Category Archives: Uncategorized

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2018 Seneca Lake Summit Summary

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SLPWA recently organized a Seneca Lake Water Quality Summit, held on March 24, 2018 at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. The event was well-attended, with more than 100 registered attendees filling the library auditorium. The summit included presenters from several organizations including SLPWA, NY DEC, Finger Lakes Institute, the Seneca Watershed Intermunicipal Organization, and the Ontario County Soil and Water District.  Presentations were as follows:

• Kelly Coughlin, a team leader for SLPWA’s water-quality monitoring, presented the group’s findings and initiatives.

• Stephen Penningroth, executive director of Community Science Institute, provided a summary of stream monitoring results.

• SLPWA team leaders Ed Przybylowicz and Frank DiOrio discussed shoreline monitoring for harmful algal blooms (HABs) and plans for 2018.

• HWS professor John Halfman, a research scientist for the Finger Lake Institute, presented his research on the Finger Lakes.

• Lewis McCaffrey, a research scientist for the DEC’s Finger Lakes Water Hub, outlined actions being taken to improve lake health statewide and provided a historical comparison of Seneca Lake’s water quality.

• Aimee Clinkhammer, watershed coordinator of the Water Hub, presented an overview of the watershed planning process and necessary steps to a 9 Element Management Plan.

• Geneva Town Supervisor Mark Venuti offered an overview and update on the Seneca Watershed Intermunicipal Organization.

• SLPWA representative Jacob Fox provided information on funding opportunities for municipalities to utilize green infrastructure to control stormwater runoff.

• Tucker Kautz of the Ontario County Soil and Water Conservation District discussed agricultural environmental management programs.

Presentations were followed by a lively panel discussion with the presenters, with questions from the audience on topics including the risks to swimmers and lake residents of HABs blooms and wastewater discharges, the status of county-level septic tank inspection programs, controlling nutrient levels in Seneca Lake, and impacts of tributary streams on Lake water quality.


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SLPWA Connections: January 7, 2018

Category : News , Uncategorized

Grist Iron Brewing Co. invites the public to attend their Benevolence Beer Kick-Off Party on Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 5:00 pm.

Enjoy light appetizers while listing to the rockin’ sounds of “The Sweats” and support the work of Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association (SLPWA) by having them pour you a cold Hefeweizen.

“Seneca Lake is a fundamental part of our brewery – the lake provides water, scenery and inspiration.” said Kate Fuller of Grist Iron Brewing.

“Last fall, we decided that we wanted to honor Seneca Lake by selecting a Benevolence Beer Series recipient that was getting their hands and feet wet while tackling the lake’s current water quality issues –  Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association was the natural choice.”

SLPWA has designed and implemented crucial water quality monitoring programs. They have over 100 volunteers collecting water samples upstream, downstream and in the lake.  The water samples are analyzed by NYS certified labs and the results are available on their website. SLPWA also encourages the greater Seneca Lake community to jump in and help preserve the lake’s water quality by implementing simple lake-friendly living practices such as using phosphorus free fertilizers and planting native plants to create vegetative buffers.

A portion of the proceeds from each pint of Hefeweizen sold between January to June will be donated to Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association to support their water quality monitoring projects.

 

Lake-Friendly Living Tips for De-icing Your Driveway 

SHOVEL OFTEN:  If you shovel early and often, you will remove more snow and ice so less salt and de-icing material will be needed, and the de-icing material will work better. You may even decide that salt isn’t needed!

CHIP IT UP: By using an ice chipper, a tool specifically designed for chopping at ice build up, you can avoid build-up that will require de-icing material or salt.

LIMIT DE-ICING MATERIAL: Apply only as much de-icing material or salt as needed, by sprinkling it on icy areas only. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for working temperatures and applications rates. Apply the de-icing smartly, by keeping it away from storm drains, or where melted runoff can mix with the de-icing material and then flow into a storm drain or ditch. Many of the ditches lead right into the lake, causing non point source pollution.

