Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — There aren’t many cases like East Lake, where a couple of public entities and a group of private citizens are all working in unison toward a common goal, in this case keeping the lake clean and free of invasive species.
The little Kalkaska County lake has been the beneficiary of some wise decision-making and a lot of good will, and the proof is in the lake itself.
The Orange Township board recently agreed to fund water quality testing and invasive species control for five years, at a cost of about $2,000 a year.
And students from Northwestern Michigan College’s Grand Traverse Freshwater Society will help keep those costs down by volunteering to do half the tests. They plan to start the testing as soon as Saturday.
Student volunteer Chris Horvath said the tests would be for E. coli, dissolved oxygen and other nutrients. He said it’s important to keep track of small bodies of water because any increase in phosphates and nitrates can create big problems with algae.
Dennis Hansen, president of the East Lake Property Owner’s Association, said regular testing over the years has helped maintain the lake’s clean water.
The township opted to continue funding instead of working to establish a special assessment district to pay for the work, even though more than 90 percent of property owners around the lake signed a petition of support.