The LMEC has contracted with the United States Geological Survey to pull core samples from five different sites across the Lake Maxinkuckee lakebed. This information will be used to analyse 200 to 300 years of data collected from the sediment. It should allow LMEC to track their progress in managing phosphorus flow into the lake over the last 32 years, and if we should be planning on ways to circumvent a major algae bloom. Council Chair Allen Chesser has a couple of concerns. One is that phosphorus-laden fertilizers had been swept into the lake from corn and soybean fields, as well as lawns, during heavy rainstorms for many, many years. Two, leaking septic systems around the lake were also adding phosphorus during this time, some homes simply draining directly into the lake. Culver’s sewer system and storm water system have had a history of overflow problems, again allowing phosphorus pollution to flow into the lake from the town itself. While phosphate laundry detergents and dish soap were banned in past years, commercial dish soap still contains phosphorus to this day so this was also a concern if sewer overflows happened. With the drought over the past couple of years, water has not been flowing out of the lake as regularly as it used to, so LMEC is concerned about possible algae blooms if this weather style continues. Algae blooms deprive the water of oxygen, which in turn can result in fish kills and the death of other aquatic organisms.
Today, with the finalization of sewer line installation around the lake, as well as the voluntary controls being applied regarding fertilizers being used in the community, can be considered a base line for determining where we stand. About 50 trace minerals will also be targeted for analysis. Once all the data has been written up, LMEC can use the information to implement its update to the watershed management plan for the next ten years.
You will find when you click on the link below, a brief explanation from one of the members of the United States Geographical Survey team in Indianapolis on how to interpret the various numbers used to record the legal level of lakes, specifically our lake. It is great information and includes a second page with their chart showing data from January 2011 to November 2012 collected here at their lake gage. This will be updated as soon as they have all of 2012 data available. Direct from USGS’ Jeff Woods