & Water Conservation District at 315-866-2520, Ext. 5 before April 30thInformation is also available on our website at http://www.herkimercountyswcd.com.

Photo by Ryan Hagerty/USFWS


Saturday, February 26, 2022

Bolton uses woodchips to keep nitrates out of the lake

cat mountain in boltonThe results are in — and the Town of Bolton’s first-of-its-kind demonstration project using Adirondack woodchips to protect Lake George from algae-causing nitrate has proven successful.

A 27-month monitoring study conducted by the Lake George Association (LGA), Lake George Waterkeeper, and the Town of Bolton, with a grant from Lake Champlain Sea Grant, found that the town’s woodchip bioreactor removed 38% of nitrate from the wastewater that flowed through it during the project compared to zero removal of nitrate from the rest of the plant’s effluent stream. This is believed to be the world’s first use of a woodchip bioreactor at a municipal wastewater treatment plant. The bioreactor was funded in 2018 by a $50,000 grant from The FUND for Lake George (now the LGA).

“Over the past two years, our study demonstrated conclusively that the woodchip bioreactor is an effective, affordable and environmentally compatible nitrate-reduction tool for smaller municipal treatment plants like Bolton’s that were constructed decades ago, prior to the advent of denitrification technology,” said Lake George Waterkeeper Chris Navitsky, who conducted the study along with water quality scientist and LGA Science Advisor Dr. Jim Sutherland.

Read more about this world-leading project.

Read the full research report.

Watch a presentation about the project as part of the Lake Champlain Sea Grant Research Seminar Series.

Photo from Cat Mountain/Almanack archive


Sunday, January 9, 2022

Cleaner wastewater for Lake George

wastewater treatment

The village of Lake George is days away from turning on its new wastewater treatment plant – a major overhaul years in the making.

I visited the new facility (located in the same place as the old plant) last week and got a tour from plant operator Tim Shudt, who is nearing 10 years in the position. Construction is basically complete, but they are still working out some final details before the new plant can be switched on.

» Continue Reading.


Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Successful year for Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District

water qualityThe Hamilton County Soil and Water Conservation District closes out 2021 with the release of their Annual Report.  The document details the District’s 2021 programs, projects, and events.

“The accomplishments listed in our 2021 Annual Report would not be possible without the steadfast support from our Board of Directors, the Soil and Water Conservation Committee, Association of Conservation Districts, Natural Resources Conservation Service, Hamilton County, and local organizations and agencies” said District Manager Caitlin Stewart.  “Technicians Lenny Croote and Jaime Parslow, and Clerk Marj Remias provided expert and excellent service to landowners and municipalities year round.”

Highlights from the District’s Annual Report include:

» Continue Reading.


Monday, January 3, 2022

Ausable River Association Announces Salt Survey for Lake Placid

mirror lake

WILMINGTON — The Ausable River Association (AsRA) will distribute a salt use survey this winter to residents, businesses, and independent contractors in Lake Placid. Developed with our partners at the Adirondack Watershed Institute, the survey is essential to determining the amount of salt entering Mirror Lake and the Chubb River. Funded by the Lake Champlain Basin Program through a multi-year technical grant, it’s another piece of our ongoing science-based effort to find a solution to road salt contamination in these waterways.

The salt survey is specific to residents and business in the Chubb River watershed. The watershed encompasses the area surrounding Lake Placid and includes the Village of Lake Placid. Completing the survey will take approximately 5-20 minutes, depending on the size of the area that you care for in your winter maintenance.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 16, 2021

Hochul names road salt task force members

road salt truck

Overdue panel charged with preventing further pollution

Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday named the members of a promised state task force charged with studying road salt use in the Adirondacks.

The 10 overdue appointees announced by the governor will join representatives from the state Department of Transportation, Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Health and Adirondack Park Agency as they set out to review current salt use practices and make recommendations to minimize future use.

The governor’s direct nominees include former DEC Commissioner Joe Martens; Adirondack Watershed Institute Executive Director Dan Kelting; Megan Phillips, vice president of conservation at the Adirondack Council; and Kristine Stepeneck, a professor at the University of Vermont.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 16, 2021

A blown deadline

Billy Jones salt bill

By the Times Union editorial board

Nonexistent task forces have a 100 percent track record of not issuing reports by deadline. So in that sense, the state’s road salt panel is doing exactly what New Yorkers expected of it.

Under the 2020 legislation establishing it, the task force was supposed to study the impact of road salt in the Adirondacks and come up with a pilot plan for reducing it, reporting to the Legislature by Dec. 1, 2021 – as in, weeks ago.

What’s at stake here? Oh, only public health, the environment, and the Adirondack economy. Excess road salt poisons the wells that North Country residents drink from. It degrades farmland, fouls lakes, desiccates trees.

