Jump to content

Great Lakes water levels


Recommended Posts

With all that water coming our way, at least we will get a cleaner lake, but that is one of the very few good side effects of too much water coming our way

Link to post
Share on other sites

Higher runoff, seems to me, logically leads to more "stuff" being washed in the lake.  Question is "what's the stuff?"  -  Good "stuff" or bad stuff?"  Articles that I've seen indicate a rise in pharmaceuticals & plastizers.   Obviously NYS phosphorus ban in soap & fertilizers has helped reduce phosphorous loading from NY side but what about the effects from Lake Erie & the Canadian side?  

 

Erie has algae blooms, which I believe have been blamed on phosphorus loading and the Canadians don't have Federal laws like the US does concerning secondary wastewater treatment nor the same fertilizer laws.  I remember a few news articles about raw municipal waste being dumped directly into the lake because treatment plants overflowed in Canada.  It's also my understanding that only a few Canadian cities have waste water treatment anything like the US has. (I'm thinking Kingston & Windsor)  Hamilton being the most guilty polluter on Lake Ontario. 

 

But back on point -something to think about:  lake Ontario has very wicked gyres, (circulations, hence mixing - with offshore generally a little slower than nearshore) especially in the winter time.  (which has been reversed at least once this winter according to the GL Currents monitoring website)  Therefore I would think that high water levels would have a diluting effect of pollutants from the other two main sources, on phosphorous & water quality studies. i.e same or greater tonnage of "stuff" but much more water. (I don't know how many "gillions" of gallons 3 ft or 4 ft of surface water represents)  

 

Come on Spring!

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you add water to soup it will dilute it.  For phosphorus it is a timing issue.  Ohio farmers don't start fertilizing their fields until later in the spring.  Dr. Weidel check the phosphorus levels from June thru September data if you have it.  The data below shows trends but doesn't tell the story of our high water period.

 

https://aslopubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/lno.10055

Edited by Gill-T
Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Legacy said:


So hook me up with some phosphorus!

Sent from my moto z4 using Lake Ontario United mobile app
 

Oh, you will get plenty of it. When all that water mixes into Lake Eerie it will flush all that nutrient rich water right down the Niagara falls and at least the West side, but probably also the center and east end will get more green water. Dependent on how much water they can let into the Saint Laurens, the green water will reach farther east.

Edited by rolmops
Link to post
Share on other sites

Check out the MODIS imagery of the lake.  Erie is green & so is the south shore of Ontario yet offshore & northern shore of Ontario is dark.  GL Currents map shows pretty strong easterly currents along the southern shore and strong westerly currents along the North shore so you know where the Erie water is going. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎3‎/‎1‎/‎2020 at 8:18 AM, schreckstoff said:

I’m all for viable drinking water but less nutrients = less fish, a trade off everyone needs to understand.

So millions in Lake Ontario communities taking drinking water from the Lake should compromise the quality of their drinking water for the convenience and enjoyment  (and personal benefit) of a few (how many really, especially in relation to all that are using the lake, not just for drinking, but  for industrial and other recreational uses that are impacted by filthy nearshore water), or subsidize the fishery by paying higher treatment costs?

 

As to raising the nutrient levels,  way back in the 90's when these levels started to hit the 10 µg/L target set for offshore waters (which says to me that nutrient levels have been adequate to support this "world class" fishery for quite a while, while still meeting the goals)  there was a hue and cry from the "commercial livery" fishing community, and a suggestion at one meeting for a sort of grass roots movement to haul PO4 fertilizers out to deep water to dump them.  I believe it was the Fish Doctor that was working for DEC at the time, and did a quick dimensional analysis, and indicated that if every boat on the lake hauled a 40 lb bag out every day, this would not raise the deep lake concentration even 1 µg/L.    The picture is a lot more complex than just the nutrient loading, PO4 fate now that we have Dreissenids filtering it off and leaving it sequestered at the bottom in pseudofeces, the disappearance of Diporea in much of the lake, shifts in the weather patterns (or Climate Change for those who prefer), likely some factors even the  "Pros from Dover" have not put their collective fingers on yet. 

 

It should also be understood that there is raw sewage going into the lake in many places even with all the pollution control efforts. Even the Monroe County Pure Waters Combined Sewage Overflow Abatement Project, which reduced untreated  wet weather discharges to the Genesee River from " every rain event from 38 discharge points" to, on average, one discharge per year per discharge point, at least until these more intense rain events of the last few years, lets combined sewage and stormwater go when it does discharge; it is simply too expensive to build a collection and treatment system that captures events of a frequency of less than the ten year storm.  And manure (animal sewage) is still routinely spread on frozen ground and then runs off to streams all over the watershed, and large amounts of chemical fertilizers are used on crops for which USDA has not developed maximized application rates, look at the loading to Oak Orchard from areas like the Elba muck.  The Canadians around Toronto have been ahead of this country on Non Point Source Control, a lot of New York Communities sought out their input years ago,  and they are working on Point Sources as well, but the area has been " booming" in population growth. which greatly complicates infrastructure planning and construction.

 

In the Finger Lakes, I'm hearing a lot of concern  for increasing nutrient levels in Seneca, Cayuga and Canandaigua, and at the same time in Seneca a lot of complaining about a decline in the fishery, and concerns about the other lakes.   And, last I heard, the major uncontrolled nutrient source for Erie is the Maumee River, just upstream from Toledo, how is that working for drinking water there?  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Canadian law does not require periodic monitoring of effluent as US law does.  That's a big reason that the Hamilton harbor spill happened.  No one checked for the gate that was left open over many years!  Expense is a big reason they're not going to dredge that creek where it happen, and cleanup the 20 billion liter spill that has been draining into the lake.  Wonder why Hamilton harbor has had those algae blooms? 

Link to post
Share on other sites

2020 Nutrient downloads is brought to you by all the dredging of almost every western port this year and of course

Toronto, which is located on Lake Ontario, is the most populous city in Canada and the provincial capital of Ontario. Toronto has an estimated population of 2.81 million in 2016. The greater census metropolitan area (CMA) has a much larger population of 5.9 million. 

 

Jerry

RUNNIN REBEL

12 hours ago, LongLine said:

Canadian law does not require periodic monitoring of effluent as US law does

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

   An abundance of phosphorous highly concentrated in only a specific area  on Lake Ontario does not equal a healthy entire Lake Ontario water system, especially the  offshore/deeper majority of entire system '

 

Jerry

RUNNIN REBEL

   

 

On ‎3‎/‎1‎/‎2020 at 1:47 PM, schreckstoff said:

I thought so too until I looked at the phosphorus concentration data, which doesn’t really support that idea

 

Edited by RUNNIN REBEL
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...