By Don Russell.
Dear City Council Members,
A week ago I sent the below message to Paul Bucich hoping that he would apprise you of an option that makes much more sense than following the recommendations of B&C/Tetra Tech and the City staff.
That B&C recommendation is to discharge 20,000 gallons of liquid alum weighing 220,000 pounds (of which only 4.4% is the phosphorus inactivation agent aluminum, the rest being toxic sulfate ions and water) and 10,000 gallons of a saturated solution of sodium aluminate weighing 124,000 pounds (of which only 12.5% is the phosphorus inactivation agent aluminum, the rest being sodium ions and water). Such a delivery would require 7 tanker trucks to deliver (over the park’s fragile road) 344,000 pounds net weight of this liquid material to Waughop Lake at a cost of $210,000.
Tetra Tech has prescribed that the alum/sodium aluminate dosage be increased 2.3 times which would require 16 tanker trucks (at 791,200 pounds net weight) to deliver liquid alum and sodium aluminate at a cost of $780,000, with a $50,000 annual maintenance dosage of alum each year following the initial alum application.
When you consider that the B&C prescribed treatment will have a life of from 3 to 5 years and have to be repeated each 3 to 5 years thereafter and leave an ever increasing legacy of tons of aluminum hydroxide on Waughop Lake’s bottom sediment, hastening its filling in, I believe that you should seriously consider the alternative that I described to Paul Bucich a week ago.
Mr. Russell’s Letter to Paul Bucich, Public Works Engineering Director for the City of Lakewood
I read your recent “the rest of the story” article in The Suburban Times on this issued. The City staff’s position on this issue is well and clearly stated.
I would like to take this opportunity to make my position on this issue as clear.
We all agree that the best environmental option is to remove the nutrient polluted sediment laid down by year’s of activity by State owned entities but that the scope, cost and disruption of executing that option as described by Harry Gibbons is considered by some as overwhelming for a variety of reasons.
I do not share this view. But for the time being I am willing to set aside a discussion of why I believe that a properly designed combination of lake level drawdown, dry sediment removal and wet sediment removal operation is feasible, cost effective and can be executed in one dry season.
Since it would take some time and convincing to obtain City buy in for such an approach I want to make sure that the Harry Gibbons prescribed heavy one shot alum dose followed by annual maintenance doses of alum does not proceed. Why? Such added material to the nutrient rich sediment already there would further compound the problem and cost of disposing of dredged material.
Harry Gibbons is proposing that the initial one shot alum dosage be adequate to both inactivate the phosphorus in the water column (4 mg/L Al) and in two meters of underlying sediment (80 mg/L Al). He further states that each year following the initial high dosage alum application will require the application of 4 mg/L Al costing $50,000 to inactivate each season’s external loading caused by the influx of phosphorus contained in surface water runoff and groundwater. He anticipates that in addition to the maintenance doses of alum that annual application of a herbicide and/or algaecide may be necessary to control aquatic plant growth or filamentous green algal blooms.
My position is that Waughop Lake’s excessive aquatic plant growth, nuisance filamentous green algae bloom and harmful Cyanobacteria bloom condition can be prevented by having either Northwest Aquatic Eco-Sytems or Aquatechnex determine at the beginning of each growing season the water condition present in the Lake and then prescribe the appropriate minimal quantities of herbicide, algaecide and phosphorus inactivation chemicals to apply to maintain acceptable water quality for the season. Such an approach allows the application contractor to choose the combination and quantity of herbicides, algaecides and phosphorus inactivation agent to use and the appropriate sequencing and timing of those applications. Bear in mind that Ecology permits the use of several phosphorus inactivation chemical besides alum. These include calcium oxide/hydroxide, lanthanum enriched clay (PhosLock) and zero valent iron particles.
The cost of such an approach would be in the neighborhood of from $50,000 to $75,000 per season. There is no need to apply a massive dosage (84 mg/L Al) of alum followed by annual maintenance dosages (4 mg/L Al) to achieve this level of control. This annual water quality monitoring and minimal chemical application by an application contractor is the way all the other association managed lakes in Lakewood are managed to avoid the loss of beneficial use that unmanaged Waughop Lake experiences each summer.
As far as the annual management of water quality in Waughop Lake is concerned I suggest that the City establish a Lake Management Advisory Committee to handle this task in concert with either Northwest Aquatic Eco-Systems or Aquatechnex. Otherwise you and Greg Vigoren are going to be saddled with having to manage each season’s new developments and unique challenges in Waughop Lake.
What I advocate will accomplish several objectives. Short term annual suppression of excessive aquatic plant growth and prevention of nuisance filamentous green algae blooms and harmful Cyanobacteria blooms in Waughop Lake with minimal adverse impact on the environment and at low annual maintenance cost, avoiding adding copious quantities of toxic aluminum and sulfate ions to the lake and compounding the problem with eventual removal of accumulated sediment, and relieving you and Greg of having to deal with ongoing Waughop Lake problems. Let the Lakewood Lake Management Advisory Committee and lake management application contractor deal with each emerging issues.
Be happy to answer any questions that you, your staff or City Council members may have about what I have proposed.