Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Supervisors plan to discuss Owasco Lake water quality issues

More people getting involved in protecting/improving Owasco Lake's quality!

The Syracuse Post-Standard reported the following this past Monday:

Supervisors plan to discuss issues such as water quality and ways to improve it.

Monday, August 18, 2008
By Debra J. Groom
Staff writer

The supervisors of the towns surrounding Owasco Lake soon will be putting their heads together to try to improve the lake's water quality.Owasco Supervisor John Klink said he is calling supervisors in Fleming, Niles, Venice, Scipio and Moravia to see what their concerns are about the lake quality and if they have ideas for improving the lake.

He said the goal is to be sure all the towns are on the same page when it comes to code enforcement, zoning and issues affecting the lake."Our hope initially is a meeting or several meetings," Klink said. "The towns, through codes enforcement, can supervise a bit of the lake in their towns."So far, he has talked to Fleming Supervisor Gary Searing and Scipio Supervisor Keith Batman."I am certainly in favor of this I'm very positive about it," said Batman. "I would think everybody should be in favor of this."Batman said a couple of issues he believes the group would discuss would be the draft permit for operation of the new wastewater treatment plant in Groton. The draft permit, issued in July by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, reduces the amount of phosphorus the plant can discharge into the Owasco Inlet, which runs into the lake.

Another issue is whether the lake needs a second watershed inspector."We'll be meeting with Jessica (Miles, the watershed inspector) and find out what she needs from us," Klink said. "You need a lot of eyes and a lot of ears watching and listening to what's happening at the lake."Klink said the idea for the towns collaborating on lake issues came out of the eight-point plan issued by the Owasco Watershed Lake Association at the meeting concerning the lake hosted by state Sen. Michael Nozzolio, R-Fayette, July 1 at Emerson Park.

Association president Dr. Joseph Wasileski presented the plan to further improve the lake's water quality. The key, he said, is cutting the amount of phosphorus not only from the wastewater treatment plant in Groton but from all sources including agriculture.

The third point in OWLA's plan is: Create an intermunicipal organization and agreement with all communities in the watershed to establish rules and regulations and share costs for programs.The health of Owasco Lake is important not only to the tourists, boaters and fishermen who use the lake, but also to the nearly 44,000 in Cayuga County who drink water from the lake and those who live along the lake in Fleming, Owasco, Niles, Moravia, Scipio and Venice.

No comments: