Lake Titloe cleanup efforts continue to move forward. Gaylord’s City Council learned Wednesday that a plan being developed would improve the quality of water that is entering Lake Titloe.
In April, the State of Minnesota approved a bonding bill which included $475,000 worth of projects designed to improve the water quality in Lake Titloe.
According to Jim Swanson, a member of the Lake Titloe Committee, $300,000 of the bonding bill money will be used for the storm sewer diversion project. To limit the storm water entering the lake, the City is rerouting lines to the storm water pond on the east side of town.
The remaining $175,000 will be utilized to study Lake Titloe’s watershed and develop a plan to improve the quality of water entering the lake. According to Swanson, this cleanup plan could involve the development of holding ponds or the reclaiming of wetlands in the watershed.
Swanson told council members that the Water Resources staff from Short Elliott Hendrickson Inc. (SEH) and students and professors from Minnesota State University, Mankato (MSU) will collaborate on a plan to cleanup the lake’s watershed.
That plan will be sent to the State Board of Water and Soil Resources for approval. The Lake Titloe Committee will then seek final approval from the State of Minnesota later this month. Once approved, the State would write a check to the City of Gaylord for $475,000, Swanson explained.
In recent years, students and professors from MSU have been studying the water quality in the lake. That testing was given a boost this year when the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) approved an $81,700 grant for further water quality testing on the lake.
Bryce Hoppie, a geologist from MSU, recently previewed testing planned for the Lake. He said the goal is to determine if Lake Titloe supports its intended uses (does it support fish, ducks, swimming?). According to Hoppie, plans are to study the lake’s water quality for two years. These tests will determine the amount of sediments, nutrients and E.coli bacteria in the lake, he explained.
Swanson told council members that MSU students began tests on the lake as soon as the ice went out in late April. Some type of testing will likely take place every other week in an attempt to determine what is going on inside the lake, Swanson explained. He expects more data on the lake’s condition will be available by the end of the summer.