Submitted by Don Russell.
Dear Representatives Kilduff and Leavitt and Senator O’Ban,
It has now been 19 days since I sent the below request to you. So far I have received no response from you. Why is this so?
Meanwhile a number of articles on this subject have appeared in The Suburban Times about the wisdom and propriety of the City of Lakewood’s City Council’s accepting responsibility for the cleanup of polluted Waughop Lake. Waughop Lake’s pollution has been caused by the actions of two State owned institutions. Not by the actions of the City of Lakewood.
Various rationalizations have been offered by City staff personnel and accepted by City Council members as to why the City of Lakewood should accept responsibility for the cleanup of Waughop Lake. None make any sense.
It is the responsibility of Ecology under provisions of the Federal Clean Water Act to act or require others to act to assure the safe beneficial uses of State owned water. The toxic algae condition of Waughop Lake poses a serious public health threat to all who expose themselves to Waughop Lake’s cyanotoxin laden water whether by direct contact or inhalation of the cyanotoxin laden aerosols that emanate from this lake. Yet nothing is being done to provide adequate funding (approximately $2.5 million) to remove the layer of nutrient polluted sediment that is the proximate cause of Waughop Lake’s toxic condition. This condition is the result of 100 years of discharge of animal and human waste (sewage) into Waughop Lake by Western State Hospital and Pierce College. It is an axiom that those who pollute are required to act to mitigate the condition caused by their discharge of pollutants into State owned waters.
The City’s consultants’ recommendation, approved by City Council members, is that a massive dose (i.e., tons) of liquid alum and sodium aluminate be discharged into Waughop Lake to inactivate the phosphorus contained in the water column and in various (10 to 22 cm) depths of the nutrient polluted sediment. Such an action is environmentally and fiscally irresponsible and contrary to Ecology’s own recommendation that minimal quantities of chemicals be added to State owned waters.
We citizens expect our elected representative to act to assure that the air we breath and the water we recreate in provides us safe beneficial use. This is not what Fort Steilacoom park goers are exposed to when attempting to recreate on, in or in the vicinity of nutrient polluted/toxic Cyanobacteria infested/excessive aquatic plant growth Waughop Lake.
We citizens would appreciate it if you, Ecology, and the City of Lakewood Council would do your respective jobs so Waughop Lake does assure safe beneficial use by all.