Today
58°
Mostly Cloudy
Tonight
39°
Mostly Cloudy
Tomorrow
61°
Partly Sunny
2%
Tomorrow Night
41°
Partly Cloudy
8%
Monday
66°
Slight Chance Rain Showers
20%
Monday Night
47°
Chance Rain Showers
27%
Tuesday
59°
Chance Rain Showers
30%
Tuesday Night
47°
Chance Rain Showers
31%
Wednesday
60°
Chance Rain Showers
30%
Wednesday Night
41°
Chance Rain Showers
30%
Thursday
59°
Slight Chance Rain Showers
20%
Thursday Night
42°
Mostly Cloudy
28%
3 Day
Extended
Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Heavy rains mar alum study at Grand Lake

By Nancy Allen

Liquid alum is applied in a channel near Windy Point in Montezuma on April 8.. . .

GRAND LAKE - Heavy spring rains washed away chances for a successful alum study on Grand Lake this year.
"The bottom line is things were looking good and we were measuring significant phosphorous reductions and then the weather took over," Ohio EPA spokeswoman Dina Pierce said this morning.
Three sites were dosed with alum in early April and monitored for 30 days. A report analyzing the results doesn't include data from the alum application in the center of the lake this summer.
Two test areas where liquid alum was applied - the state park campground bay and Windy Point east channel - showed good results until they were overwhelmed by high water and big loads of phosphorus washed into the lake, says the report from Tetra Tech, the firm hired to do the study.    Initial tests showed phosphorous reductions of 81 percent at the bay and 90 percent at Windy Point, Pierce said. The bay was pretreated with hydrogen peroxide followed by liquid alum. The Windy Point channel received liquid alum and sodium aluminate to buffer ph levels so fish were not stressed.
Granular alum pellets applied at the third test site - Kozy Marina channel - could not be evaluated effectively because of the unusually high amount of phosphorous washed into the lake this spring, the report says.
Curtains that separated test areas from the rest of the lake also were overwhelmed by excess water and marred results, Pierce said.
The $47,102 study was paid for with an Ohio EPA 319 grant awarded to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Aluminum sulfate (alum) inactivates phosphorous, the main food source of the lake's toxic blue-green algae that bloomed so severely last summer, the state issued a no contact water advisory.
Despite the uncooperative weather, Pierce said the experiment and an alum study done last year helped state officials plan a $3.4 million alum treatment done on the lake in June. Results from that application have not been released.
"We still learned from this and used the information to scale back the main lake treatment," she said. "We knew the highest concentration of phosphorous was in the middle of the lake, so we hit that (4,900-acre) area with a higher dose.
"We think this strategy has helped keep blue-green algae in check this summer, when we experienced the hot, dry, calm weather in June through July," Pierce said. "Microcystin toxin levels have been nowhere close to what they were in 2010 or 2009."
The highest levels reached this year were 43 parts per billion (ppb). Last year levels of 2,000 ppb were recorded.
Additional online story on this date
ST. MARYS - City council's streets and sidewalks committee on Monday agreed to ask full council to expand public notification of council meetings under the recommendation of the law director. [More]
Subscriber only stories on this date
Proposed plants may help clean lake
Freedom Train on track bringing smiles to crew and passengers
Celina applies for grants to purchase dispatch consoles
Three people file as write-in candidates
Flyover pinpoints pot in field
Residents' complaints lead to six arrests
WBL off to a strong start
MAC rivals meet on the links at the Elks