If you have a cabin or home on a lake, you want to be able to have the best swimming, fishing and recreational lake possible to enjoy while the sun is shining and the grill is cooking. Although, sometimes we are harming our lake’s water in ways we didn’t realize, so here are 10 practical ways to keep your lake clean according to the Freshwater Society.
1. If you live on a lake or river, plant strips of native and wild plants along the water. It gives the lake a natural look, is healthy for the water and plants and is easy to take care of.
2. Don’t use fertilizer or pesticides on your lawn if it is located next to the water because the chemicals can travel into the water and could threaten wildlife.
3. Drive slower in your boat near the shore. For many this may sound silly, but big wakes can erode the shoreline.
4. If you have a septic system, make sure it functions properly and meets current standards. Consider looking into an alternative wastewater treatment system, such as a composting toilet.
5. Plant a rain garden, use a rain barrel to catch water from your roof or consider using permeable pavement in your driveway. Runoff that stays on your property will not wash contaminants into streams and lakes.
6. Never dump wastes into a storm drain or on the ground. Storm sewers run directly to rivers and lakes.
7. In the winter, use less salt on your sidewalks and driveways. Chloride from road salt is building up in lakes that runoff from main roads.
8. Believe it or not, don’t use the lake as a bathtub. Soaps and shampoos contain nutrients and pollutants that are harmful to the lake and organisms living in it.
9. When you buy a boat motor, choose a 4-cycle rather than a 2-cycle engine. You will lose less gasoline into the water and cause less air pollution.
10. If you fish, consider putting away your lead sinkers and jigs and switch to non-toxic tackle. Loons, swans and other animals are susceptible to contracting lead poisoning from tackle they pick up off lake bottoms.
These are just some practical simple ways to keep your lakes clean to not only the wildlife, but also for your friends and family and visitors to our area’s lakes. – Billie Ingalls