Algae blooms in Spring Lake

Recent algal blooms in Spring Lake and its bayous have residents questioning whether it will soon be time for another million-dollar treatment.
Alex Doty
Oct 12, 2013

“I know I’ve seen some stuff floating,” township resident Barb Lamancusa said. “It is there one day and the next day it is gone.”

An avid boater, Lamancusa said the algae doesn’t bother her too much because she typically enjoys water recreation in other areas.

“We actually get on the boat and leave the bayou,” she said. “We don’t do a lot of swimming right here.”

Eight years ago, the algae got so bad that something had to be done.

In June 2005, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality approved the Spring Lake Lake Board’s plan to treat Spring Lake with aluminum sulfate, also known as alum. The lake was treated from mid-October to mid-November of that year.

“We were pretty happy with the results,” Lake Board member John Nash said.

The alum treatment was done to reduce phosphorus levels and the frequency and duration of algal blooms in the lake.

The alum was poured along the contour of the lake where depth was about 15 feet. The total cost of the 2005 alum treatment project came in at $1 million.

Now the algae appears to be making a comeback. Any efforts to deal with it, however, would have to be discussed by the Spring Lake Lake Board.

“We did $45,000 worth of research before we made that decision (to treat in 2005),” Nash said.

To read more of this story, see Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.




This is very irresponsible environmental behavior since there is evidence that alum metal is toxic to bottom dwelling aquatic life. Spring Lake is not being managed properly and the Board is hiding the impacts of an alum spill that occured on the lake in 2005 near Smith's Bayou. I would recommend a FOIA to the MDEQ on this event that was not remediated.


I like you already, but I hate acronyms...what do those letters stand for in long hand??

Back to the Wall

Request information under authority of the Freedom Of Information Act from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.

A FOIA request (a properly formatted written request) and a nominal service charge will require the MDEQ to release to the applicant information regarding the event.


Sorry! Your government is currently shut down.
Please submit your FOIA request after your politicians have pulled their heads from their rears.


I totally agree, every time something goes wrong with our small lake, we look for a fast treatment of chemicals, instead of trying to solve the issue with a natural and environmentally safe solution. But I guess when the cause of the problem might be coming from something we humans contribute, or do, we will look the other way.

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