BLIA through its participation in the New York State Federation of Lakes CSLAP program has been collecting water samples since 1990. The data from these samples shows that water clarity is a function of algae, suspended sediments, temperature, and turbulence. This varies from year to year, but in these 27 years the results have remained fairly constant. Phosphorous levels have increased from 20ppB in 1990 to 43ppB in 2013. Since 2013 the phosphorous levels have dropped. pH has dropped since a 1990 level of 8.4 to 7.6 in 2007. Since 2007 pH has remained near this 7.6 level.
The cause of Ballston Lake’s excessive algae and thick weeds is a surplus of phosphorous in the water. Phosphorous comes from the watershed as runoff from urbanization, farming, and septic systems. Phosphorous also comes from the sediment in the bottom of the lake. Both of these sources must be addressed if the lake water quality is to improve. Professional literature states that “Phosphorous precipitation and inactivation is the best way to decrease algae levels and increase water clarity. Phosphorous precipitation and inactivation are used primarily on lakes with significant internal nutrient loading and where the external nutrient loads have been reduced as much as possible.” Alum application to the lake is the recommended treatment to deal with the internal phosphorous load. The BLIA treasury has established a savings account to accumulate funds to deal with the internal phosphorous loading. By the time the Buell Heights-Lake Shore sewer system is on line, we hope to have enough money to be serious about funding an alum treatment. At present the savings account balance is about $15,000. We plan to apply for a grant to fund this, but have to match the grant money at 50% with BLIA money.
It would cost about $120,000 for this alum treatment. So you see every membership counts to achieve this goal. So if you ask, “What is BLIA doing about the water quality of the lake”? We have a plan and are preparing to make it work. As always your BLIA membership and contributions are essential for us to make this a reality.