BAY HEAD — The Bay Head Environmental Commission [BHEC] presented the Twilight Lake Watershed Implementation Plan [WIP] to the borough council Monday.
The plan, presented by commission member Rick McGoey, included a series of solutions to address extensive pollution in the lake.
The goal of the WIP is to “identify the sources of water quality impairments and provide realistic and manageable solutions to address these problems,” said Mr. McGoey.
He then covered the possible solutions, weighing the positives and negatives of each one.
Mr. McGoey described this situation as “lucky” because New Jersey had recently passed a law in November of 2022, which became effective on Jan. 1, 2023, requiring a WIP from all municipalities as part of the state’s Storm Water Management Program. He said that since this plan has already been made, the town is ahead of the curve in implementing these changes.
All corrective actions are to be implemented by Dec. 1, 2027 to be in compliance with the state.
Mr. McGoey cited the survey, conducted by Princeton Hydro, that Twilight Lake has excessive pollutants entering the lake. The most pollutants entering the lake are phosphates, nitrates and suspended solids, which are larger grits and debris. This survey was conducted in October of 2021 and was compared to another survey conducted in 2014.
Excessive pollutants reduce the overall health of the lake ecosystem by causing algae growth and reduced plant and aquatic life.
The amount of phosphates in the lake were 0.06 mg/L, where acceptable levels of phosphates are 0.05 mg/L. Mr. McGoey said the amount of phosphates is not something to be worried that much about, as phosphates lead to algae blooms, which Twilight Lake does not experience.
The amount of nitrates in the lake was 0.21 mg/L, where acceptable levels are 0.1 mg/L. Higher levels of nitrates have led to reduced plant growth, therefore lowering oxygen levels in the lake. This then leads to reduced aquatic life within the lake.
The amount of total solids in the lake was 48 mg/L, where acceptable levels are 40 mg/L. High total solids also reduce plant growth, therefore lowering oxygen levels in the lake. This then leads to reduced aquatic life within the lake.
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