Page 2 of 2 Previous
“If we had a magic wand, we would prefer not to do this, but the water quality is terrible,’’ said Paul Habegger. “You wouldn’t dare swim in it.”
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency added Long Lake to the state’s list of impaired waters in 2002. Farquar Lake is also on the impaired list, also has curly-leaf pondweed and is not expected to be harmed by receiving Long Lake’s water, Kehrer said.
When the Habeggers moved to Long Lake in 1990, the 4.5-foot-deep lake was clear all year. Now pondweed forms thick mats on the surface through June and July, making it difficult to canoe and kayak. Because it is the first plant to come up in the spring, curly-leaf blocks light to more slowly growing native plants, and when it dies back at the end of July it releases phosphorous, which promotes green algae growth.
Long Lake is burdened by too many pollutants, including phosphorous from lawn fertilizer. “The lake needs to go on a diet. It’s overnourished,” said John Erdmann, research scientist for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.
The first part of the diet is the drawdown, which will aim to kill the pondweed and the rough fish — including bullheads — that dominate the lake and contribute to its poor quality. Then in the spring, when the lake fills back up, the city will activate two in-ground filter cells, built at a cost of $140,000, with a $40,000 grant from the watershed and $20,000 from Dakota County, to remove phosphorous from stormwater before it goes into the lake.
The DNR wants the drawdown completed before mid-October to allow frogs, toads, salamanders and turtles to move to surrounding ponds for the winter. Kehrer said it may take three weeks for the water to fully drain.
Laurie Blake • 952-746-3287
Poll: Do you agree with baseball's plan to ban collisions at home plate?