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Geese creating worries

December 28, 2011
Fairmont Sentinel

To the Editor:

Ongoing resting geese on Budd Lake encouraged some research on how 15 percent of the lake stays unfrozen.

The origin of the unfrozen area was started by escaping body heat and turbulence caused by the high concentration of several thousand Canada geese. (They appear to know the best location.)

Once the open water is established, even though the geese sit largely on the adjacent ice, the water is kept open mostly by wind action, circulating warmer water from deeper areas over the more shallow area that is open.

The wind-caused circulation also can cause other areas in the lake over humps and shorelines to have weak ice. An open area will probably exist for some time even with colder temperatures. The circulation most likely is causing tons of droppings to be moved toward the water filtration plant intakes, especially with a northwest wind, which causes a clockwise direction of the water movement.

The same situation on Hall Lake has occurred other years. However, the number of geese appear to be doubling each year and staying longer, at least until snow cover makes it more difficult for them to feed on nearby farm grain stubble.

The situation again adds to the ongoing concern for the safety of drinking water from Budd Lake. It is well know that organisms such as E. coli, girardia, botulism, bacteria and additions to organic matter are produced by wildlife excretions.

As pointed out prior by a local doctor, these items require a need for higher rates of chlorine, which can combine with organic matter to produce several separate known poisons in water. The added organic matter also will support algae, especially with low water levels that concentrates the foreign material. Also, lack of normal runoff voids any flushing action for the lakes.

For a short-term solution, possible scare methods may be in order, with DNR approval, of course. Possibly buying safe bottled water is in order.

Also, configuration of the new water plant for eventual well water use again appears to be most prudent.

Bob Seidel




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