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  • 10/31/2020 2:42 PM | Kaitlin (Administrator)

    October Radio show included a conversation with Kaitlin Fello, Pure Waters' Administrative Coordinator, with commentary on the first ever Virtual Annual Meeting and Silent Auction Success, upcoming fundraising events, and the unexpected HAB season on Seneca Lake.

    October Kaitlin Fello Seneca Lake Pure Waters FLMN.mp3


    Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association is on the Radio with Ted Baker every month! Tune into Finger Lakes News Radio, 95.9FM/1240AM WGVA or 98.1FM/1590AM WAUB, 8:15am the first Friday of every month, for Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association News!

  • 10/31/2020 2:32 PM | Kaitlin (Administrator)

    Listen in to the Pure Waters' monthly radio show with Geneva Town Supervisor and Seneca Watershed Intermunicipal Organization Chair, Mark Venuti.  Venuti discusses the importance of the Seneca Watershed Intermunicipal Organization,  Seneca Watershed Steward, Ian Smith, and the town's Lake Friendly Farm program successes.

    091820 Geneva Supervisor Mark Venuti FLMN.mp3


    Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association is on the Radio with Ted Baker every month! Tune into Finger Lakes News Radio, 95.9FM/1240AM WGVA or 98.1FM/1590AM WAUB, 8:15am the first Friday of every month, for Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association News!

  • 07/20/2020 3:58 PM | Kaitlin (Administrator)

    Listen here to the Pure Waters July Radio Show

    Tune into Finger Lakes News Radio

    95.9FM/1240AM WGVA or 98.1FM/1590AM WAUB

    8:15am the first Friday of every month

    for Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association News!

  • 05/29/2020 6:41 PM | Kaitlin (Administrator)

    Read the Observer Review Article on Lake Friendly Living!

  • 05/20/2020 11:29 AM | Kaitlin (Administrator)

    CSLAP is a lake water quality monitoring program administered by the New York State Federation of Lakes Association (NYSFOLA) and the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Sampling begins in June and is done every two weeks, for eight total sessions through September. Observations are made of weather and lake conditions, water clarity is measured, and samples are taken near surface and at a prescribed depth of 18 meters for lab testing. Water temperatures are recorded and the samples are processed for shipment to the lab. Forms of phosphorous and nitrogen are measured, along with pH, conductance, and chlorophyll (an algae indicator). Four mid-lake sites, spaced from north to south on Seneca Lake, are sampled by Seneca Pure Waters volunteers. Data is analyzed by DEC scientists and a lake report is generally available the following spring.

    The DEC’s 2018 Finger Lakes Water Quality Report provided this summary for Seneca Lake:

    Seneca Lake is one of the largest Finger Lakes with a surface area of 175.4 km2 and volume of 15,500 million m3. In 2018, major trophic state indicators were intermediate for total phosphorus (0.011 mg/L), chlorophyll-a (5.4 µg/L), and water clarity (Secchi disk depth of 3.7 m). Seneca Lake has low levels of total nitrogen and NOX (0.551 and 0.241 mg/L, respectively). Using current chlorophyll-a as metric of lake quality, Seneca’s water quality has improved since the 1970s, but degraded since the late 1990s and early 2000s. The 2017-2018 data suggests that Seneca Lake is mesotrophic (moderately productive).

    2018 DEC Report for CSLAP Article.pdf

    What does this mean?

    • The water volume of our lake is huge, larger than all other Finger Lakes combined, and has a retention time of nearly 20 years. It takes a long time to see changes in our watershed translate to changes in our lake water quality.
    • There are three trophic states. Oligotrophic is very clean and clear, think an Adirondack lake. Mesotrophic is moderately productive, with weeds and algae that provide medium water clarity, like Seneca or Cayuga Lake. Eutrophic is a weed choked lake with poor clarity and low oxygen content, like some of the smaller lakes or ponds. Seneca Lake’s movement in the direction of more productivity is a large concern.

    There are many factors affecting the trophic measures and our perceptions of water quality. The invasive zebra and quagga mussels have had a large impact on water clarity as a result of their filter feeding. Nutrients flowing into the lake from many sources create the conditions of increased productivity and are a target of the Nine Element Watershed Management Plan that is under construction. Completion of this plan will allow prioritization of remediation efforts and facilitate funding required.

    A broad review of conditions in the DEC report lists other factors of concerns.

    Like other NYS lakes, the Finger Lakes continue to face water quality challenges from climate change, agricultural run-off, emerging contaminants, stormwater flows, aging infrastructure, septic impacts, and the effects of cyanobacterial blooms (often called Harmful Algal Blooms, or “HABs”).

    A full copy of the 2018 DEC report can be found at the Pure Waters website . Once the 2019 DEC report is released, we will update this topic and make that report available.

  • 05/20/2020 11:26 AM | Kaitlin (Administrator)

    For those with lake properties on Seneca Lake, boats tied to pilings and leaps off the end of docks into the chilly waters below are welcome signs of warmer weather. However, the many activities docks are used for and Mother Nature can take their toll. Painting a dock can make it look more pristine and newer, however, it can also have a negative impact on a lake’s water quality.

    Paints include heavy metals that can be harmful to aquatic environments. Experts say these metals can work their way up through the food chain, first posing a health risk to aquatic organisms like fish and then people when they consume the fish. Human health issues caused by heavy metals can include immune deficiencies and pregnancy problems.

    Luckily, there are some straightforward tips you can follow to minimize the environmental impact of painting your dock:

    Choose a lighter color - Lighter colors hold up better with the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation, said Ian Smith, the Seneca Lake Watershed Steward, via a recent email.

    Use paints lower in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) - When it comes to oil-based paints versus water/latex paints, however, things get a bit trickier. Oil-based paints are slow-drying and made up of small pieces of pigment in a drying oil while latex or acrylic paints are made from acrylic resin and water.

    Water-based or latex paints can be better for the environment because they can be lower in VOCs than oil-based paints, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG). VOCs are the molecules that vaporize as the paint is drying and they can cause a number of health issues from dizziness and headaches to more serious kidney and nervous system damage. The EWG recommends looking for low-VOC paints or “Green Seal-11” certified paints, which means they are lower in VOCs and other toxic ingredients.

    However, New York is one of several states—including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland—that has put in place VOC restrictions. Now there are oil-based paints available on hardware store shelves that are much lower in VOCs than in the past.

    In addition, Smith said durability can be an advantage of oil-based paints, particularly for painting structures like docks. The superior lifespan of oil-based paints coupled with the extra exposure to sunlight and water that docks take, make oil-based paints/stains superior (if applied right and legal in your state).

    Apply paints and stains properly - He also stressed the way paints and stains are applied to docks might be even more important than the product brands and ingredients and offers the  following suggestions:

    1. Never apply paint near the dock’s waterline or to the pylons below the plank.
    2. A brush is one of the most lake-friendly tools to apply dock paint, however, a roller is better than a sprayer.\
    3. If you are looking for a “gold star” in dock painting techniques, staple a plastic drop sheet on the underside of the dock while you are painting.
    4. You can lengthen the life of dock boards by flipping them, and if you decide to go this route, it’s better to paint and stain the boards on land.
    5. It’s important to also remove old paint and stains while the boards are on land in a controlled setting instead of over water, as stain strippers can be particularly un-environmentally friendly.

    So, for your next dock-painting project, keep the above in mind so your dock not only looks great but also helps preserve the beautiful and necessary aquatic environment it enhances.



Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association

P.O. Box 247

Geneva, NY 14456

Email: Info@SenecaLake.org

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