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Pollution Prevention Tool Comes to Lake Coeur d'Alene

Posted by Susan Drumheller at Feb 26, 2013 10:15 AM |

The latest edition of the Lak*A*Syst landowners guide zeros in on Lake Coeur d'Alene. A release party for the handbook is planned for March 25.

Pollution Prevention Tool Comes to Lake Coeur d'Alene

Lake Coeur d'Alene. Clarence Nies photo.

A tool originally designed to keep one of North Idaho's gems untarnished is being retooled to keep Lake Coeur d'Alene fishable, swimmable and lovable.

The Coeur d'Alene Lak*A*Syst manual will be unveiled at ICL's Love Our Lake Party set for March 25 at Bardenay Restaurant in Coeur d'Alene. The "Landowner's Guide to Protecting Water Quality" is based on similar handbooks created for Priest Lake, Lake Pend Oreille and Hauser Lake, all with the purpose of protecting the lake's water quality.

The first Lak*A*Syst landowner guide was developed for Priest Lake, following a campaign by some lakefront owners to have the lake declared an Outstanding Resource Water under the Clean Water Act. Although very high quality waters are eligible for the designation, Idaho has never declared any as "outstanding," even though many may qualify.

Instead, the Priest Lake campaign triggered the development of a Lake Management Plan for Priest Lake to keep it pristine. Glen Rothrock, now Coeur d'Alene Lake Water Quality Manager, helped develop the first Lak*A*Syst handbook, which was published in 2000. The book is a tool that property owners can use to identify potential sources of pollution and find solutions.

Subsequent manuals were developed for Lake Pend Oreille and Hauser Lake, along with programs to work with willing landowners to help them be good stewards of the lake.

The latest book for Lake Coeur d'Alene grew out of the Coeur d'Alene Lake Management Team's efforts to maintain water quality and help prevent the release of heavy metals into the lake's water.

"The basic concepts are the same, but the types of water bodies you’re dealing with are different enough you need to customize them," Rothrock said of the four different Lak*A*Syst manuals.

To learn more about the Lak*A*Syst program and how to help protect Lake Coeur d'Alene, join ICL at our ICL After Hours lake appreciation party, featuring the Lake Coeur d'Alene Management Team and water quality advocates, at Bardenay on March 25.

The Coeur d'Alene Lake Management Team is interested in making presentations to homeowners associations and other groups about the Lak*A*Syst program. For information, contact Laura Laumatia of the Coeur d'Alene Tribe at 208.667.5772 or Glen Rothrock of DEQ at 208.666.4623.


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