You can help improve water quality!
Individuals around the lake and in the watershed (areas that eventually drain into the lake) can do a lot to help improve the water quality in the lake and reduce the amounts of weeds and algae. You can also help by politely educating your neighbors and visitors about how to improve and protect the lake.
Much has been published on the subject of lake water quality, and you might be surprised about how activities near the lake can affect it. Here are some links to information that can make you a better neighbor to Lake Attitash:
- General tips about pollution sources (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
- Living lake smart (Lake Attitash Association)
- You can help improve Lake Attitash water quality (Lake Attitash Association)
- Using care with lawn fertilizers (Mass. DEP)
- Landscaping to improve water quality (Mass. DEP)
- Buffer gardens and native plants (Lake Attitash Association)
- Reduce pet waste pollution (Mass. DEP)
- How car washing affects water quality (Mass. DEP)
- Why you should fix your car’s oil leaks (Mass. DEP)
The association is also reinstituting its water monitoring activities to gauge the success of efforts to reduce weeds, algae, and bacteria, and to improve water clarity. These activities require considerable volunteer effort for water sampling, weed mapping, and data collection. If you’d like to help, please contact us. Training is available, so experience is not necessary.
Use only phosphorus-free lawn fertilizer
If you must fertilize lawn areas within a few hundred feet of the shore or near catch basins or culverts draining into the lake, please use only fertilizer without phosphorus. Association members report that phosphorus-free fertilizers are available at Eastern Lumber (Route 110 in Amesbury) and at Lowe’s and Home Depot (Route 1 in Seabrook, NH). Also check with your favorite hardware or lawn supply store. They’re likely to have it or can probably get it quickly.
Phosphorus is common in fertilizers, but it’s a main culprit in promoting weed and algae growth in the lake. In some localities (Annapolis, MD, for example), fertilizers with phosphorus have been banned because of the chemical’s effect on lakes and streams.
Most phosphorus-free fertilizers are clearly labeled as such, but some are not. To determine the amount of phosphorus in the fertilizer, look at the three-number code on the package. (Example: 18-0-6.) If the middle number is zero, the fertilizer has no phosphorus and is OK to use near the lake. Even when using fertilizer without phosphorus, apply it carefully and use only the amount indicated by instructions on the package.
To learn more about phosphorus and fertilizers, read Phosphorus in Lawns, Landscapes and Lakes published by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.
Links to Attitash water quality and weed control information
The Lake Attitash Association attempts to maintain an online library of documents related to water quality and weed control, mostly in PDF file format. (You might need to install the free Adobe Reader program on your computer to view these files.)
Click these links for the latest information: