A proposed project plan on how to “cleanup” Lake Titloe’s watershed was approved last month by the State’s Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR).
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.
Approximately $175,000 of that money will be utilized to study Lake Titloe’s watershed and develop a plan to improve the quality of water entering the lake.
According to Jim Swanson, a member of the committee working to cleanup the lake, BWSR accepted the proposed plan as presented. A primary part of the plan is getting to understand how Lake Titloe’s watershed works, Swanson explained. It has been reported that the lake’s watershed is large, extending as far west as the Stewart area.
According to Swanson, the plan’s project goals include designing or redesigning holding ponds and/or restoring wetlands upstream from Lake Titloe.
Are holding ponds feasible and what are the best locations? Those are questions that will need to be answered, Swanson explained.
The remaining $300,000 of the bonding bill money will be used for a storm sewer diversion project in the City of Gaylord. To limit the storm water entering the lake, the City is rerouting lines to the stormwater pond on the east side of town. That project is being completed in conjunction with the City’s 2008 street and utility improvements.
Helping the Lake Titloe Committee fine tune plans will be students and professors from Minnesota State University, Mankato (MSU) and representatives from Short Elliott Hendrickson (SEH). Swanson reported that these two groups will provide water quality information and engineering services.
According to Swanson, the focus of meetings this month will be to form a partnership between these groups. MSU students and professors have studied the lake for the past three years and have “yet to charge the city a dime,” Swanson said.
MSU representatives have been monitoring Lake Titloe’s water on a continuous basis, according to Swanson.
There are water monitoring systems in the lake and at inlet and outlet sites. Swanson reported that MSU students are checking these water monitors 2 to 3 times each month.
Swanson said testing needs to continue before decisions are made, but he described initial results as “somewhat alarming.” Test results can vary so we won’t realize exactly what is in the water until testing is complete next year.