Toxin levels in Grand Lake St. Mary show improvement this summer

Residents and public officials continue to work together to restore Grand Lake Saint Marys.

During the Lake Improvement Association monthly meeting, there was a discussion about the rise in the microcystin levels found in the blue-green algae in the lake this summer.  The past few summers,  Lake Erie and other Ohio lakes are also dealing with the same algae problem.   But Grand Lake has seen something a little different this year, as the data show their levels for the toxin have been dropping over compared to recent years. 

Dr. Stephen Jacquemin, of Wright State Lake Campus, says,  “Our Microcystin levels are high, we have reason to be concerned about, but they are down.  Now, this is just one year and this is one data point.  But this is certainly different from what we have seen in past years. As time goes one, we will continue to look at these and way you get things down is taking the nutrients away from the algae”

One way to remove the nutrients that feed the algae is with treatment trains.  Currently, they have three treatment trains operating around the lake and they act like a kidney, by naturally removing the nutrients from the water, before they even reach the lake.  They have been so effective that they looking at putting more work on them.  

Dr. Tom Knapke of the Lake Restoration Commission says,  “We think we are going to increase the capacity at Prairie Creek and that helps us. Because sometimes when the creak is running slow, we can draw water out of the lake and process the water out of the lake.  Which is very very important, so the treatment train is working 24/7 in the spring, summer, and fall”

All three treatment trains are pumping nearly 5 million gallons of fresh water a day into the lake.