May 25, 2018
Spring Lake Receives Second Round of Alum Treatment
On Monday, May 21st Spring Lake received the second of three scheduled alum treatments. The first was in 2013 and the third is anticipated to happen sometime in the next few years. These treatments are being done to combat the unwanted growth of algae in the lake.
Algae are free-floating, microscopic organisms that are commonly found in lakes. While it does support the development of juvenile and adult fish, excessive growth of invasive algae can cause serious water quality problems. About five years ago, The Prior Lake-Spring Lake Water District enlisted the help of HAB Aquatic Solutions and embarked on a $1 Million initiative to fight the algae growth. HAB Aquatic Solutions is a Nebraska-based company that travels across the country to combat unwanted algae growth through aluminum sulfate treatments.
Aluminum sulfate, also known as alum, is a non-toxic liquid used to limit the amount of phosphorus in the water. According to representatives for HAB Aquatic Solutions, less phosphorus means less algae. Alum permanently binds with the phosphorus in the lake which then creates “floc”, a fluffy white substance that eventually settles on the bottom of the lake to prevent phosphorus from being released from the sediment.
About 146,000 gallons of alum will be applied through Saturday, May 25th using highly specialized and precise equipment, GPS and barges, to ensure accurate placement of the treatment.
Some common external sources of phosphorus in lakes include lawn fertilizers, septic systems, stormwater, soil erosion, and geese.