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Old 03-13-2018, 07:34 PM
 
Location: Mendocino, CA
858 posts, read 611,760 times
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Is it natural for a mountain lake to be this emerald in color?-img_20180314_092424.png

Is it natural for a mountain lake to be this emerald in color?-img_20180314_092527.png

From shore it looks like kind of normal, but still not crystal clear, and from air under the sun it really looks green.....
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Old 03-13-2018, 07:41 PM
 
Location: Willamette Valley, Oregon
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It looks like an algae bloom, which shouldn't happen until summer unless temps have been warmer then normal. We see it all the time in Oregon, but only in the summer.
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Mendocino, CA
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OK good. I was afraid it's some toxic stuff. Any way to treat a lake half an acre big? Or can only leave it to mother nature?
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:46 PM
 
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Algae bloom does not mean some sort of flowers....Algae bloom can be toxic. They can cause organ damage, ruin economies and home values around a lake, and harm people who have to stay in their homes.

I have friends into this and it is interesting to me so I listen. One govt man said if you see the algae bloom, the lake is likely 3' or less deep because the algae needs light. The more shallow the more disgusting the bloom will look. I saw that at one pond I was shown where there had to be a sign put up for people to avoid the area.

Lawn chemical runoff, farm runoff are issues. As is lack of dredging as needed.

It might be interesting for you to check your area topo map or maybe you already know if your lake is at a very low spot in your larger surrounding area. It could be the lake is a receptacle of surrounding junk runoff from a few miles all around.
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:10 AM
 
Location: Mendocino, CA
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So what can I do to check the health of the lake?
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:47 AM
 
2,075 posts, read 802,108 times
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DEQ does a test. There are area offices. Give them a call. Keep us updated.
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Old 03-14-2018, 01:04 AM
 
Location: on the wind
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhbj03 View Post
So what can I do to check the health of the lake?
Was this a sudden or recent change? What is the water source for the lake? Seeps? Springs? Snowmelt or runoff? Is it always this color or does it change right after rain? Could be suspended minerals or organic materials if not algae. If you sweep a piece of cheesecloth on a net through the water do you come up with green material? If so, algae. If not, need to keep looking. Suspended minerals or sediment could be reflecting light in such a way that the water appears green but it actually isn't.

You could get an aquarium water testing kit at a pet shop just to give you an idea before calling a water utility or DEQ. You can test for basics such as dissolved oxygen, nitrogen, pH, hardness, alkalinity, ammonia. Do some web searching to find out what agency monitors surface water quality...it could be an agricultural extension office or agency, your city or county, possibly a state agency. It really varies. Are you on a well or do you get municipal water to your house? You might start asking about it there.
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:55 AM
 
Location: Minnesota
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That looks to be a pond, not a lake. There are plenty of ponds in my area having issues with algae blooms, pretty common. It could be a natural thing or a lawn runoff thing with too many nutrients, whether naturally occurring or not, that are good for blooms. It's normally treated with aerator/water fountain and somewhat recently, barley straw. Algae blooms are a natural thing though, especially in ponds because the warmer water temperature promotes that, usually the bloom is a temporary cycle. Even large lakes get algae blooms, but not as dense as ponds.

This is a somewhat recent thing that I've seen tried in ponds, maybe it's a treatment that been around, but heard of being used a few years ago by some cities in my area to combat algae blooms. They use some type of floating bales of barley straw and aeration.
Barley straw:
https://pondinformer.com/how-to-use-pond-barley-straw/

Is this a recent thing or has it always been prone to blooms? Has anything changed? More lawns or farming in the area? More run off going into lake? Higher rainfall? Change in landscape in the area? Any or all of these could be a reason for any change. Possibly prevent runoff to pond to help. Let natural plants around the edge of pond/lake grow to help filter any runoff.

Last edited by Izzie1213; 03-14-2018 at 08:15 AM..
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Old 03-14-2018, 10:14 AM
 
Location: A noncontiguous State
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There is a lake outside Carcross, Canada that I'm famiilar with that looks similar, entirely due to benign natural causes.

"The green color of the lake is a rarity and attracts many to the location. The green color is the result of sunlight reflecting off of, what is called, marl. Marl is the white calcium carbonate that settles on the lake floor. It is created by mixing the limestone remains from the ice age with the calcium in the alpine water."
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Old 03-14-2018, 10:19 AM
 
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This is happening nationally. A few months ago there was the big Lake Erie concern since so many people are dependent on the water.

I see Oregon Health Authority has some info and also says, as with so many places, that they can't keep up with it all so, as they write, "When in doubt,stay out.". I see Oregon, a beautiful state, does have this problem with some reservoirs which then makes its way downstream.

You might give OHA a call and see what they say.
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