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Veterans Lake has a big problem
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Dear Editor,
Veteran’s Lake has a big problem and it will not go away. The blue green algae level is higher than any lake in Kansas. I read an article in the Tribune about the problem. It was “to be continued” on another page but was not continued. Recently I read another article criticizing someone for calling the Kansas Department of Health and Environment before the June Jaunt. That person is concerned and I am too. Why not pick a location for festivities that is not near a green, toxic lake with warning signs. I noticed that more warning signs were put up before the event. That should show the public that the event should have been held elsewhere. I would love to take my grandson there and sit on the shore but I can’t. This problem was first identified four years ago. I took pictures of the dead fish three years ago! I have yet to read an article outlining the plan to address the problem. Most good journalism includes a solution to the problem, however, your solution was to “let it take it’s course”. The course for algae is to increase, as it has for the last four years. The Environmental protection agency report states that the introduction of plant nutrients into the lake from artificial sources should be controlled. The fertilizer on new lawns in Amber Meadows drains into the lake. The report also states that livestock waste management has been effective in reducing nutrient runoff. The dog park is great, but the location is hurting our lake. Dog poop is not much different than cow manure. Now, I have laid out the reasons for the problem. Here is the solution. The only way to rid a lake of toxic algae is to dredge the lake and bag the algae for proper disposal. There are companies that specialize in this area. Next, according to the report from the E.P.A., grass waterways and buffer strips are effective, so these need to be put in place to prevent the problem from returning.  K.S.A. 75-5657 empowers the State conservation commission to provide financial assistance. I encourage the residents of Great Bend to go to the E.P.A. website and read the report on region 7 which includes Great Bend.
Marsha Gillenwater
Great Bend