Diamond Lake Area
Recreational Association
Atwater, Minnesota
Diamond Lake News
Thirty-third Year
July 4th Edition 2016

Boat and Personal Water Craft Safety

Hello to all Diamond Lake residents,
Welcome back to all of the individuals that make Diamond Lake their summer home!  Diamond Lake, as you know, is a lake that because of its size can support different types of activities at one time.  There are some that want to fish and others that want to do water sport activities like skiing, wakeboarding, etc., and others who just want to relax and cruise around the lake.
Because there are many different types of activities going on at one time I want to remind everyone about the below laws regarding the operation of boats and personal water crafts so we can all enjoy the lake safely.
Below are some of the laws pertaining to the operation of a personal watercraft.
Anyone operating or riding on a personal watercraft must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved Type I, II, III or V personal flotation device (PFD or life jacket).
Personal watercraft must travel at slow-no wake speeds (5 mph or less) within 150 feet of non-motorized boats, shore *unless launching or landing skiers directly to or from open water), docks, swim rafts, swimmers or any moored or anchored boat.
Operation of personal watercraft is allowed only from 9:30 a.m. to one hour before sunset.
If you tow a person on water skis or any other device there must be an additional person on board the personal watercraft to act as an observer.  (The observer does not have to be facing backwards).  The skier/knee boarder, etc. must also be wearing a PFD or there must be one on board the personal watercraft for the skier.  Factory installed or factory specified wide-field rearview mirrors are allowed instead of an observer when pulling a skier or other device (tube, kneeboard, etc.).  The mirrors must be specified by the personal watercraft manufacturer.  After-market mirrors, stick-on mirrors, motorcycle mirrors, etc. do not qualify for the observer exemption.
If the machine is equipped by the manufacturer with a lanyard-type engine cutoff switch it must be attached to the person, life jacket or clothing of the operator, when underway.
You may not operate a personal watercraft in a manner that unreasonably or unnecessarily endangers life, limb or property.
You may not weave through congested watercraft traffic, or jump the wake of another watercraft within 150 feet of the other watercraft.  This includes other personal watercrafts.

The biggest violations of the law that we see with the personal watercrafts are operating after hours and operating within 150 feet of docks and other watercrafts.

The following are some laws regarding the operation of boats:
A person may not operate or allow the operation of a watercraft or use a device relating to the use of the watercraft:
oIn a careless or heedless manner in disregard to the rights or safety of others;
oIn a reckless or growly negligent manner that causes personal injury to another or damage to the property of another.
A person may not operate a watercraft within a water area that has been marked off or set aside as a swimming or bathing area as prescribed by the commissioner’s rules.
A person may not ride or sit and a person may not operate a motorboat while a person is riding or sitting on (i) the starboard or port gunwales; (ii) the decking over the bow, sides, or stern; or (iii) the transom, of a motorboat while underway unless the motorboat is provided with adequate guards or railing to prevent passengers from falling overboard. 

The biggest violations we see with this are individuals on the gunwales of boats while the boat is moving.

The Sheriff’s Office is also involved in the enforcement of the aquatic invasive species laws.  Please make sure when you leave the lake that you check your boat, trailer, anchor and other items that have been in the water for weeds and to remove them before leaving the landing.  Also, remember to pull your boat plug and drain your live well water.  Leave your boat plug out until you go into the lake again.

Have a great summer and let’s all work together to make it a safe one!

Sheriff Dan Hartog

Pump Ire
by Colleen Thompson, Superintendent, GLSSWD

During the last couple of months the Green Lake Sanitary Sewer and Water District (District) has noticed an increase in flow from the Diamond Lake Service area.  The added flow (infiltration and inflow) is flow being pumped to the system by way of individual sewer grinder/pump stations.  The District is asking property owners to take note of any additional pumping that might be occurring at their grinder stations.  Below are a couple of ways to monitor for this:
1.Monitor pump run hours.  The meter is found inside the control panel.
2.Listen/watch for excess running of grinder pump.
3.Watch your KPC electric bill.  If kwh appear higher than normal the grinder pump could be running more as a results of the excess water entering the system.
4.Do not run or connect your sump pump discharge to the grinder station.

Feel free to contact the District at 320-796-4523 if you have questions.

Infiltration:  is extraneous water entering a sanitary sewer system through joints and cracks in the sewer after having traveled through soil.

Inflow:  is extraneous water entering a sanitary sewer by direct connection such as from roof drains, sump pumps, manhole covers, etc..

