Spring Lake

Project Details

Client

Spring Lake – Lake Board

Location

Ottawa County, MI
Muskegon County, MI

Scale

1,091 acres

Cost

$110,000 annually

Completion

Ongoing

Spring Lake is a drowned river mouth lake that drains to the Grand River, a short distance upstream of Lake Michigan. The lake has over 25 miles of shoreline and is bordered by five municipalities. The establishment of a legal lake board for Spring Lake by local governmental units provided a mechanism to coordinate management activities on the lake. Extensive study of Spring Lake found that the release of phosphorus from the deep-water sediments was a major contributor to nuisance algae growth. In 2005, a compound called alum (aluminum sulfate) was applied to the lake to bind phosphorus to the sediment. Progressive AE biologists conduct annual monitoring of the lake to evaluate water quality and to detect invasive plant species. In 2014, hydro-acoustic mapping of the lake bottom was completed and an informational web site was created. Visit www.springlakeboard.org for more information.

Objective

To reduce phosphorus levels in the lake and the severity and duration of algae blooms.

Outcome

Since the alum treatment, phosphorus levels have been reduced by over 50% and nuisance algae blooms are far less frequent.
Ongoing plant control has prevented exotic plant species from gaining dominance in the lake.

Expertise

Water Resources

Environments

Community
Municipal