1. In 2012, DEC placed Ballston Lake on the 303-D List of Impaired Water bodies requiring thetown to develop a plan to lower phosphorous levels in Ballston Lake. DEC stated that the high phosphorous levels come from:
A. Failing septic systems in the watershed.
B. Sedimentation from streams and shoreline erosion
2. Most soils in the watershed are shale- a poor soil for septic leach fields to operate efficiently.
3. Most properties in the proposed sewer district have old, poorly functioning septic leach fields.
4. Water from leach fields in the Main Street-Buell Heights area flows in open streams on its wayto the lake.
5. Testing for the last 3 years shows fecal coliform levels in these streams to be as high as 8,100
colonies/100 ml after a 1 inch rainfall. This is 40 times the acceptable level stated by NYDOH.
6. Recent lake testing indicates high levels of septic leakage into the lake from shoreline properties.
7. Water from septic leach fields adds significant phosphorous levels to the lake.
8. CSLAP data indicated that the phosphorous levels in the lake have risen from 20ppB in 2000 to 42ppB in 2014.
9. In 2012 BLIA conducted a stream study that revealed phosphorous entering the lake at 80- 140ppB is 3 times higher than the mean lake value of 40ppB. Some values exceeded 250ppB.
10. Phosphorous levels over 22ppB lead to increased algae blooms, increased chlorophyll,increased turbidity and a greener looking water.
11. One specific algae species in Ballston Lake is microcystis which contains a neurotoxin. Reducing phosphorous reduces the presence of this algae.
12. Union College studies in 1984 and 1986 recommended that replacing septic systems in the watershed will decrease phosphorous levels in the lake.
13. In 2001 a Watershed Management Plan written by the Capital District Regional Planning Commission recommended that a sewer system be developed for the Ballston Lake Watershed to lower phosphorous levels in the lake.
14. Saratoga Lake experienced a lowering of phosphorus levels after the sewer system replaced the septic systems in its watershed.
15. In order to improve water quality in the lake, bacteria and phosphorous must be decreased. Ballston Lake is the drinking water source for 10% of its lakeside properties.
16. For any phosphorous binding chemicals or methods to be successful, the source of the phosphorous must be eliminated first.
17. BLIA has been advocating for lowering phosphorous for 10 years. We must all join together in this effort since we as individuals can not do this alone.
18. BLIA stands for IMPROVEMENT. Building a sewer system to decrease phosphorous and bacteria is the improvement the lake needs.
Thank you for your help.
David Pierce BLIA Water Quality Committee