Managing Your Grinder Station!

You should have received a brochure from Efficient Septic Pumping and Drain Cleaning of New London in regard to your grinder system.  The warranty is about to run out and each owner will be responsible for the maintenance of their unit. 

ESP is offering a service (recommended by the Kandiyohi Power Cooperative) to check your grinder station for buildup and cleaning needs to keep it functioning properly. Cost is $150 for basic check and cleaning, $300 for check and clean and more. First time users will receive a $50 reduction in cost.

There have been some problems when the systems are not cleaned out properly before shutting down for extended periods of time.  This would help alleviate some of these issues I believe.  Their phone # is 320-354-0108. Also if you have problems with your unit the number to call is 320-796-6070 for B & J Lake Region Electric. 

Need more information or see me.
Harlan Meints  507-220-5195   14249 Breezy Point Road

Way to Check on Electircal Usage (Sewer Meter is Separate)
by Harlan Meints

A question has come up about the problem of the grinder float sticking during periods when the homeowner is away during the winter.  This results in the pump’s running continually with a resulting increase in the electrical billing.

KANDIYOHI POWER COOPERATIVE has installed a system that allows users to access their account by way of the internet at any time. To use this feature you will need to down load the APP SmartHub from whatever source your  computer or phone or tablet get APPS. You will need to find and download the APP. You will need to have your account # (top right of your bill). Also know the name your account id listed under on the bill and mailing zip code bill is sent to. Follow the directions to complete your setup. Be ready to put in a new password to access your newly opened account.

When you log in you will use your e-mail address and temp. password you were given. Change your password and remember it to log on again.  Follow instruction to enter the part where you can access your home meter usage and grind usage. These meters are separate.

QUESTIONS!!   KPC # 1-800 551-4951 or bring your computer to me with a copy of your bill and I will TRY to get you up and running.  I am hooked up on my tablet. Good luck and happy flushing!

Missile Lane

Atwater Help for Seniors is holding its annual Island Pine Golf Tournament on Saturday, July 16, gunshot start at 10 am. $60/ person includes 18 holes, cart, gift bag and box lunch. Call Josh at Island Pine to register (320 974-8600). Atwater Help for Seniors is a local non-profit dedicated to provided services and activities designed to keep seniors at home rather than having them spend their final years in a nursing home. If you, or if you know of anyone who needs help please contact Deb Friedrichs at 974-8737 or DebraFriedrichs@atwaterhfseniors.com.

That same weekend the Charlie Daniels Band will be performing at Freedom Ridge, an off-road challenge course and campground located 2 miles south of Atwater on County Road #2. Tickets (available on-line and locally at Atwater Ford) are $45 in advance, $55 at the door for both nights. Gates open @ 2 pm, music @ 6 pm. Josh Thompson, the Daisy Dillman Band and others will also be performing. For more information go to www.FreedomRidgeRocks.com. 

Take Invasives Out to Dinner. Japanese-Style Burdock Root Salad? Pasta with Garlic Mustard Pesto? Apple & Japanese Knotweed Pie? The Minneapolis Institute of Art has a wonderful brochure for recipes using invasive species. If you want a copy of these recipes just email me at robm@harvestbankmn.com. I haven’t tried them myself. I’m waiting for you to go first.

Per Kandiyohi County Public Works Director, Mel Odens:
County Road 4 is still in the 2018 plan for construction with paving in 2019. This includes flattening vertical curves as well as straightening some of the horizontal curves. The road is planned to be re-routed west around the County Park but this alignment has not been finalized. Some of the things that need to be worked out yet are items such as Park entrance layout, walk/bike path, intersection of County Roads 4 & 26, wetlands, and the public access entrance.

Many thanks to readers who notify us that they have sold or otherwise divested themselves of their property. This saves us postage and assembling time. Over the years our mailing list can start to resemble a zebra mussel-encrusted dock post unless our superannuated readers inform us of their departure.
It would also be greatly appreciated if the name and address of new property owners would be given so that they will not miss a single exciting issue of the Diamond Lake News and the Association will not miss a single excited dues payer. 

Ditch Assessment on the Lake ?!

Greetings everyone.  I hope you are enjoying a happy and safe summer at the lake.  With all the upkeep and expenses, we sure like to do our part to keep the lake clean and beautiful for generations to come.  As you know, there are lots of duties and responsibilities that go along with owning lakeshore property.  Seems like every time we turn around, there is another bill to pay!  

