WATER QUALITY GUIDELINES AND BEST PRACTICES
To prevent the spread of invasive species, all Winans Lake Users should adhere to the following guidelines (some of these are now required by Michigan law) :
CLEAN, DRAIN and DRY any and all objects that have been in contact with any other body of water before using in Winans Lake. This including boats, canoes, boards, rafts, kayaks, inflatables, swim gear, swimsuits, toys, fishing gear, clothing, footwear gear, paddles, floats, ropes, anchors, nets, etc.
- CLEAN off visible aquatic plants, animals, and mud from all equipment before leaving another water access. Rinse equipment and boat hulls with high pressure, hot water when possible. Disinfect with bleach solution (1/2 cup bleach to 5 gallons water) for at least 20 minutes.
- DRAIN any water containing devices before leaving water access and rinse with with high pressure, hot water when possible. Disinfect with bleach solution (1/2 cup bleach to 5 gallons water).
- DRY everything in the sun for at least five days OR wipe with a towel before reuse.
- DISPOSE of unwanted bait, worms, and fish parts in the trash. Never dump any material–including water, live fish or other organisms–from one water body into another.
- REGISTER and IDENTIFY all watercraft used on Winans Lake with decals and numbers per the WLA RULES. This is the primary means of identifying watercraft that are allowed on the lake.
The following guidelines help to ensure water quality by preventing issues related to water chemistry, nutrient loading and excessive weed growth.
- GEESE may seem like an interesting part of the wildlife scene, but they are actually a serious threat to health and water quality. Goose droppings contain bacteria that can close the beach and lake to swimming if levels get too high. In addition, goose droppings present an additional nutrient load to the lake, which leads to excessive weed growth. Residents are urged to never feed geese or otherwise allow them to nest or congregate on their property or the lake. Geese should be harassed by any legal means so that they don’t find Winans Lake to be a comfortable place to stay.
- BURNING Often it is more convenient to burn leaves than to remove or compost them. The resulting ashes contain highly concentrated nutrients that are absorbed by rainwater and drain or seep into the lake. This promotes dense aquatic weed growth and algae bloom at your beach. To improve water quality, ashes should be removed or composted as far as possible away from the shore. Same process for recreational fire pit ashes.
- FERTILIZER: Heavy rains dissolve lawn fertilizer which then runs off into the lake to grow thicker weeds in your beach area. For this reason, it is recommended that the last 50 feet of lawn adjacent to a shoreline should not be fertilized. Avoid fertilizing at all, if possible; otherwise, use a zero phosphorous fertilizer (the middle number should be zero; for example: 30/0/10) per Hamburg Township Ordinance.
- LAWN SERVICE: If you employ a lawn service, ask them for a “lake-friendly” treatment. They have special formulations designed for use near water that are zero phosphorous fertilizers. This is required by Hamburg Township ordinance and WLA best practices.
- RAKING: The removal of weeds and leaves from the lake also reduces the nutrient load of the entire lake and makes our own beach areas more pleasant.
- WATERING: Our lake water already carries a high nutrient load. A very positive thing that we can each do to improve our water quality is to filter some lake water through lawn watering. By spraying the lake water sparingly over our lawns, we allow the grass to absorb the nutrients and return cleaner water down to the water table which eventually re-enters the lake. Previous tests show that nutrients present in the lake water should supply ALL of our lawn fertilizer needs (which provides a savings in time and materials).