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Do Your Part, Be Septic Smart!

Education, News October 6, 2021 No Response

Proper septic system use and routine care are vital to protecting health, preserving our highly valued groundwater, lakes, streams, and waterways, and avoiding costly repairs from neglect. Having our septic systems inspected is one of the most important things we can do to protect our water. Learn how your septic system can impact nearby water sources: Click HERE Septic System Impact

Remember to have your system inspected!

Maintenance saves us money! Maintaining our septic systems benefits owners, too! Malfunctioning systems can cost $3,000-$7,000 to repair or replace compared to maintenance costs of about $250-$500 every three to five years. It protects the value of your home. Malfunctioning septic systems can drastically reduce property values, hamper the sale of your home, and even pose a legal liability. How often should my septic system be inspected? Homeowners should generally have their system inspected every three years by a qualified professional or according to their state or local health department’s recommendations. Septic Systems should be pumped when necessary, typically every three to five years.

Swimmer’s Itch Prevention

Education, News July 6, 2021 No Response

Swimmer’s Itch? Prevention is the Key!

People ask “why can’t the GLA eradicate swimmer’s itch on Glen Lake?”  Here are a few reminders as to why:

  1. More than one bird host (common merganser) contributes to the problem.  Based on the science, we now know that Canada Geese and Mallards also contribute to the itch.  It is simply not possible or legal to live-trap all three species of birds every summer in an attempt to eradicate swimmer’s itch.
  2. We now know that migratory mergansers, geese, and mallards also contribute to the itch.  So just live-trapping the “summer resident broods of mergansers” is not sufficient or effective.
  3. We still don’t know what the long term adverse effects, if any, there might be on the Glen Lake ecosystem by a sustained live-trapping program.  Removing a top predator like the common merganser year after year may produce unintended consequences that would put the balance of life in our lakes in jeopardy.
  4. By equipping the swimmer with prevention strategies, we can now target our itch reduction techniques where they belong, namely, the swimmer.
  5. The GLA firmly believes that it would be ineffectual and a waste of precious dollars to continue down the path of trying to control, mitigate, or eradicate swimmer’s itch on a lake-wide basis.

50 years of trial and error, plus the latest research have shown our best and most cost-effective defense against Swimmer’s Itch is prevention, not control. What can you do to prevent the itch?

  • Cover your skin with full body swimwear, a “rash guard” suit
    (SI rarely affects a person’s hands, feet, and face)
  • Towel off vigorously after swimming
  • Swim in the afternoon or early evening vs. morning
  • Do not swim when an onshore wind is present
  • Do not swim/wade in shallow water without prevention measures
  • Install a swim baffle (float) in your swim area to block the itch
  • Use a parasite skimmer to remove the itch from the surface of the lake
  • Use a kid friendly wading or “kiddie pool” for small kids vs. swimming near or at the shoreline
Report and Map Swimmer’s Itch

In 2020 the GLA joined a new North American Swimmer’s Itch reporting effort aimed at collecting data to aid in prediction of swimmer’s itch risk, identifying hot spots, and contributing to development of a SI alert network. 46 cases of Swimmer’s Itch were reported around Glen Lake in 2020 using the new system. In 2021, be sure to Map and Report any cases of Swimmer’s Itch using the link on our website and help us build this promising new prevention tool with other lakes across the US and Canada! Swimmer’s Itch | Glen Lake Association

Discovery Boat is Back for 2021!

Education, News June 3, 2021 No Response

The pandemic may have put our popular onboard Discovery Boat Program on hold summer 2020, but we are back in action for the 2021 Season. Morning and afternoon sessions will be offered all 5 Friday’s in July, Sign up soon, the seats will go quickly!

The Discovery Boat Program provides a hands-on educational opportunity to join watershed biologist Rob Karner and assistant biologists Laura Weisen and Joe Blondia onboard a 22-foot pontoon boat cruise of Glen Lake. The curriculum varies each week and is tailored to the interests of the participants of each session. Topics range from discovering how the lakes, wetlands, streams and surounding hillsides were formed by glaciers, to the chemistry of the water, the biology of the plants and animals, the ecology of how all the parts work together and finally, community partners and political forces at work within our watershed. The life cycle of swimmer’s itch and prevention of it, are also covered.

Each cruise can acomodate up to 8 passengers. Participation is open to anyone 8 years old and up, children must be accompanied by an adult and provide their own life preserver.

Tickets are required to participate. Regular priced tickets for non-GLA members are $25 each. As a special benefit, current GLA Members are invited to enjoy a disounted ticket price of only $15 each. Space is limited and spots fill up quickly, so purchase your tickets at the below link today!

Discovery Boat | Glen Lake Association

We can’t wait to welcome you onboard once again!