By Nancy Allen, The Daily Standard
Lake Restoration Commission (LRC) members plan to meet with state directors Jan. 19 to discuss the status of ongoing projects to restore Grand Lake.
Invited will be directors of the Ohio EPA and departments of agriculture and natural resources, a governor’s office representative and the LRC’s consultant, Battelle, Milt Miller told those attending the Lake Development Corporation (LDC) meeting Monday. Miller is president of the LDC and fundraising chairman for the LRC.
The Partnership Progress Summit will begin with a closed door session and then will be opened to media following lunch.
It’s been nearly a year since Gov. John Kasich and state directors first met with LRC representatives to discuss projects aimed at ridding the lake of its toxic algae blooms, which resulted in state water advisories and devastated lake tourism the last two summers. Those projects include alum testing and treatment, increased dredging, rough fish removal and water treatment trains.
Miller said the upcoming meeting likely will be held at Wright State University-Lake Campus.
Miller also talked about Battelle’s recently released report evaluating products and technologies to help the lake proposed by 75 vendors. He highlighted recommendations for aerating lake channels.
Channels make up 10 percent of the total surface area of the 13,500-acre lake and are most prone to algae blooms. Aerating or circulating the lake’s water disrupts algae formation and infuses it with oxygen to help beneficial organisms grow and reduce sediment.
For open channels, those with two openings to the lake, the report recommends horizontal systems, which include paddle-wheels and disc units such as Airy Gators. For closed channels, the report recommends pump and eductor systems that use air to propel water under the surface. Any type of aeration is an improvement in closed channels, the report said.
For more information and to get a list of aerator vendors, residents may call Grand Lake St. Marys State Park at 419-394-3611 or stop at the office on Edgewater Drive. A one-page permit is required at no cost before installing channel aeration. The permit can be obtained at the office.The full Battelle report is available at www.lakeimprovement.com.
Miller said LRC officials plan to meet with Streamside Systems, Findlay, the company that sold the LRC three sediment collectors, to evaluate the units. The collectors were installed in Beaver, Big Chickasaw and Barnes creeks to capture sand and sediment before they enter into the lake. The units were not effective when record rains this spring caused the lake to back flow into creeks.
"Our sediment collectors have not performed in pilot tests like we had hoped," Miller said. "We may trade them for more Airy Gators, which Battelle has recommended and have been shown to reduce sediment."
Grand Lake St. Marys State Park Manager Brian Miller reported he is doing a cost estimate on running electricity to the St. Marys Boat Club, where the LRC plans to move one of its two Airy Gators. The units contain huge, rotating discs that infuse oxygen into the water.
Battelle has recommended the LRC move its Airy Gator at Park Grand Resort to an open channel at the boat club, which routinely suffers algae blooms. The LRC’s other Airy Gator is located at Southmoor Shores.