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Protect the Pond


By webmaster - Posted on May 3, 2011

By Eleanor Conaway

As spring moves into summer, we turn to our lawns and the pond and creek. Property owners, especially those on the water, are reminded that their activity on their lawns and property, affects our local water quality. Also septic systems affect the creek and pond, for the good or bad, which affects us all.

The PCA has reports showing our pond is too full of “nutrients.” Referring to the substances that cause growth in living things. As nutrients increase beyond a healthy amount, algae growth, weeds, and scum increase. Weeds grow dense, shut out sunlight and reduce oxygen in the water, leaving less oxygen for fish – and fish populations decrease.

This is not just a theory. We who have lived here for years see the differences in the pond. People once swam easily, but now weeds and algae have grown upward, and it’s almost impossible to see through the water. Our Association’s water testing hasn’t revealed the source of the problem, but now we believe it’s “non-point-source pollution” that is chemicals and sewage from properties along the stream, from Bullard Lake into Parshallville, maybe even on the pond. The best guess of experts is that it’s lawn fertilizer and/or leaking septic systems. Each person dumps only a little….. but put our little impacts together and – whamo! there goes the sweet water we used to have.

In order to protect the water, you must be aware of, and responsible in your use of fertilizer. Best for the water is NO fertilizer. (Some Lake Shannon residents use lake water to fertilize.) If you must use commercial fertilizer, look on the labels for those with low phosphorous. Michigan is considering banning it in fertilizers.

The second important step is to check your septic tank! All septic systems eventually fail. Do you have yours cleaned and checked every 3 years or as recommended by your septic service company? Strangely, another nutrient source is leaves!

Fun Fact

Christy Borth, a reporter for the Detroit Free Press and a correspondent for Time magazine, moved to Parshallville with his wife Evangeline in 1936.