Loon Lake Property Owners Association Loon Lake, WA
Loon Lake Property Owners AssociationLoon Lake, WA

Environmental Lake Improvement 

by Barry Smith



“Storm water runoff” is considered to be the major water pollution problem in our area and in many other areas, nationally. One of the Washington State Department of ecology managers clearly stated that “storm water runoff” was the main problem for the declining water quality at Loon Lake. 


The Loon Lake Property Owners Association has several members who would like to see the association publish an educational manual. The manual would address the many measures that may be employed to seriously reduce pollutants from entering Loon Lake. This could be accomplished by a joint effort that wouldn’t cost taxpayers enormous sums of money. 


Virtually everyone in our watershed, I’m sure, is interested in improving our lake aesthetically as well as chemically, so anything that we can all think of to help improve water quality, will be well received. Many communities have joined together and formed water quality partnerships. They have been very successful and enjoyed the experience of working with people of vastly different backgrounds. Their goals have been to educate and involve community members to improve water quality, fish habitat, and to provide a chance for members to have a voice on issues involving Government regulations.


Primary “Non-Source Pollutants” come from households within the watershed and if not disposed of properly, they enter our lake during periods of runoff. The pollutants include soil, oil, chemicals, trash, agricultural and animal waste, pesticides and yard waste, etc. The increase of these pollutants can be directly related to increased residential development an occupation within our watershed.


Remedies to run off pollution:

  1. Impervious surfaces, primarily roofs and concrete driveways and patios. Some areas limit them to as little as 80percent of total land per parcel.
  2. Some areas don’t allow impervious surfaces for driveways or patios.
  3. To lessen the impact of steep slopes, plant corrosion resistant native vegetation.
  4. To lessen the development of critical properties owners will sell PDR. (Purchase of development rights.)
  5. Bellingham Washington gets its water from Lake Whatcom, they have had an improvement plan since 2004 but phosphorus continues to increase because of upstream development.
  6. Plant and buffer strips of native vegetation where appropriate, such as at the shoreline.
  7. Some communities provide tax credits or grants to landowners to restore in enhance existing riparian zones.
  8. Avoid using pesticides and phosphorus-based fertilizers. They may poison good bugs, birds and fish if they get into the lake water.



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