CONCERNS FOR THE WATERSHED
The Watershed is still facing these worries in 2000:
In no particular order:
The middle-fork diversion - is at risk of being stopped or severely reduced.
The troublesome, unresolved I&I in the existing Sudden Valley sewer system.
Increasing urbanization in the watershed:
- Northshore Road
- Academy Road, East
- Winchester Estates (project suspended)
- Barkley Blvd - two more large subdivisions platted
- Geneva area - acreage in disputed UGA
- Sudden Valley - about 3000 homesites in suspension
- hundreds of acres along Lake Louise Road
- South Bay - clearcut logging on developable properties
Additional urban infrastructure being (quietly?) considered (planned?) for the watershed:
- The Lake Louise Connector road (to Yew Street Road).
- The Park Road reconstruction.
- Lake Louise Road improvements.
- The second sewer line from Sudden Valley, designed for over twice as many homes as presently exist.
Toxics transport, storage and residue near the Lake:
- Gas station at Sudden Valley
- closed, former gas station at Agate Bay
- industrial chemicals and pesticides at several locations
- two private "junkyards" (my characterization - one is reported to be well-managed)
- nearly every garage and pantry has many pounds of pesticides and toxic chemicals
- power transformers with PCB's washed into the lake by storm-landslides.
Three old "closed" dumpsites:
- Britton Road at Lahti Drive - used by the City of Bham for the crap pumped out of drainage pipes and gutters.
- Y-Road-west - (about 3400 Y Road) a nearly unsupervised open gully that had who-knows-what dumped into in for decades.
- Y-Road-east - (about 3495 Y Road) a lightly supervised County-owned trenched landfill that had who-knows-what dumped into in for over a decade. Shut in a hurry in the 80's by the County, before safety-regulations came into effect.
- DNR-managed - County-&-State-owned land
- large commercial forestry corporations
- a few large private forestry operations
- dozens of small private forestry operations done each year
- roads built, then "nearly-abandoned" by some logging operations, causing erosion and creating landslide risk
- large fields left exposed to rain-fed erosion by clearcuts
- herbicide aerial spraying after logging to poison undesirable bushes and trees
- chemicals and petroleum products used (spilled?) by vehicles and equipment
Historical materials in/on the lake bottom:
- sawmill residue
- creosote and other chemically-treated pilings
- barrels or other containers left in the lake, containing??
- there are no facilities which adequately treat any surface-water flow to make it even remotely like pristine forest-floor runoff;
- those new surface-water treatment facilities installed in the last few years do not yet have proof that they work, even for the limited claims of treatment;
- those surface-water treatment facilities that do accomplish something must have regular maintenance - who does it? -- who pays if there's a cost?;
- there are no facilities which treat any ground-water flow into the lake;
- the sub-soil (shallow geological formations) around most of the lake is notably impervious, making any infiltration systems almost impossible to work;
- if new storm-water treatment facilities are installed in old neighborhoods, who pays?
- if new storm-water treatment facilities are installed with new subdivisions, who pays?
Looks like there's not much for interested citizens or conscientious local governments to do!.....
The Initiative Group
Our bottom-line principles are: Protect the water supply in perpetuity -- maintain ecological viability of the lake for natural species -- distribute the financial burden fairly among those benefitting -- take immediate action if prudent -- take definitive action -- avoid actions which cut off future options.
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