The Lake Owen Association continuous comprehensive study of the Lake Owen waters, watershed, rain water run-off and groundwaters shows additional interesting findings.
The studies of the direct watershed (where water will actually make it to the lake) shows a less than 3:1 watershed to the lake area. This small watershed helps explain the water clarity on Lake Owen. The Lake Owen watershed has a small contribution to the water and nutrient load in the lake. Most of the Lake Owen shoreline is forested and most of the houses have a pretty good buffer between the structures and the lake. However the developed areas have a higher impact on the watershed.
Regarding runoff quality from impervious surfaces: there is no such thing as “clean runoff.” The phosphorus in the runoff from developed property is higher than in the lake. While these properties are likely not a problem now, Most phosphorus is retained in the entire system and will accumulate. Any mitigation now will be helpful in the future. Your great grandchildren may thank them.
Many of the Lake Owen Association members collaborated with the identification of Lake Owen residents who had shallow wells close to the lake for this summer’s study. Many volunteered and the seven best shallow wells near the shoreline were secured and the groundwater tested.
Samples will be analyzed for phosphorus and tested for chloride to verify that septic effluent water is not in the water samples. Chloride is naturally low in lakes, especially in late summer. Chloride levels can be elevated in septic effluent, and because chloride doesn’t bind to sediment, it will travel with the water. The chloride is to verify no septic system inflow in shallow wells. The LOA is using a different lab this year that has more accurate phosphorus tests for low concentrations.
This Spring Lake Owen water samples were collected and outflow volume checked. The temperature and oxygen profiles showed that the lake mixed this spring, but in deeper hole (south) didn’t mix completely.
The Association now has the last several months of progress filed on their website and everyone is invited to read the specific detail in these progress reports to the Lake Owen Association Board at their website pages here: