Diamond Lake Area
Recreational Association
Atwater, Minnesota
Diamond Lake News
Thirty-fifth Year
July 4th Edition 2018

Sheriff's Letter
by Sheriff Dan Hartog


This information was given to those who attended the annual meeting June 16th.

After waiting 2 or 3 years, the inevitable has happened.  About 2 weeks ago a property owner on the south side of lake, found and adult zebra mussel (striped pattern on shell) attached to a test plate used to attract zebra mussels.  The DNR had divers search the area for 2 days but found no addition mussels.  The next week an adult mussel was found attached to a clam by the west access. On June 14th the DNR posted signs at both accesses identifying Diamond Lake as an infected body.  The DNR issued a press release June 18th listing Diamond Lake along with all of the other infected bodies of water in the state.

Zebra mussels were first found in freshwater in southern Russia in 1769.  Ships and trading boats have transported them to all parts of the world.  Zebra mussels were first found in Duluth Harbor in 1989. Zebra mussels are around and inch or less in length and attach to underwater structure by fibers from their body. Their life span is 3 to 5 years.  They attach to rocks, pipes, dock, boat lifts, wood and plants.  An adult female can produce 100,000 to 500,000 eggs per years.  Theses eggs are then fertilized by the male mussel’s sperm.  Fertilized eggs develop into microscopic free-living larvae called “VELIGERS”.  After 2 or 3 weeks of free floating, the Veliger’s attach themselves to a firm surface.  Tens –of-thousand can be found in a single square yard.  They can easily clog any pipes or motors left in the lake.

Zebra mussels can filter up to a gallon of water thru their body per day.  They remove microscopic plankton from the water to use as food.  This same plankton is also used to feed the young of fish in the lake. At the present time there is no known way to kill or stop their spread once they are in a lake.  Exposure to air for 7 days or more normally kills them.
Zebra mussels may, by eating algae and plankton, cause the lake to become clearer even in the deeper areas.  This may cut down of areas where fish and hide and feed. With the clearer water, plants will now get more sunlight and grow in deeper areas of the lake.
Zebra mussels shells are very sharp and can cause cuts requiring stitches.  Care must be used when walking along infested shores or beaches.

There are some animals that do eat zebra mussels: diving duck, carp, pumpkinseeds and crayfish.  Zebra mussels are not edible by humans; their bodies contain filtered toxins that could be harmful to people and animals. The main dangers from zebra mussels are: 
1. Cleaner water - plants growing in deeper water    
2. Filter plankton and algae from the water - less food for young fish  
3. Danger of cuts from walking on shells.

At the present time there is not set pattern of what zebra mussel’s infestation has on property values.  Some values have falling slightly why other have stayed the same or risen slightly.  Some people like the clear clean water while anglers do not like the loss of forage and cover.
Only time will tell what effect this will have on our lake.  It was bound to happen as more and more lakes became infected.  Everyone’s help is needed to work to keep Diamond Lake a great place for owners, guests and visitors.  If you need more information contact me or any board member.      Harlan Meints

Blue-Green Algae: If in doubt, stay out
Guest Blog: Pam Anderson, MPCA
Courtesy of MN Lakes & Rivers

Dear Robert,
With the unusually warm temperatures, blue-green algae has appeared in some lakes.  The problem will increase as waters warm.  Blooms can look like pea soup, green paint, or floating mats of scum and sometimes have a bad smell.  Blooms aren't always large and dense; sometimes they only cover small portions of the lake or are suspended in the water and don't form a surface scum.  Unfortuanetely, some of these blooms can produce toxins that are jarful to people and pets.

People can become sick after they recreate in water that has toxic blue-green algae by swallowing or having skin contact with water or by breathing in tiny droplets of water in the air.  In most people, symptoms are mild and may include vomiting, diarrhea, rash, eye irritation, cough, sore throat and headache.

Dogs are at particular risk, because they tend to swallow more water than humans while swimming and lick their coats after swimming, swallowing the algae on their fur.  Dogs exposed to toxic blue-green algae can experience symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, rash, difficulty breathing, general weakness, liver failure and seizures.  If you dog has symptoms after visitng a lake, seek veterimary care immediately.  In the worst cases, blue-green algae exposure can cause death.

There is no way to tell if a bloom is toxic just by looking at it.  People and pets should avoid water that has a blue-green algal bloom and any algal debris that may wash up on shore.  If you or your pet have contact with blue-green algae, wash off with fresh water as soon as possible.

There are currently no short-term solutions to fix a blue-green algal bloom.  With high temperatures, blue-green algal blooms will be common on many MN lakes this sumer.  A change in weather - rain, clouds or wind will break up a bloom.

Reducing the amount of utrients in lakes would improver overall water quality and reduce jarmful algae blooms.  Runoff from urban and agricultural land contains phosphorus.  Landowners and farmers should limit the application of phosphorus-containing fertilizers.  Maintaining a buffer around lakes and rivers can help reduce the amount of nutrients that reach the lake.  Homeowners can help by sweeping up lawn clippings, leaves and soil off sidewalks and pavement, and cleaning up pet waste, so that rain storms don't wash the material into nearby lakes and rivers.

More information on blue-green algae, how to determine if you have blue-green algae, and how to report a possible human or animal illness, is available on the MPCA Harmful Algal Blooms website.

More Notes from the Underground
By: Colleen Thompson, GLSSWD Director

New News
The district has completed a Connection Fee Study.  The goal of the Study is to incent Tier II property owners (not lakeside) to connect to GLSSWD Sanitary Sewer Collection System.  The following is an estimated connection cost for Tier II property on Diamond Lake:
1) $1,000 connection fee
2) Grinder station and installation estimate $6,500 - $8,000.  Contac t Bryan Goehring at WW Goetsch 612-845-9243 for an estimate.
3) Contact the office att 320-796-4523 for an estimate and what the procedure is for connecting to GLSSWD sanitary sewer system.

What you can do:
1) Do not pump sump pump discharge to the grinder station.  GLSSWD Unpolluted Water Discharge Policy states no person sump pump, roof drain, footing drain, surgace drain or any type of prohibited unpolluted waters discharge shall be connected to the GLSSWD sanitary sewer collection system.
2) You can monitor your water use by accessing Kandiyohi Power Cooperative Smart Hub at www.kpcoop.com

Missile Lane
For more on zebra mussels locally see: http:www.wctrib.com/news/science-and-nature/4462049-zebra-mussles-reach-norway-diamond-lakes.  We hope to have more information in future issues of this News.

Just so you know, your lake association provides the dumpstres at the two lake access points at our own expense, all year round.