The main nutrient that contributes to excessive weed and algae growth in lakes is phosphorous. Major sources include human and animal wastes, soil erosion, fertilizer runoff from farms and lawns, and detergents. Because phosphorus acts as a fertilizer, it is VERY important to prevent its introduction into the lake. Phosphorus levels should be maintained below 30 micrograms per liter (m g/L) to prevent algae blooms. We currently sample the lake for Phosphorus at the surface and bottom, as well as three inlet streams. The samples are then sent to a lab for analysis.
Nitrogen is second only to phosphorus as a nutrient for weeds and algae. Nitrogen may come from fertilizer, animal wastes, and septic systems. The ratio between nitrogen and phosphorus determines which nutrient is the limiting factor for weed and algae growth. As with most lakes in this region, phosphorus is the limiting nutrient in Lake Singletary. This means that we can prevent, to some degree, excessive weed growth and algae blooms by reducing the flow of phosphorus into the lake.
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