MONTPELIER — The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is pleased to announce the selection of a contractor to conduct the first phase of the Lake Carmi In-Lake Phosphorus Management Project. The objective of this phase is to identify the most cost-effective strategy to reduce in-lake phosphorus. The three-phase project is a key part of the larger strategy to reduce phosphorus-laden runoff in the watershed. The selected contractor will evaluate a variety of options for management of the phosphorus that has accumulated in sediment in Lake Carmi, which has been plagued by extensive and prolonged cyanobacteria blooms that limit recreational use.
DEC selected Reservoir Environmental Management, Inc., represented by Jim Ruane. Mr. Ruane will be joined on this project by consultants Dr. Chris Holdren and Dr. John Holz. Dr. Holdren, who will serve as project manager, has over 40 years of experience with lake and watershed management projects. The project team will analyze several potential proposals to reduce phosphorus levels in the lake. These options range from aeration methods to approaches that limit the availability of phosphorus, such as treating the lake with alum to bind and remove phosphorus, as was done in Ticklenaked Pond in Ryegate in 2014.
DEC has awarded approximately $7,500 for the first phase of this three-phase project. An additional $42,500 will be made available through a separate request for project design proposals. Project implementation will be supported by $200,000 from the Clean Water Fund—subject to approval by the legislature.
“We must find a way to provide some immediate relief from the proliferation of cyanobacteria blooms Lake Carmi has experienced in recent years,” says DEC Commissioner Emily Boedecker. “In-lake phosphorous management options, such as aeration, have proved successful in other locations, when deployed in concert with long-term solutions. Our federal, state, and local partners share this commitment and we are actively working to reduce polluted runoff in the Lake Carmi watershed to achieve lasting results.”
The Lake Carmi Phosphorus TMDL or Total Maximum Daily Load, which sets phosphorus targets, was approved by the Environmental Protection Agency in 2008. Specific strategies for meeting those targets are outlined in the Missisquoi Bay 2016 Tactical Basin Plan at: http://dec.vermont.gov/watershed/map/basin-planning/basin6.
For more information, additional resources, and project updates, visit: http://dec.vermont.gov/watershed/cwi/restoring/carmi.