Lake and Reservoir Pollution: How You Can Help

Jul 06 , 2023

Lake and Reservoir Pollution: How You Can Help

If you want to beat the heat, but you’re not close to an ocean, chances are you might have some summer fun at your nearby lake or reservoir. There are plenty of things to do at the lake, like boating, swimming, fishing and much, much more. Young families might prefer lakes for the calmer waters. They are also a source of natural beauty and relaxation, making them ideal for a day trip or vacation.

Our lakes and reservoirs are a precious resource that we get most of our water from. But like any water source, they can become polluted. This can damage the lake’s ecosystem, introduce contaminants into the water supply and prohibit recreational activities. As usual, we’ve got all the info you need on why this happens, and how you can help.

How do our lakes become polluted?

Lakes and reservoirs are typically the lowest point in the surrounding watershed. That means that all water in that area – rainwater, runoff, water in streams or rivers – will eventually end up in the lake. And if you remember our post about groundwater, you know that everything that’s in the water hitches a ride down. This can include pesticide chemicals like nitrogen and phosphorus, petroleum, sediment, pet waste and a whole lot more.

Unless the lake or reservoir can exchange and drain their water storage naturally, as a river would, that pollution doesn’t have anywhere to go – it’s just in there, slowly increasing over time. This can be especially damaging because certain contaminants can severely affect the flora and fauna that live in and around the lake. For example, sediment from erosion can make the body of water darker. Without sunlight, underwater plants can die off, and that’s no good for the animals that rely on them for food.

Some of the contaminants in pesticides and pet waste can contribute to algae blooms, which can cause an unpleasant smell and kill off the indwelling fish and other aquatic life. A lake that can’t support any wildlife does not bode well for anyone who wants to bathe in it or drink it. Of course, if the water is used as a water source, it will undergo chemical treatment to clean and remove contaminants. However, we also know that most municipal systems don’t remove every contaminant.

Don’t cancel your day at the lake yet: We’ve got some tips on how you can keep your local freshwater bodies safer and cleaner.

Use pesticides without harmful chemicals.

There are a variety of pesticides that don’t contain the chemicals that contribute to algae blooms. Some of them you can even make yourself, saving you time and money.

Safely dispose of contaminants.

Just dumping your weedkiller down the drain is not going to cut it. Just like with pharmaceuticals, there are better ways to get rid of harmful chemicals before they become potential contaminants.

Stop erosion where you can and help filter runoff at the same time.

Erosion happens when soil has nothing to anchor it. By planting perennials, grasses and mulching, you can keep sediment where it belongs: in your yard. Plus, the plants themselves will help filter any water the soil absorbs.

Clean up after your pets.

It’s gross but true: Pet waste is a factor in water pollution. Is scooping poop annoying and sometimes disgusting? Yes, but it all goes toward having cleaner water and healthier lakes and reservoirs. 

If you visit the lake, clean up after yourself.

As always, put all waste in any trash bins provided. If there are none, take your trash with you.

Is your day at the lake in danger? Not at all if you take steps to keep it clean. By doing so, you’ll be ensuring the health of your lakes and reservoirs and allowing others to enjoy them along with you.

If you live close to a lake or reservoir that’s used as a water source, you may want to consider getting a water filtration system. With King Water Filtration, you’ll never have to worry about pesticides, heavy metals or any other contaminants in your home’s water. If you’re interested in setting up a water system today, contact us at 1-855-957-2166 or schedule a consultation via our contact form. You can also purchase King Water Filtration systems through The Home Depot.