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Old 07-31-2022, 11:32 AM   #1
Garcia
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Default Water quality - algae and weeds

This year the weeds and algae seem worse than usual. Green algae collects on the mooring ropes, and what historically has been a sandy bottom is slowly developing batches of mucky growth. Do others notice more growth than in past years or am i just getting older and lamenting the way things used to be (even if they weren't exactly as i like to remember them.

I am on an island where all the close neighbors (myself included) have permitted, up to date septic systems, no one uses any type of fertilizer or chemicals, we don't feed or try and attract waterfowl, and we don't mess around with the shoreline. It is not an area where people anchor.

Others seeing the same thing of more algae than usual or is it unique to me (or just my imagination)?

Last edited by Garcia; 07-31-2022 at 12:02 PM. Reason: added something
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Old 07-31-2022, 11:40 AM   #2
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Default Water Quality

It's a known fact many McMansion owners use illegal fertilizers and pesticides. They would spray after hours so they don't get caught!

The more McMansions the worst it gets!

Ever notice they talk about the beauty of trees yet they cut down all the trees on their properties for their golf course lawns???
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Old 07-31-2022, 03:41 PM   #3
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It's a known fact many McMansion owners use illegal fertilizers and pesticides. They would spray after hours so they don't get caught!

The more McMansions the worst it gets!

Ever notice they talk about the beauty of trees yet they cut down all the trees on their properties for their golf course lawns???
There is a home for sale for $10,000,000 that typifies your response.


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Old 07-31-2022, 04:45 PM   #4
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Jealousy is so tacky


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Old 07-31-2022, 05:57 PM   #5
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Jealousy is so tacky


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For me, there is nothing more tacky than all the green lawns around the lake.
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Old 07-31-2022, 06:27 PM   #6
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It's a known fact many McMansion owners use illegal fertilizers and pesticides. They would spray after hours so they don't get caught!

The more McMansions the worst it gets!

Ever notice they talk about the beauty of trees yet they cut down all the trees on their properties for their golf course lawns???
Wow, really??
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Old 07-31-2022, 06:39 PM   #7
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I agree about lawns, fertilizer, and pesticides. But there are also many homes without lawns that do not have a "natural" buffer of plantings--bare soil and sand and unmaintained septic systems are also bad. There's a lot more info available from Lake Winnipesaukee Association, and they will come to your home to advise you on how to make sure your home is lake friendly. They came to my house last year--they were very friendly, had some good recommendations, and it didn't cost anything. I think you just have to call or go to their website if you want a visit.
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Old 07-31-2022, 09:53 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Garcia View Post
This year the weeds and algae seem worse than usual. Green algae collects on the mooring ropes, and what historically has been a sandy bottom is slowly developing batches of mucky growth. Do others notice more growth than in past years or am i just getting older and lamenting the way things used to be (even if they weren't exactly as i like to remember them.

I am on an island where all the close neighbors (myself included) have permitted, up to date septic systems, no one uses any type of fertilizer or chemicals, we don't feed or try and attract waterfowl, and we don't mess around with the shoreline. It is not an area where people anchor.

Others seeing the same thing of more algae than usual or is it unique to me (or just my imagination)?
Unfortunately, nitrogen, through chemical fertilizer and urea, will diffuse throughout the body of water until it either gets absorbed or flushed away by the current. Algae and weed growth acceleration may be the plants absorbing more of it from the water.
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Old 08-01-2022, 05:59 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Garcia View Post
This year the weeds and algae seem worse than usual. Green algae collects on the mooring ropes, and what historically has been a sandy bottom is slowly developing batches of mucky growth. Do others notice more growth than in past years or am i just getting older and lamenting the way things used to be (even if they weren't exactly as i like to remember them.

I am on an island where all the close neighbors (myself included) have permitted, up to date septic systems, no one uses any type of fertilizer or chemicals, we don't feed or try and attract waterfowl, and we don't mess around with the shoreline. It is not an area where people anchor.

Others seeing the same thing of more algae than usual or is it unique to me (or just my imagination)?
Garcia, I have been on this lake my whole life and I can tell you that the sandy areas that don't get used, get mucky and vegetation grows. It's use and motion that keeps it sandy.
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Old 08-01-2022, 09:58 AM   #10
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Garcia, I have been on this lake my whole life and I can tell you that the sandy areas that don't get used, get mucky and vegetation grows. It's use and motion that keeps it sandy.
This sandy area is the same place I have been swimming my whole life, which is why I am wondering if others are seeing more algae growth this year than in the past.

There is also a good amount of wind and wave action
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Old 08-01-2022, 10:12 AM   #11
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Over the last 35 years, I have seen the lake front in front of my place change. As more manicured lawns have arrived, coupled with more docks and more boats, effecting the water flow through the area, the muck has slowly gathered, and so have aquatic weeds.

The best medicine I find for this is activity to turn the bottom up. The more we swim and play in the water, the clearer the area gets. For this reason, I am willing to rent children, I will feed them well as payment....

While McMansion, and manicured lawns certainly play a role, the drastic over use of the lake is really to blame... Couple that with mother nature etc. and slowly things go the wrong way.... Along with Fertilizers, Septic leaching, pesticides, how many people blow leaves into the lake? Wash boats in the lake? Go into the lake with sun cream on? I can go on and one here..... Winnipesaukee for years, was an unspoiled gem, but it has gained popularity rite fully so, and now the lake itself is paying the price.
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Old 08-01-2022, 01:30 PM   #12
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Default Causes of decreased water quality

Local watershed studies have shown that water runoff is the most common cause of nutrients entering the lake. You might look for new areas on the island where vegetation ha been cleared. Take a kayak along the shore and look for erosion ruts on the shoreline.

