Algae, beware

Flat boat on Lake LaVerne distributes liquid chemical into the w

Photo by Christopher Gannon.

The campus services team of Curt Johnson (operating the boat motor) and David Madsen cruised Lake LaVerne Tuesday conducting the annual distribution of liquid aluminum sulfate in the water. "Alum," as it's called, binds together nutrients in the water and these clusters fall to the bottom of the lake. Lower nutrient levels help control algae levels in the lake, especially during hot, dry weeks, said Chris Strawhacker, a landscape architect with facilities planning and management. Oxygenated water created by aerators in the lake address the same issue. Depending on weather and water quality, Strawhacker said some years require a second alum dose in the fall. The process is harmless to fish and other lake inhabitants.