State grant awarded to rid Mohegan Lake of algae blooms

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blue-green algae bloom

LAKE MOHEGAN – The state has awarded the Mohegan Lake Improvement District and Town of Yorktown $100,000 for the installation of a new aeration system and retrofitting existing aeration systems in the 103-acre lake to remove phosphorus in the lake that is causing large algae blooms each year.

The grant was secured by State Senator Pete Harckham.

By themselves, most algae and similar single-cell organisms benefit marine ecosystems and pose no risk to humans and wildlife. But the expansive, often smelly surface mats of freshwater algae blooms on ponds and lakes can harbor cyanobacteria, a toxic blue-green algae that can sicken swimmers and animals that ingest the water.

Phosphorus leaching into the lake and warmer summer temperatures have only increased the algae blooms in the past few years.

“The extensive phosphorus abatement project being undertaken at Mohegan Lake will help restore this important natural resource and make it safe for recreation,” said Harckham.

A two-pronged, long-term strategy is being employed to remediate the algae problem in the lake.

A capital project, which will include the new and retrofitted aeration system on the lake, will address phosphorus reduction at the largest stormwater inflow and the phosphorus released from the lake bottom sediment during the summer.

The rest of the project will be determined by viable strategies to reduce phosphorus entering the lake through stormwater.