Findley Lake Conditions ‘Better Than Normal’

Algae conditions on Findley Lake so far this year are unusually good.

Ed Mulkearn, Findley Lake Watershed Foundation president, told The Post-Journal it’s been a good year thus far for algal blooms on the lake.

“Findley Lake is relatively algae free this year,” Mulkearn said. “We haven’t had many problems there. The aquatic vegetation in the lake has started to grow faster than normal now as well.”

With a weed harvester set to take care of the vegetation, overall algae conditions in the lake appear to be “so far so good” Mulkearn said, though there is a question of why.

“Everything is better than normal,” Mulkearn said. “This is highly unusual. There’s normally a lot of algae by now, and we’re not really sure why this is happening.”

Mulkearn added that it is also unclear as to whether the level of algae in Findley Lake will remain in this highly unusual pattern for the rest of the year or not.

At the same time Mulkearn is monitoring current conditions, Mina officials are working again on a sewer system around the lake that town officials say will help decrease phosphorus levels in Findley Lake.

In past years private septic systems in the area around Findley Lake have drained directly into the lake, which leads to more phosphorus running into the lake, Mulkearn said. Added phosphorus leads to more weeds growing in the lake and, eventually, harmful algal blooms.

“We are very hopeful about the town of Mina developing this sewer district for houses around the lake,” Mulkearn said. “We have a unique hydrology here in that the septic drains out of the houses and into the ground, but then that drain continues out into the lake. This has been a problem for a while. There’s not enough room for leach fields, so we need this sewer system to be developed.”

Mulkearn said that to him it appears that the people in the town of Mina realize that this problem is occurring and needs to be fixed, but it will be hard to know for sure until the public vote. The town of Mina has been working on developing this sewer system for a few years after it was shot down at a previous public vote in 2017. The issue was brought up again after a survey went out asking people if they would be willing to try for it once again and the majority responded positively.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation sent a letter to the town of Mina in regards to the planned sewer system, encouraging its progress to help decrease the level of phosphorus in Findley Lake.

“The DEC sent a letter to the town, regarding reaching its goal of the phosphorus level in Findley Lake,” Mulkearn said. “No septic is going to achieve that. We need this sewer system. It seems to me that the town is doing the right thing in moving this along, but now the question is, will the people do the right thing and let it pass? But, the DEC is encouraging them to do it.”


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