The #1 threat to water quality in Maine lakes is polluted stormwater runoff. This is because dirt and soil found in runoff contains phosphorus, a nutrient that feeds algae. There are many ways to help keep runoff out of the lake, like keeping soil covered by mulch, crushed stone, or vegetation.
Next time it rains, conduct a Rainy Day Survey
Sometimes stormwater runoff issues can be hard to see during dry weather alone. Enter: the “rainy day survey”! During the next heavy rain, don’t run for cover. Instead, grab your raincoat and head outside!
Tips for your Rainy Day Survey
- Start at the top of your property and work your way down to the shorefront.
- Note where the rainwater is going, and where it’s coming from – what’s the source?
- Note where the flow is the heaviest. Is it concentrating or channelizing in certain areas?
- Determine places where natural vegetation might be able to absorb runoff.
- Look at your path to the shorefront. Does it bring runoff into the lake?
- Identify points on the water’s edge that are allowing runoff to enter the lake (docks, launch areas, etc.).
Now that you know where runoff is going, make a plan to divert and infiltrate. Click here for a list of recommendations.
Also, if you have questions, 30 Mile’s Program Manager, Whitney, is just an email away (firstname.lastname@example.org).