Submitted by Don Russell.
That advice is as follows: Discontinue pursuing Lakewood’s consultants’ proposed $210,000 to $780,000 lake-wide alum treatment. This treatment does not address the proximate cause of Waughop Lake’s recurring harmful Cyanobacteria blooms. The proximate cause of the lake’s recurring harmful Cyanobacteria blooms is the existence of a layer of nutrient polluted sediment laid down by 60 years of Western State Hospital’s practice of discharging slaughtered animal waste, manure and human sewage into Waughop Lake, followed by 40 years of Pierce College’s illicit discharge of sewage into Waughop Lake. An alum treatment does nothing to address this proximate cause, rather its application will contribute a significant quantity of aluminum hydroxide material that will eventually have to be removed along with the lake’s nutrient polluted layer of sediment.
Form a Waughop Lake Management advisory committee comprised of citizens and academics who are qualified to consider and advise City Council members on various options for the cost effective removal of this layer of nutrient polluted sediment. Bear in mind that it exists as a result of the illicit discharge activity by two State owned institutions.
While various options for the cost effective removal of nutrient polluted sediments are being considered and developed by the Waughop Lake Management advisory committee and State funding is provided to effectuate nutrient polluted sediment removal, the lake’s recurring Cyanobacteria and filamentous green algae blooms should be prevented and excessive aquatic plant growth controlled by applying the same lake management practice used in all the other Lakewood nutrient polluted lakes.
This lake management practice is to engage either Northwest Aquatic Eco-Systems or AquaTechnex to monitor at the beginning of each season water quality conditions in the lake and then prescribe and apply the appropriate suite of chemical to prevent harmful Cyanobacteria and filamentous green algae blooms from occurring, and to control excessive aquatic plant growth. It is estimated that this comprehensive water quality management service would cost from $50,000 to $75,000 per year, a mere fraction of the $210,000 to $780,000 single purpose harmful Cyanobacteria bloom suppression lake-wide alum application proposed by the City of Lakewood’s consultants.
Don Russell was the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department/City of Lakewood’s Waughop Lake volunteer water quality monitor from 2009 until 2016. Tom McClellan has been the City of Lakewood’s Waughop Lake volunteer water quality monitor from 2017 to date. Tom was the author of the 2012 Waughop Lake Remedial Action Plan. Don along with Professors Jim Gawel (UWT) and Jeff Tepper (UPS) provided the technical content for that Plan.