ALASD responds to Lake Winona issueHow does the Alexandria Lakes Area Sanitary District view the Lake Winona/sewage discharge controversy?
How does the Alexandria Lakes Area Sanitary District view the Lake Winona/sewage discharge controversy?
Bruce Nelson, ALASD director, provided the following information:
• A clean Lake Winona would be of value to the community, but it is critical to recognize that the lake has experienced poor water quality for decades. Evidence shows that even before the ALASD’s wastewater treatment plant began operation in 1977, Lake Winona had poor water quality. Confounding factors include a large population of rough fish (carp), a lack of submerged aquatic vegetation, and the characteristics of a very shallow lake.
• No matter what plan is adopted to clean up Lake Winona, sewer rates and/or property taxes are certain to increase. In an effort to achieve the desired phosphorus levels outlined by the MPCA, several actions will need to take place. All of them are expensive.
• Though efforts are under way to improve the quality of Lake Winona, the process of cleaning up shallow lakes is challenging, and the desired results are not guaranteed. The science of managing and improving water quality in shallow lakes is uncertain, and no specific set of actions is guaranteed to produce measurable results. The ALASD understands that phosphorus reductions alone will not produce clear water in Lake Winona.
• Lake Winona in a “clear-water” state as proposed by the MPCA will present challenges of its own. If the combination of phosphorus reductions and aggressive lake management (such as lake level drawdown and carp removal) succeed in bringing Lake Winona to a clear-water state, it is likely that Lake Winona will have a very high level of aquatic vegetation. This could significantly affect how residents will be able to use the lake in the future.
• The ALASD will encourage the MPCA to pursue a plan that will produce the most optimal outcome for both the environment and the community. While MPCA will make the final decision on what remediation strategies are implemented, the ALASD will supply input during the decision-making process that reflects the concerns of ALASD customers and the Alexandria community as a whole.More from around the web