County Ditch assessments do not seem like an expense for lakeshore owners.  That is true for the most part.  There are, however, a few properties in the northeast side of Diamond Lake that do currently pay ditch assessments to County Ditch (CD) #28.  Those properties are close to the lake outlet that flows east under County Road #137.   Back in the early 1980’s, CD #28 underwent an improvement.  That process identified current users and current contributors of water to CD 28.  Apparently, the land in that area was assessed for benefits prior to its development.  For Example, in 2015, the County Drainage Department had a $9,025 expense on CD 28.  One of the property owners in the northeast side of the lake was assessed $0.62.

What are the chances of Ditch Assessments for all lakeshore properties in the future?  IF the County Drainage Authority orders a “Redetermination of Benefits” on County Ditch #28, it is very likely that most, if not all, of the land in the entire watershed will be assigned a “benefit”.  In this case, a “benefit” is defined as direct or indirect.  Direct benefits would pertain to property immediately adjacent to or relatively close to the ditch such as farmland.  An indirect benefit would be farm building sites, roads, municipalities, and lakeshore properties for example.  Any land that has a hard surface driveway, rooftop, etc. may be considered to have a “benefit” but of course, at a much lower value than cropland.  Consideration for indirect benefits has expanded since the 1980’s to identify all the properties who “contribute” stormwater to a public drainage system.  When those ditch systems were established, however, the farmland owners paid the entire cost.  Ditch assessments are for the immediate public drainage system downstream.  They do not include all public drainage systems downstream all the way to New Orleans.

In 2011, Kandiyohi County completed a Redetermination of Benefits on County Ditch #10.  Eagle Lake north of Willmar is in the CD #10 watershed.  All the lakeshore properties were assigned the same benefit value (regardless of the market value).  For example, in 2015, the County had maintenance expenses on CD #10 of $17,165.  A random search of a property on Eagle Lake shows a ditch assessment for 2016 to be $0.08.  It doesn’t really seem worth it but accumulatively it adds up.  Ditch assessments are only levied when there is a need for maintenance and repair funds.  Ditch repair and maintenance costs are not paid out of the County General Fund.  They are paid by those who use or contribute to the drainage system.
Note:  The new Ditch Buffer Law of 2015 will not affect lakeshore property owners unless there is cropland within 50 feet of the shore.  The duty to establish buffers along County Ditches and Public Waters that do not already have them, is the sole responsibility of the property owner.

I hope this answers some of your questions.  If you have additional questions or comments, please call Loren Engelby, Kandiyohi County Drainage Manager at 320-235-3266 or email me at loren_e@co.kandiyohi.mn.us.

2015 Water Lake Water Quality
Margaret Johnson & Jonathan Morales   

The Middle Fork Crow River Watershed District (MFCRWD) is tasked with the responsibility of monitoring water quality throughout the Middle Fork Crow River watershed. In 2015, we were able to continue our partnership with the Diamond Lake Area Recreation Association to monitor the water quality of Diamond Lake along with volunteer Gordon Behm.

One of the main components of water chemistry we sample for each year includes total phosphorus (TP). Phosphorus is one of the principle nutrients that stimulate plant and algal growth. Unfortunately, too much phosphorus results in excess growth of plants and algae, which can diminish the recreational and aesthetic value of the lake.

The first graph below shows the average annual TP readings for the past 12 years. The shaded box indicates the ecoregional average for total phosphorus for Diamond Lake which ranges from 23 to 50 micrograms per liter (ug/L). The ecoregional average is not a water quality standard, but instead provides a reference to be able to compare Diamond Lake with similar lakes. The average annual TP readings in 2015 exceeded the ecoregional average. Currently, Diamond Lake is on the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s list of impaired waters for excess phosphorus and the MFCRWD has completed a Total Maximum Daily Load Study that identifies the sources of phosphorus and offers an implementation plan to reduce the phosphorus loading to the lake in an effort to meet water quality standards again.

In addition to water chemistry, our volunteers help us measure the lake’s water clarity with the use of a secchi disk – a circular disk attached to a rope that is marked for measuring water depth.  The disk is lowered into the water on the shaded side of a boat.  At the point in which the disk is no longer visible, the depth is recorded – the deeper the depth, the clearer the water.  A graph of average annual secchi disk readings over the past 40 years is shown below.  In the graph, note that 0 feet on the y-axis represents the lake’s surface – the further the bar goes down, the clearer the water.  Again the shaded box indicates the ecoregional average for secchi disk: 4.9-10.5 feet. Average secchi readings in 2015 are within the ecoregion averages for our area.