Water-Related News

It’s all about keeping it clean: Progress made in effort to improve Lakeland lakes

LAKELAND - As rainfall makes its journey from high ground to low, it brings with it evidence of every dripping oil pan, the fertilizer captured in grass clippings left in the street, tar-stained cigarette butts, browning leaves, discarded bottles and civilization's other castoffs.

If it flows, it flows downhill, and it's not surprising that in a city named for its waters that the terminus of this hydraulic conveyor belt is often a lake.

It's on one of the 38 named lakes, Lake Bonny, that you'd have found Lakes Management Specialist Sandra George dipping a probe into the water and telling Environmental Technician Cody O'Gorman where the water ends and the muck begins.

"Two-point-three meters," George said as the sonde, an electronic sensor probe, began reporting water quality information onto a two-color screen. "Maybe try two-point-two to start."

O'Gorman lowered a clear cylinder into the lake using marks on the rope to level it right above the muck layer. He dropped a metal weight down the rope, snapping closed the spring-loaded doors at the ends of the cylinder.

A good sample. No muck, the stinking pollutant-filled organic sediment of past environmental sins. Lake Bonny, like Lake Hollingsworth before it was dredged at the turn of the century, is more muck than clean water.