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The original item was published from 6/29/2016 5:10:11 PM to 8/11/2016 12:00:02 AM.

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Natural Resources

Posted on: July 13, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Your Home is Connected to Local Lakes that are Turning Green

Lakes in Apple Valley turn green in the summer from an over abundance of plantonic algae in the water. If conditions are bad enough clarity is greatly reduced. The source of the problem often originates in our yards. Follow the link to learn more...

Green water doesn't fit the ideal image of summertime at the lake, but it is a common enough occurrence in the summertime. The green color is caused by microscopic algae. Just like other plants, they gather nutrients from their surroundings and use the sun to grow. When an overabundance of a key nutrient, phosphorus, makes its way to local lakes, the algae population can explode. Lakes can turn so green you may not even be able to see your hand if you were to put your arm in the water up to your elbow.

How does all that extra phosphorus get to the lake to cause the algal bloom? It comes from our yards. Even if you don't live on the lake, your property contributes to the problem. The stormdrain on the street connects directly to local lakes through underground pipes that don't go to the water treatment plant. Anything washed into the stormdrain during the next rain will end up in local lakes.

Here are some common substances that contribute extra phosphorus to local lakes; sweep them up from streets, sidewalks, and driveways to prevent their being washed into the stormdrain and lakes:

- Grass clippings
- Leaves
- Dog poop
- Fertilizers
- Soaps from car washing and other cleaning activities
- Eroded soil/dirt

The list above can be surprising. There are a lot of "natural" materials listed. Even seemingly harmless substance can be anything but. Please do your park and clean up after yourself and dispose of items properly. Never dump anything down the stormdrain.

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