- Lake Forest Association (LFA) - Caretakers of Eastwood Lake in Chapel Hill, NC.
Hello LFA neighbors! Below are reminder announcements from the LFA Board of Directors.
Special LFA Spring membership meeting this Monday, May 14th: This special meeting will be held at Expand Church ( 114 Weaver Dairy Road) on Monday, May 14 at 7:30 pm. As promised at the Fall Annual meeting, the board will provide an update to the membership and focus on:
• The board’s progress and recommendations for moving forward on a strategic plan for the future management of the association.
• An update on the park pavilion construction.
• 2018 seasonal programming plans.
If you are unable to attend the meeting, please complete a proxy form. Remember that only regular members who are up to date on their dues may vote at LFA membership meetings. Per the bylaws, associate members may not vote.
Have You Paid Your Dues? If you haven’t already done so, please send your dues payment for 2018 to:
Lake Forest Association
P.O. Box 2025
Chapel Hill, NC 27515
Changing the Gate Code: The new gate code will be in effect on Friday, May 11. All paid up members (regular and associate) will receive a mailing to your home prior to May 11 that will include important information including the new electronic gate code, the 2018 Eastwood Lake Park season calendar and a copy of the revised LFA lake/park rules.
Looking forward to seeing you May 14th.
Your LFA Board
I collected our first pre-season water samples beginning at 11:50am on Wednesday May 2, 2018. The following results indicate very low levels of normal bacterial contamination.
#1 Dock 3 cfu
#2 Cedar Fork Creek 1 cfu
#3 Booker Creek 2 cfu
Caution level is individual reading above 400 cfu, or average above 200 cfu. CFU = colony forming units per 100ml.
Lake water temperature was 71F/22C at all sample sites The SECCI clarity reading was 34 inches.
We test for the same bacterial indicator organism (fecal coliform) that is present in all open bodies of water, using the same methodology that is used in public water recreation areas and drinking water supply reservoirs. The health department requires this testing if we allow swimming in the water. We are fortunate that our water quality has remained good to excellent for several years. It was more variable before OWASA built the Countyside wastewater lift station in our watershed but just outside the boundaries of our neighborhood, on Kenmore road.
Our water is warming up quickly. There were swimmers in the lake the evening before the test and on the morning of the test, although 71 seems a bit cool for me now. Where I grew up, they did not open the beaches for swimming until the water reached 72.
The water is also rapidly clarifying. One week ago the Secci reading was 21 inches, and the temperature was 64F. The SECCI turbidity test can be affected both by suspended particulates (mud, erosion) and algae or bacteria. There is a “sweet spot” that indicates a healthy ecosystem. If it is too turbid, we may be having an algae bloom or extraordinary erosion.
We have built the two forebays to manage silt from erosion which is a natural phenomenon in this part of the world. This process, called eutrophication, is the reason why there is only one naturally occurring lake in North Carolina; White Lake. At this time we are getting additional erosion from deteriorating water mains that are in our watershed but outside our neighborhood.
The other source of turbidity is algae. Typically, at this time of year, when the water warms up and everything comes back to life, the algae overdoes it then dies off. During this process the water gets cloudy first with green algae, then black with dead and dying algae as it slowly sinks. This is a normal “boom and bust” algae cycle. It usually peaks in early June, but it did not happen for the last two years. Humans contribute to this by over-fertilizing or fertilizing with the wrong formulation for “lake margins”. Algae is “nutrient sensitive” and grows rapidly when there is any additional nutrient in the warming late spring lake water.
As I said, there is a sweet spot for turbidity. Even though our lake has several springs in it as well as the two main tributary streams (Booker Creek and Cedar Fork Creek), if the clarity of the water is too great, that is not an indication of health….In this part of the world there should be some “stuff” in the water as an indication of normal biological activity. If the SECCI reading goes above 65”, I think we should be concerned…..That has happened only once since 1994, in the year before our most recent restoration. If the lake ever becomes persistently turbid (very cloudy) or very clear, we should start measuring dissolved oxygen to assess its health.
We normally test the water 4 times per year, three during the “official” swimming season: Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day, and one additional test before Memorial Day as soon as the water is warm enough to be used regularly for wading or swimming. If we have an unusually warm fall, we may also take one more test after Labor Day.
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