View From The Lake

This article submitted by Linda Lorentzen on 07/15/97.

I take a lot for granted in turning on a faucet or pushing the lever on the toilet. I expect that water will always be available for my use. However, a recurring theme keeps surfacing in my life: "Water is one of our most important resources."

In 1965 when I was eleven years old I attended a program at church. The featured speaker was a speech teacher from the high school. His topic was "Clean Water." At the time I remember wondering why he was so impassioned about conserving water and making sure the ground water was safe from pollutants. From my eleven-year-old mind I believed water would always be available for me.

By 1972 I was in college and still learning about the environment. The only thing I remember from a biology class had to do with water pollution prevention. The instructor believed that each town/city should be required to take water for their use from downstream. In theory each town/city would be very careful about what it dumped into the river if they had to take drinking water from downstream.

Through the years I have heard one organization consistently proclaiming a message of concern for our lake's water quality. The Koronis Lake Association was established to protect and promote the lake. At the July 12 annual meeting, the focus of attention was on the multitude of factors that affect the quality of water.

Many elements interplay to impact the water in Lake Koronis. It is easy to think what one person does or does not do would have any impact on the lake. But it does matter what each of us does, just as that speech teacher said in 1965. Simple changes in our lifestyles can impact our water consumption and help the lake water quality.

Limiting water consumption and use impacts our sewer systems which in turn impacts the lake. If we shut off the running water while brushing our teeth or washing dishes, and use less water in the bathtub or shower, we can save the amount of water that must go into the septic system. If our septic systems are properly maintained, the chance of pollution from them going to the lake is eliminated.

Two things that can be done to help the lake water quality involves weeds and mowing the lawn. We shouldn't pull up weeds and send them off into the lake with a breeze blowing away from our shorelines. All we're doing is sending the weeds to another part of the lake where someone else will have to deal with them. Instead, we should gather the weeds and put them in a compost pile, removing them from the lake.

Another simple thing we can do is to be careful how we cut the lawn at the cabin. We should be certain the cut grass does not reach the lake water. Grass clippings can add extra nutrients to the lake water, which it doesn't need.

Lora Lorenz, a shoreline volunteer, told me that at a course she attended about care of our lakes, one phrase stood out. "Everybody lives downstream," is what she learned. This is exactly what my biology professor proclaimed. If we all take this attitude our lake water quality will continue to improve as we practice conservation of this resource. I can make a difference, you can make a difference, the Koronis Lake Association can make a difference, guaranteeing future generations a pollutant free view from the lake.

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