DIRECT DOWN SPOUTS AND MELTING SNOW:  Make sure downspouts aren’t directed at paved areas where the water can freeze and need de-icing. This way, you avoid needing to use de-icing material that when melted, will wash off the paved area.  Direct the melting snow away from paved areas where chemicals accumulate.

RESEARCH DE-ICING PRODUCTS:
Determine which de-icing product works best for you and your property before going to the store.  Not all products have the same ingredients. Consider purchasing a de-icier that is chloride free. 


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Seneca Lake Lake Level

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Seneca Lake Water Level

 

 

 


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Water Flow

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Seneca Lake Waters Flow North

The NYS Canal Corporation maintains a water level gage and provides a year-to-date water level chart: Seneca Lake Level in Geneva

Concerns about high water led SLPWA to form a committee to study how lake level is managed on Seneca Lake. The results of the team’s investigation are complex. There are no simple answers that apply to every high water event. But here are some of the basics to consider:

WaterFlow

  • Seneca Lake is part of the network of lakes, canals and waterways that comprise the Oswego River Basin.
  • The Oswego River Basin drains water from an area of 5,122 square miles, towards Lake Ontario.
  • Water flows from:
    – the outlet at Keuka Lake into Seneca Lake, the change in elevation is 270 feet.
    – Seneca Lake through the Cayuga-Seneca Canal to Cayuga Lake, the change in elevation is 60 feet.
    – Cayuga Lake into the Barge Canal through the Mudlock gate-structure, the change in elevation is 9 feet.
  • Water can flow into Seneca Lake faster than it can flow out. The downstream area is relatively flat and the outflow is regulated; therefore the lake takes longer to drain than to fill.
  • All of the water in Seneca Lake leaves near Geneva through the Cayuga-Seneca Canal. The discharge is managed by Gravity Renewables through its hydroelectric power plants at Waterloo and at Seneca Falls. The power company’s objective is to generate clean electric power and stay within the compliance requirements of the Federal Energy Regulatory Authority (FERC). In addition, the New York State Canal Corporation operates a small bypass gate and locks in this region.
  • Seneca Lake discharges to Cayuga Lake where discharge is managed by the NYS Canal Corporation (NYSCC). NYSCC’s responsibilities are focused on safe navigation through the canals of New York State.
  • Ideally, when a high water event occurs, each lake will retain as much water as possible to balance the overall outflow to Lake Ontario at Oswego. The ideal is avoiding significant damage or navigational hazard anywhere throughout the Oswego River Basin.
  • Each lake has a rules curve to guide its water level management. But there is only voluntary coordination among the lakes to manage both lake level and water discharge from each lake. Since each management unit has different objectives there are occasional conflicts.

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Pints for Pure Waters

Category : Uncategorized

Grist Iron Brewing Co. invites the public to attend their Benevolence Beer Kick-Off Party on Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 5:00 pm. Enjoy light appetizers while listing to the rockin’ sounds of “The Sweats” and support the work of Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association (SLPWA) by having them pour you a cold Hefeweizen.

“Seneca Lake is a fundamental part of our brewery – the lake provides water, scenery and inspiration.” said Kate Fuller of Grist Iron Brewing.

“Last fall, we decided that we wanted to honor Seneca Lake by selecting a Benevolence Beer Series recipient that was getting their hands and feet wet while tackling the lake’s current water quality issues – Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association was the natural choice.”

SLPWA has designed and implemented crucial water quality monitoring programs. They have over 100 volunteers collecting water samples upstream, downstream and in the lake. The water samples are analyzed by NYS certified labs and the results are available on their website. SLPWA also encourages the greater Seneca Lake community to jump in and help preserve the lake’s water quality by implementing simple lake-friendly living practices such as using phosphorus free fertilizers and planting native plants to create vegetative buffers.

A portion of the proceeds from each pint of Hefeweizen sold between January to June will be donated to Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association to support their water quality monitoring projects.