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home : opinion : letters to the editor
December 14, 2017

10/4/2017 10:12:00 AM
Take a closer look at Hurricane Lake

It was interesting to read in the Sept. 6 Citizen regarding wetlands, cleaner water and Hurricane Lake Wildlife Management.
It's too bad the author didn't test the water from Hurricane Lake before writing the article. In 2015, the lake was nearly covered with cattails and the stench at the outlet where the water flows into Dutch Charley Creek was unbearable from spring until freeze-up. It was so bad, we had the water tested.
We learned that the safe drinking water act maximum level for contamination for coliform bacteria is less than 1, the mcl for E-coli is 1/100 ml and the recommended allowable limit for sulfate is 250 mg per liter. In August of 2015 the coliform bacteria was 160 cfu per 100 ml, the water tested positive for E-coli and there was 384 mg per liter of sulfate. In March of 2016 there were 23 cfu per 100 ml of coliform and the sulfate level was 266 mg per liter. In May of 2017 the E-coli level was 7 and the sulfate level was 240 mg per liter.
There is still a strong sulfate smell by the outlet and the rocks have been covered with black slime. Basically, the outlet looks and smells like a sewer.
At times the discharge water is a yellowish-green. Even when the water looks clear you see junk floating in it.
The good news is this isn't our problem. It is a problem for the people downstream.
It seems to me we were better off with 200-acre Hurricane Lake feeding aquifers compared to having Hurricane swamp feeding them. I wish I had taken samples in August of each year to get more standardized tests.
As far as the 95 acres being restored to its natural state, about half of it hasn't been farmed for years (except maybe in drought years long ago) and the rest has no tile. The big trees on the east side of the lake, which stood for decades, were removed, burned and buried.
Long Lake is next and I've attended a couple of meetings and voiced my concern. No one asks to see my data or challenges my findings. Habitat was destroyed in Cottonwood County and I've seen similar things in Murray County. I wonder when the travesty will end.
     - Kern Iverson

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