2012-07-28 / Editorials & Letters

We should be stewards of the lake

Editor:

Buckeye Lake residents living within 100 yards of lake use the lake several ways - scenic pleasure, boating, fishing, water skiing etc. Most waterfront residents moved here to enjoy the lake, many from nearby cities. Only a small percentage of residents were raised on the lake.

Recently, Merv Bartholow wrote about how we should care for the lake - stewardship. His July 14 letter included some “don’t’s” on caring for the lake both short and long-term. One was about watering grass with lake water when the lake is at a “critical level.” The lake is now 16 inches below the Seller’s Point Spillway.

Here’s some of the effects when the lake is at a critical level:

• Boaters are damaging props and outdrives;

• Some boaters are having difficulty in getting their boats out of their slips;

• Some boat lifts were designed for full pool levels meaning the lift can’t reach the current level; and

• Some boaters have been forced to take their boats out of the lake or rent a dock in July.

Merv’s comments about lawn watering caught the attention of North Bank resident Harry H. Shaw III who recapped his reasons to use lake water to water grass and flowers.

• He is an Ohio taxpayer - He does not own the water as it is owned by the State of Ohio;

• He uses 200 gallons - 200 gallons will water 50 square feet to the recommended depth of 8 - 10 inches, which is far below what is actually used.

Last Monday evening, he was watering the grass between the towpath and the seawall. Apparently, he wasn’t aware of the weather forecast that produced rain Tuesday morning. Mr. Shaw is not the only person using lake water for watering. Within a five-minute walk east of his home, there are three homes with green grass and pumps for using lake water. A similar walk to the west finds six homes with green grass and pumps.

Mr. Shaw, his lake water using neigh- bors and other lake water users are not being good stewards of the lake. His letter in last week’s Beacon justifying the practice was the tipping point for those of us who are good stewards of the lake. It has prompted us to take steps to stop the practice when Buckeye Lake is at a critical level. We plan to involve ODNR, Ohio EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers in this effort. Possible remedies are fines, confiscation of pumps in Buckeye Lake and/or loss of dock permits.

We will be good stewards of Buckeye Lake when we all respect Buckeye Lake as a resource for waterfront residents, visitors, boaters and fishermen.

George O’Donnel
Millersport

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