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Fremont Lake Watershed Conclusion and Recommendations

Conclusion

The sources of the excess nutrient levels and algal blooms are the result of a combination of external and possible internal factor to Fremont Lake

Monitoring results show that Fremont Lake is an upper mesotrophic/lower eutrophic lake that has elevated concentrations of total phosphorus, summer blooms of cyanobacteria (formerly referred to as blue green algae), and macrophytes. The sources of the excessive nutrient levels and algal blooms are the result of a combination of external and possibly internal factors to Fremont Lake. The water quality in the tributaries to Fremont Lake is relatively poor as total phosphorus concentrations are significantly above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency criterion (U.S. EPA 2000).  

Both monitoring and modeling results show that the highest pollutant loadings appear to originate from the Daisy Creek basin. This basin is 50% urban/ built-up land and 19% agriculture. The flashy discharge, heavy erosion as indicated by high total suspended solid loadings, and elevated total phosphorus make this basin a focus area for urban stormwater and agricultural best management practices. The Daisy Creek basin has a complex hydrology and includes several small lakes and branch tributaries. Additional water quality assessments will be necessary to define the magnitude of nutrient sources and determine the best location for best management practices.

Brooks Creek and Fremont Drain also appear to be areas where phosphorus loading reductions need to occur. Fremont Drain appears to be influenced primarily by urban stormwater issues (71% urban/built-up land), while Brooks Creek is influenced by both urban and agricultural land uses (51% agriculture and 42% urban/built-up land). Again, additional investigations will be necessary to determine specific nutrient sources and the best locations for best management practices.

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Recommendations

SHORT TERM RECOMMENDATIONS

LONG TERM RECOMMENDATIONS

  • Further investigation of the Daisy Creek, Brooks Creek, and Fremont Drain basins to determine the magnitude of nutrient sources and determine best locations for best management practices.
  • Further investigation of Fremont Lake to determine if internal loading (release of phosphorus from sediments) is a factor.
  • Creation of a social marketing campaign to promote stormwater education in the watershed. Tailor the existing “Be Stormwater Savvy” media campaign developed by the Center for Environmental Study for residents in the Fremont Lake Watershed.
  • Work with communities in the watershed to implement Low Impact Development techniques into site design processes. Utilize recommendations in the Low Impact Development Manual for Michigan developed by the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments.
  • Encourage inspection and maintenance of individual septic systems located throughout the watershed, but even more importantly around the perimeter of Fremont Lake.
  • Conduct septic dye testing to ascertain the need to maintain or replace existing septic systems.
  • Create evaluation techniques to determine if pollutant loading reductions are being achieved over time. 
  • Install buffer and filter strips along the stream corridor and lakefront to reduce the input of nutrients.
  • Create more opportunities for runoff infiltration and detention in developed areas to reduce direct nonpoint source pollution inputs. Examples of infiltration and detention best management practices include bioretention (rain gardens), constructed wetlands, capturing the stormwater (rain barrels, cisterns), vegetated swales, and vegetated or green roofs.
  • Returning some of the natural sinuosity back to the stream channels to help slow the transport of sediment and nutrients to the lake.
  • Using phosphate free fertilizer for lawn maintenance. 
  • Implement social marketing campaign to inform watershed stakeholders of their impact on water quality and steps they can take to improve and protect their water resources.
  • Consider sewer system extension, water conservation practices, and alternative septic treatment techniques as a way to minimize the associated impacts from individual septic systems on lake water quality.
  • Implement evaluation techniques to determine if best management practices are improving water quality in the watershed.
  • Lake management efforts implemented if internal loading of phosphorus is determined to be a problem in Fremont Lake.

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Fremont Lake Watershed Modeling

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Page last modified March 30, 2010