The Wolverine Lake Water Management Board held a meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 7 that drew a large crowd for a presentation dealing with laminar flow aeration, a process being considered to improve the overall health of the village’s namesake.
Laminar flow aeration raises dissolved oxygen levels to improve fish habitat, and reduces both the organic muck at the bottom of a lake and potentially invasive weed species.
“Results have shown a 10 to 15 percent muck reduction in the first year,” said Water Management Board Liaison Pat Nagy. “The lake isn’t in great shape, and we’ve had a lot of residential complaints.”
The Water Management Board’s goal is to investigate various lake management methods prior to selecting a new lake management company to replace Professional Lake Management (PLM), the village’s service provider for nearly a decade.
“We want to look at aeration as a viable alternative and want someone more scientific, like a limnologist,” said Water Management Board Chairman Cliff Yantz.
Currently there is a request for proposals (RFP) out to find an independent contractor, either a certified limnologist or a company unaffiliated with any harvester, aeration, or herbicide applicator company.
“It’s a conflict of interest to the board,” said Water Management Board Member John Scott. “In the past, some companies that do lake surveys and recommend to do harvesting and herbicides are companies that do that kind of work themselves.”
The limnologist would make recommendations and find solution providers to put together a water quality plan.
“We want to hire a limnologist, get a plan in place, and carry out the plan to get the lake in control through the spring season,” Scott said.
In the meantime, the Water Management Board is learning more about laminar flow aeration.
“We’re being proactive and also trying to get budgeting costs to aerate the lake,” Yantz said.
The first presentation was conducted by Savin Lake Services, and a second presentation will be scheduled sometime in January by a different service provider.
“There are only two aeration systems being used in Michigan under the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s guidance,” Scott said. “We know what harvesting can do, so now we’re looking at the best equipment to consider for aeration.”
The responses to the RFP are expected to be submitted prior to Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 22.
There will be a joint session held between the Water Management Board and Village Council to discuss the RFP on Monday, Nov. 19.