Rake your beachfront periodically, especially in the spring and fall to remove decaying leaves and sticks. The decay process of these items robs the lake and fish of valuable dissolved oxygen and causes an increase in the temperature of the lake water. Raking your waterfront also discourages new weed growth. Burning leaves is not only illegal in Commerce Twp. but the ash is a high source of phosphates.
Do Not Fertilize your lawn. Phosphorus promotes growth of lawns, as well as lake weeds, and it will get into the lake through run-off when it rains or as you water your lawns. Phosphates do NOT turn your lawn greener. Of the 3 numbers on a bag of fertilizer the middle number is the amount of phosphorus. The middle number must read "0". One pound of Phosphates grows 10,000 lbs. of weeds & algae! If you water from the lake, you will get lots of nutrients from the lake water that you can cut down on the number of fertilizing applications. There already are phosphates in the lake (27 parts per billion). Click here for a suggested letter to lawn care professionals outlining the LSA rules.
COMMERCE TOWNSHIP HAS PASSED A PHOSPHATE BAN. IT IS UNLAWFULL TO USE PHOSPHATE FERTILIZER.
Keep pet/animal feces picked up in your yard. Dog feces contains bacteria that is harmful to humans and other animals. This bacteria in lake water can cause disease in humans and deplete oxygen levels in the lake harming fish and other wildlife.
Properly Maintain Beach Areas
Law: A DEQ permit must be obtained to add sand to any beach below the high water line. No permit is needed to add sand to the beach above the high water line, but it is recommended not to do this, since this sand will eventually find its way into the lake, make the lake shallower, and allow sun to grow more weeds.
Use Buffer Zone Designing to keep sand on beach: Yes it would be easier to continue the practice of re-sanding the beach every 4-5 years, but it is very harmful to our lake, After a heavy rain, watershed run-off occurs which pollutes our lake. Incorporate buffer zones of plants between grass and sandy beach to control this run-off. Determine the size of beach that is needed and flank it with low grasses and groundcover; leave an open section for a path. This will protect the beach from being washed into the lake. Grass does not prevent run-off.
Beach re-claiming using a trash pump or sediment pump (approximately $100/day rental or $3000 purchased) can reclaim your beach sand that has washed into the lake. See yellow pages. A $50 DEQ permit is required to use a trash pump.
Professional sand re-claiming, see yellow pages for companies that reclaim lake bottom sand for your beach.
Tap into sewers and maintain septic systems. Poorly functioning septic systems can contaminate the ground water with nitrates, which has a negative impact on the lake and people. If you still have a septic system, please clean it regularly and have it inspected every one to two years. Conscientious maintenance of your septic system and eventually hooking into the sewer is one of the most critical steps you can take to protect the lake. Information about connecting into the sewers can be obtained from Commerce Township.
Signs of a failing septic system may include saturated wet ground around or near the septic field and foul odors. If you suspect that a septic system near your house has failed, please feel free to contact the Aquatic Weed Control Manager with the address of the suspected residence. Oakland County Health Department will be contacted and they will send out a sanitarian to check out the septic system in question. This can also be done anonymously by calling 248-858-1280.
Do not allow grass clippings in the lake. When cutting your lawns this summer, try to minimize lawn clippings getting into the lake. They carry fertilizer with them and also decay. Make sure lawn services are notified of this as well.
Use erosion barrier (black fabric) to minimize soil erosion during landscaping or remodeling. Soil erosion increases the amount of suspended solids in the lake. This causes the water to become turbid. Turbid water absorbs the sun's rays and has in increase in temperature. Water temperatures greater that 68oF increases weed growth and promotes fish diseases.
Lake Care For Homes around the Lake
If you have weeds near your beach or other concerns regarding water quality, feel free to contact the Aquatic Weed Control Manager.
To remove aquatic weeds from shoreline use a light aluminum 30 lake rake and pile on dock or grass to dry; then put in yard waste container. To remove filament algae use a skimmer net. If weeds are heavy, use a pitchfork to lift bunches of weeds. A rake cutter can also be helpful in getting rid of plants growing on the bottomland.
Wash your boat after visiting other lakes. If you take your boat onto other bodies of water, be sure you wash it off before you put it back into our lake to prevent contamination of our lake with zebra mussels.
Be cautious with liquids like gas when caring for your boat. If you have your engine serviced, on or near the water, such as having the oil changed, be sure that it is done properly so contaminates don't end up in our lake.
Keeping a sandy bottom shoreline: The best way to keep your shoreline bottomland sandy is to use it. It has been said that a group of school students regularly playing water volleyball is better than any chemical treatment.
Another option is an automatic rake. Don't bring in more sand. This sand gets washed into the lake and accelerates the lake aging process.