Wapato Lake polluted and dying

Wapato Lake no swimming signIt's no secret to anyone who's stopped by this potentially wonderful spot in our fair city. Wapato Lake once was a thriving water hole for the area but now sits dead as its waters are still. Algae kills off wildlife and sometimes pets, no swimming is allowed, and a sheen of guck often covers its surface and shoreline. I've only stopped by the place once and noticed its sad state. MetroParks is acutely aware of the problem and a study is underway to determine at method to help get the lake healthier.

Although one proposal includes rendering some of the run-off toxins like lawn fertilizers inert it's only a temporary fix. A similar method was used in 1984 but the company conducting the study says it didn't work because not enough of the needed chemical was used. Another option is also to dredge the contamination from the lake bottom.

Phosphorous is the main culprit and park visitors can help by picking up after dogs and avoiding feeding park fowl since manure can contribute to the problem. Neighbors are encouraged to avoid fertilizer and other lawn products that contain phosphorous since run-off can drain into the lake. Sounds to me like MetroParks needs to show the area folks, door-to-door if necessary, how they might go about doing this. Show them where these products are, how much they cost, and what they could mean for the lake.

2/13 - Early Wapato Lake report calls its condition serious, TNT

It's a beautiful spot and a little help could certainly got a long way. I'm new enough to this town that I don't have the same memories others surely do about Wapato. Care to share yours? The comments are always open.

posted Feb 13, 2007 under algae, pollution, tacoma, wapato lake  


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