For the past two years, Aluminum Sulfate or alum treatments, have been applied to Grand Lake St. Marys. The alum was used to bond with phosphorus, a food source for the blue-green algae, dragging it to the bottom of the lake.
After spending $8.4 million, the state has decided not to fund a third alum treatment, something Lake Restoration Manager Milt Miller is ok with. Miller says alum treatments were never a long-term strategy, but more of a way to clean up the lake and open it to the public, creating time to implement long term plans.
Some people have called alum treatments a waste of money, seeing as this year's treatment resulted in phosphorus levels similar to prior to the treatment. Miller says while that may be true, that statement is skewed due to this past summer's drought. With less water, phosphorus became more concentrated and was then stirred when the wind blew.
Miller says while alum treatments are being halted, long term improvements will continue such as rough fish removal, dredging and the addition of a 90 acre wetland. With spring right around the corner, Miller isn't waiting for anything, as he expects the wetland to be completed in May and the first dredge to hit the water this week.
The next Lake Improvement Association (LIA) meeting is scheduled for Saturday April 6th, at 10am in Celina's Moose Lodge. Lake updates and improvement efforts will be discussed, and a question and answer session will be held as well.