Healthy Pine River
7 p.m. October 13, 2016
Call to order 7 p.m. (Gary Rayburn)
Approval of September minutes (Jane/Justin)
Treasurer’s Report (Chuck Sandro) As of September 30 there is $9,096.98 in the HPR account. $7,500 will go to Barr Engineering for the Sediment Survey leaving $1,596.98
Presentation by Murray Borello
Because of the amount of information presented we will provide a link to Dr. Borello’s slides as they become available. A brief summary follows.
*Dr. Borello and students have collected a lot of data, but never enough. This summer’s project cost 11,000 funded, in part, by a grant from a generous local citizen. The costs included Dr. Borello’s hours, student pay and triplicate testing.
*County Line Road is a new site for testing along with Honeyoye and the confluence of the Pine and the Honeyoye. 300 is the ‘acceptable level’. At this site ammonia levels were 86,000. Almost no recordable oxygen in the water. SVSU has this data. DEQ is investigating
*Testing at Adams Road and Jefferson showed a change probably related to a human waste dump.
*Objectives include monitoring water quality (compare to previous years and record changes in trends), try to determine potential souces of nutrients causing algal blooms and correlate nutrient data with bacterial analyses.
*The methods used for testing comply with MDEQ and EPA guidelines
*Observations include earlier algal blooms this year and floating scum (pure manure on algal mats)
*They began an EPA approved procedure to differentiate between Thermo tolerant and Non-Thermo tolerant e. coli. (tolerant means a higher risk for pathogenic as they can withstand extra heat)
*Ammonia and nutrient levels were down in 2015 but are back up in 2016
*Fish Cages (blue gill and channel catfish) were put in different parts of the waterways to determine if these fish accumulate significant concentrations of e.coli. YES they do. All showed e.coli on mucus. It is unsafe to handle the fish.
*WHAT TO DO: Compare parameters to determine trend (water temperature, Dissolved oxygen, precipitation, pH). Align sampling with Watershed Management and Monitor plans. Work with MDEQ to develop monitoring different parts of rivers.
*Short/long term studies: .Pair nutrient and bacterial data with impoundment hydro dynamics. .Assess future risks because of climate change.
*Todd Starry, a St. Louis teacher is doing a macroinvertebrate study near the St. Louis school. That part of the river seems healthier in this way.
With so much e.coli, when does the city not take 25% from the Pine?
~If siltation clogs the intake
~If more treatment (chlorine) creates carcinogenic by-products. Note: The city samples for carcinogens.
*A proposal has been submitted to fund the writing of the rest of the Watershed Management Plan. DEQ approached Julie Spencer about resurrecting last year’s proposal. Aaron Snell (Stream Side Ecological Services) helped finish it and turned it in. This would provide $85,000 to finish writing the plan. If the Watershed Management Plan is approved it will allow access to implementation dollars.
*The Watershed Management Plan is Key to our next steps. It will focus on Health and Safety (bacteria) issues, (imminent human health risks) and identify Point Source Discharges.
*Community involvement and concern is Key. The state wants to invest in communities which are most likely to have success.
*SVSU lab has not perfected human v. animal source testing.
*HPR is prioritizing Dredging the Honeyoye Creek.
*This is a slow, hard process. We must KEEP SQUEAKING
We have to keep moving forward as if we will have no help. One way to squeak is to come to the working session on Nov. 10 to fill out Water Quality Monitoring Request Surveys. More surveys means more possibilities in being granted this service from the Water Resource Division.
Adjourn (Chuck Sandro/Wayne Brooks)
NOVEMBER 10, 2016
7 p.m. Alma Public Library Large Conference Room
Report by Dr. Keeton followed by a working session