Septic systems and fertilizer are other causes, but lower on the list. What is not in the report is the impact of boat wake stirring up the bottom. Nutrients tend to settle on the bottom. When wake washes through shallow areas, the nutrients are brought into the water column. Have you seen an increase in boat wake?

Water quality varies by the season. Typically, the dryer the season, the less algae (due to less runoff) but temperature is another factor.
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Old 08-01-2022, 02:01 PM   #13
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There are a number of factors that need to be considered. One is the intensity of rain events. Our rain events may be less frequent but are more intense. This means a more intense flushing of the catchment basin into the lake and a potentially greater nutrient loading. And there's more development everywhere, not just the lakeshores, to contribute nutrient to the lake through its tributaries. Shoreline development does lead to fewer trees at the shoreline and less shade. More sunlight penetration allows more photosynthesis and warms water temperatures which further stimulates growth. Increased wave action erodes shoreline soils and stirs up bottom sediments introducing more nutrients within the water column. Individuals that somehow "forget" their aquatherm is still set to run daily and has been "accidentally" turned down towards the lakebed or who irresponsibly chose to use devices designed to blow sediments away from lakebed areas contribute even more nutrient s to the water column. As I have explained before algae growth works like any other form of combustion. it's all about fuel to air ratio. Lease the nutrients settled on the lakebed with a limited surface exposed to dissolve O2 and there will be some algae growth on and near the bed. Mix those nutrients up into the column with greater exposure to dissolve O2 and growth growths explodes.
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Old 08-09-2022, 07:56 AM   #14
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This is so disappointing to hear. We are planning to buy a house in the area, but I hate the idea of ruining the lake . Does anyone know if there is a list of best practices for individuals and homeowners associations in terms of lessening human impact on the lake?
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Old 08-09-2022, 08:38 AM   #15
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This is so disappointing to hear. We are planning to buy a house in the area, but I hate the idea of ruining the lake . Does anyone know if there is a list of best practices for individuals and homeowners associations in terms of lessening human impact on the lake?
See my post #7 above. Visit the LWA website
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Old 08-09-2022, 02:22 PM   #16
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Default BMP's

DES, LWA and NHLAKES.org all have info on best management practices. Plant blueberry sod instead of grass. No maintenance, and mostly green all year.
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Old 08-09-2022, 02:28 PM   #17
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You canít walk on or enjoy time with the grandchildren and guests on blueberry sod! Itís not a solution in most cases. Management of the runoff from those grass areaís is a better solution


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Old 08-09-2022, 05:03 PM   #18
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You canít walk on or enjoy time with the grandchildren and guests on blueberry sod! Itís not a solution in most cases. Management of the runoff from those grass areaís is a better solution
The question was about Best Management Practices for protecting the waters.
The intention is to have a 50' buffer at the shore. That's part of controlling runoff. In the SWQPA, you get points for trees according to size, same for other woody ground cover, shrubs, etc.
RSA 483-B:9 D (V):
Ground cover, not including mowed lawn--one point for every 50 square feet.
The law works on the idea that lakes are down gradient from the surrounding watershed, and runoff is controlled by vegetation. If you want to "control runoff' by changing that gradient, you need an "Alteration of Terrain" permit. The RSA works on plantings within the buffer not changing the natural landscape.
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Old 08-09-2022, 08:51 PM   #19
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You canít walk on or enjoy time with the grandchildren and guests on blueberry sod! Itís not a solution in most cases. Management of the runoff from those grass areaís is a better solution


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Although you can do all those fun things on a mixture of grass, clover, crab grass, moss....So if you have grass today, skip the fertilizer and pesticide--you'll be protecting the lake, and it will still be a great surface
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Old 08-09-2022, 09:16 PM   #20
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Although you can do all those fun things on a mixture of grass, clover, crab grass, moss....So if you have grass today, skip the fertilizer and pesticide--you'll be protecting the lake, and it will still be a great surface
Correct. Planning to drop some clover this fall. Run must be and can be managed past the 50’ foot mark.


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Old 08-10-2022, 07:04 PM   #21
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So if you have grass today, skip the fertilizer and pesticide--you'll be protecting the lake, and it will still be a great surface
^^^^^^^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Grass is great! Just donít use fertilizer! Grows anywhere and needs very little maintenance other than occasional watering. If your in a place where geese congregate that could be an issue.

15 years ago my ďdirtĒ island lot was spilling in the lake every time it rained. I bought the cheapest grass seed at SAMís Club. Spread it over the island dirt (no top soil, no fertilizer) and in short while I had a beautiful, tough, somewhat greenish lawn that my dog just loves to do her business on! Great surface!

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Old 08-11-2022, 08:39 PM   #22
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Default sandy bottom has changed over time

I have noticed the same thing as Garcia. We live on a windy point with lots of wave action. I have observed the sandy bottom for more than 35 years and it has changed to a more mucky bottom outside of the area where swimmers feet break it up. The muck settles on rocks and sand and seems to get thicker with passing years. I don't know if any scientist has water temperature records dating back a few decades but it appears that the water temp in our area has been 80 degrees or higher on more days over the last few years (and most especially this year). I wish people with lawns would respect the lake more and not allow the use of any fertilizer (and if you must fertilize use only the type with no phosphorus (that's the middle number in the fertilizer label). The Lake Winnipesaukee Association is doing great work and deserves everyone's support. The towns along the lake need to step up enforcement on excessive treat cutting and the NHDES should devote more resources to enforcement action. Our lake will only stay clean and clear if we take action. Doing nothing will result in a Tragedy of the Commons situation (look it up). Join LWA at winnipesaukee.org.
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