Yes, things have been a bit … chaotic in the Executive Chamber this year. But in the administration of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, long appointment delays and other forms of foot-dragging were a feature, not a bug. Skeptics might speculate that for Mr. Cuomo, the announcement of a plan of action was more important than its implementation.

All of the panel’s members have now been recommended, state officials say, and appointments are in the process of being finalized. We know Gov. Kathy Hochul is catching up on a backlog on empty positions. Prioritizing this process will be a significant way her administration can differentiate itself from its predecessor. State government needs to get moving on this important issue, collecting data transparently and thoroughly, and – at the most basic level – doing what it said it was going to do.

Editor’s note: This originally ran Dec. 13 in the (Albany) Times Union. Used by permission.

Photo: NYS Assemblyman Billy Jones speaks Dec. 4, 2020, at a commemoration of the signing of the Randy Preston Road Salt Reduction Act. More than 10 months later, the task force created by the bill is still without members. Mike Lynch photo

Monday, December 13, 2021

Adirondack Watershed Institute expands lake monitoring program

AWI lake monitoring

The Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (AWI) recently announced that it has been awarded a grant from the Lake Champlain Basin Program to expand the Adirondack Lake Assessment Program (ALAP) and further safeguard waterbodies across the Adirondack region.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, December 2, 2021

Funding provided to help farmers address water quality challenges

lake champlain bridge

Gov. Kathy Hochul announced nearly $14 million has been awarded to protect clean water across the state. This funding will support agricultural water quality conservation projects across the state, benefiting 91 farms, and is provided through the Agricultural Nonpoint Source Abatement and Control program, which supports projects that address water quality challenges in priority watersheds and protect the environment.

“New York continues to take decisive action to protect access to clean water across the state,” Governor Hochul said. “This money will go towards fulfilling both those goals by encouraging the implementation of cost-effective waterway protection and reducing our carbon footprint.”

The projects have been awarded to 25 County Soil and Water Conservation Districts, on behalf of the farms, who will support on-farm environmental planning and the implementation of best management practice (BMP) systems to keep nutrients and other potential pollutants from entering waterways. BMPs include a variety of measures, including vegetative buffers along streams, cover crops, nutrient management through manure storage, and other conservation measures.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Raquette Lake to hold public meeting regarding lake management plan

Raquette Lake2nd and Final Public Meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, December 2, 2021 to be held via Zoom

RAQUETTE LAKE, NY – The Raquette Lake Preservation Foundation (RLPF) and Northeast Aquatic Research (NEAR) have been working with governmental, NGO, academic and community partners to develop a Lake Management Plan (LMP) for over two years.   The study has inventoried the current environmental conditions and aquatic plant life in the lake. NEAR is recommending management priorities for protecting the water quality of the lake, including aquatic invasive species prevention and management; the expansion of research partnerships; and increased public education and awareness of water science. 

RLPF would like to encourage anyone interested to come learn more about NEAR’s findings and recommendations from this in-depth process. Please come and join us from the comfort of your home or office as we discuss the Lake Management Plan that is being developed for Raquette Lake to combat Invasive Species.  Public input has been critical to the final plan which will be completed in December 2021.  Ask questions, and hear about the work completed so far.  Let your voice be heard!

Email [email protected] to receive a zoom link to the presentation.

Photo of Raquette Lake by Dave Gibson/Almanack file photo

 


Monday, November 22, 2021

Still blooming

HABs map

The HABs keep on happening on Lake George. Shortly after we reported on an early-October harmful algal bloom on Lake George, the state Department of Environmental Conservation updated its useful map of HABs across the state. And state officials confirmed yet more HABs on Lake George on Nov. 8-11.

Harmful algal blooms – or HABs – are formations of cyanobacteria, which can rise to the water’s surface under the right conditions. While HABs have the potential to turn toxic, toxins have not been detected in the Lake George HABs. The HABs on Lake George continued in the Harris Bay area and in November the confirmed blooms included some around Cotton near Bolton Landing, according to the DEC map.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, November 13, 2021

Discussion time: Septic inspections

lake george

This week on Adirondack Explorer’s website, we published an article about Lake George’s plans to create a wide-reaching septic inspection program.

From the article, by Zachary Matson:

» Continue Reading.


Kid next to water
Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Water defenders

water

Last week, I visited the Adirondack Watershed Institute at Paul Smith’s College. After talking with the institute’s staff about a litany of water-related issues the organization works on, I walked around the lakefront campus with AWI’s leaders.

The college, which unsurprisingly is well-regarded for its environmental science, forestry and hotel management programs, has less than 1,000 students, what must be some of the best views of any campus in the country and 14,000 acres of Adirondack land.

» Continue Reading.



Kid next to water

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