A prominent issue in lake front communities is the fact that property owners mow or remove vegetation up to the water line or dump sand on their beach.
Where Do Sediments Come From?
Sediments come from exposed earth and sites where erosion is occurring, such as shorelines, stream banks, cleared forests, as well as construction and excavation sites with exposed soils. Water is the main transporter of sediments into water bodies. Waves may erode shorelines, and storm events may wash sediments into surrounding streams, storm drains, or directly into the lake.
Why Is Sedimentation A Problem?
When sediments are washed into streams and lakes, it takes time for them to settle to the bottom. Whether suspended or settled, sediments can degrade water quality and may harm plant and animal life in various ways.
• Sediments can carry nutrients, such as phosphorus, bacteria, and other pollutants into waterbodies degrading water quality.
• Suspended sediments can harm plant and animal life by blocking much needed sunlight.
• Sediments can cloud the water to the extent of suffocating plant and animal life.
• Sediments may disrupt aquatic food webs by destroying feeding and spawning grounds for fish and other aquatic animals.
How can I Reduce Sedimentation?
Homeowners are encouraged to leave a buffer area of un-managed vegetation between their lawn and the water line to help prevent stormwater runoff pollutants from entering the lake. Natural shoreline vegetation reduces erosion from wind, rain, waves, ice and boats.