Lake Living Considerations

Red Pine LakeLiving within a lake community is great, and the residents of The Pines take pride in their clean spring-fed lake. In order to keep the lake crystal clear, residents need to be aware that their activities can contribute to keeping the lake clean. Below is a list of web site links to help understand many of the issues involved with living on a lake. Also, see the discussion below on the use of fertilizers, waterfowl presence and the berm. Please note that homeowners are not to add anything to the lake without consulting with the board.

Fertilizer and Other Phosphorous Sources

Monitor fertilizer use. What makes your grass green also makes the Lake green. While it is impractical to suggest that no fertilizing take place for lawns, the use of low Phosphorus or no Phosphorus fertilizer should be used. The majority of ponds and lakes with declining water quality are directly affected by irresponsible fertilizer use

Monitor miscellaneous sources of Phosphorus. Quite a few of detergents and cleaners are Phosphorus based and can detrimentally affect the Lake. The use of environmentally sound detergents and cleaners in outside areas that may feed into water bodies including areas where vehicles are cleaned or maintained will aid in keeping the Lake healthy. Use non-Phosphorus detergents and cleaners for outside purposes such as washing your car, deck, or around your home.

Why is phosphorus a problem?

Once in the water, phosphorus promotes the growth of algae.
Excess algae blocks sunlight from other plants and aquatic organisms, killing them or limiting their growth.  When algae die, they sink to the bottom of the lake and begin to decompose.
Bacteria feed on the decomposing algae and in the process consume oxygen in the water.
Too much algae can deplete the oxygen to levels too low to support plant and animal life thus killing the fish population. Increased amounts of algae can cause the water to smell.

Waterfowl Presence

Discourage waterfowl presence. This is easier said than done. Waterfowl can add a tremendous amount of nutrients to a body of water. The presence of geese is always going to be a constant factor at many lakes and ponds, but there are a few things that may help in reducing their numbers. Never feed the geese or do anything that might influence their normal migratory patterns. This may sound simple, but there will always be someone who is tempted to provide for the migrating flocks. Not only does this change the natural behavior of the geese, but may influence their normal migratory course.

In the spring of the year, Geese Police addles Geese eggs; after Geese Police addle the eggs and by the time the Geese realize, those eggs will not hatch they will be unable to lay again. This is why the eggs are left in the nest and it’s important that no one touches the eggs.

If the eggs are removed from the nest, or smashed up the Geese can lay again and then Geese Police will have to look for another nest.  Geese can lay up to 5 times in one season. Once they realize there will not be any goslings they usually leave when they see the dogs.  Geese lose their flight feathers in the months of June and July and that is why we have Geese Police push hard to get them off our sites for the summer. Once the goslings are born the adults will not leave them even if they are still able to fly.

The Berm

The berm that runs around the Lake is designed to prevent water from running directly into the Lake. This means that water is filtrated through the berm before water enters the Lake. The size and shape of the berm needs to be maintained and cannot be altered in any form without approval from the HOA or Village. While this is important and necessary, the berm alone is not the entire solution for water shed management.

Monitor lawn care practices. This includes eliminating grass clippings from entering the Lake. Grass clippings are high in Nitrogen, which is the secondary limiting nutrient for aquatic growth next to Phosphorus. These should not only be kept out the Lake directly, but also out of sewers and ditches that drain into the Lake. Changing cutting practices may be as simple as facing the mower outlet for the clippings the other direction and not cutting up to the edge of the lake (though this gives a manicured look, it is environmentally unsound).