Nash says SL Township not to blame for algae issues

Marie Havenga • Sep 12, 2018 at 12:00 PM

SPRING LAKE TWP. — Spring Lake Township Supervisor John Nash says Lloyd's Bayou residents who believe algae is floating into the bayou from the Grand River or from township-owned land are mistaken.

“It's proven that the water flows out of Lloyd's Bayou,” he said.

Lloyd's Bayou resident Bob Lubbers spoke at a recent Spring Lake Township meeting to ask township leaders if they would consider pitching in for weed treatment.

The township owns about 2,600 feet of waterfront west of Leonard Road and does not pay for weed control. The approximately 220 Lloyd's Bayou residents each pay a $179-per-year special assessment for weed control.

Although some Lloyd's Bayou residents have said the algae flows into the bayou from the west side of Leonard Road, Nash said that simply is not true.

“There's no validity to their comments,” he said. “The idea that things come in from the river into Spring Lake or Lloyd's Bayou is just ludicrous. It's been scientifically proven — it doesn't happen. It's just hearsay from people that have no scientific background and it's objectionable to me.”

Water quality specialist Tony Groves of Progressive A&E said the flow of water indeed goes out of, and not into, the bayou.

Although Nash said he would consider having the township pitch in for weed control if it would appease a few people, he said that would not be the norm.

“We talked to Tony Groves and his comment is, if you have municipal property that's undeveloped, there's no payment,” the township supervisor said. “He does lake associations everywhere. And if we decided to do that, it would be half the normal payment. (Township Manager Gordon Gallagher) and I both said that if you want to do that, fine, if it's going to appease a few people who don't know what they're talking about, that would be dandy.”

Nash said the township purchased the riverfront parcels to preserve the view.

“That's what makes a municipality special, it's ‘viewscape,’” he said. “To say that something is happening on the property creating algae, that's so far out it's not even worth talking about.”

Nash said he plans to attend the next Lloyd's Bayou Lake Board meeting, but that “my tolerance for people's opinions that have no scientific background is going to be very little.”

Groves told the Tribune that the algae problem is caused by fluctuating water levels and an overly warm summer. He said the water flow actually runs from Lloyd's Bayou, under the bridge and out into the river, but that the constricted area under the bridge can cause issues.

“A lot of the water levels have come up, which creates a condition for plants to take off,” Groves said. “In the bayou, there's been a lot of algae growth this year. ... I don't think the problem lies with the township. I think the problem lies with Mother Nature.”

The township owns the former Glafke, Bottema and Stone parcels.

“Treating that area wouldn't make a ton of sense,” Groves said.

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