The town of Cazenovia wrapped up its second year of herbicide treatment of Cazenovia Lake from June 15 through 18. The chemical triclopyr kills the invasive Eurasian watermilfoil species that had been increasingly clogging propellers and scaring swimmers in recent years.
But this has not been an "overnight success," said Cazenovia Lake Association president Preston Gilbert. "This is the culmination of about three years worth of work."
Gilbert credited the current success of the herbicide treatment to the development of a strategic plan to fight weeds and the creation of a watershed council with town, village and lake association representatives.
"Now we're seeing the power of cooperation," Gilbert said.
Gilbert has worked as a community builder in over 150 communities, but he said what he's seen in Cazenovia is something remarkable.
"The level of communication in this community now is staggering. It's just wonderful," he said.
Gilbert said it would be pointless to rid the lake of an invasive species now without setting up preventative measures to stop future invasive species.
Because of the village's efforts to inspect boats at Lakeland Park and opening lake access to regional use, and the cooperation the DEC to try to enhance management and access of the lake, Gilbert said the DEC is now helping to prevent other, new invasive species from hurting the lake.
"DEC is helping us to close all of the informal accesses to the lake," Gilbert said. "We never would have gotten that without improving access to the lake as a whole.
The town addressed concerns regarding water potability and use for irrigation on their website, posting a letter sent to all lakefront residents.
"Residents must not draw lake water for drinking water use during the application period and for a time following application until the triclopyr concentration in the water falls below a concentration of 0.050 mg/l. Based on our experience, and in other lakes, the ban on potable water use may extend for as long as several weeks. We anticipate treating the lake each spring for a period of several years in order to control the milfoil," said town officials.
In addition to drinking water restrictions, lake water should not be used for irrigation purposes for 120 days.
"There is no risk of harm to animals swimming in or drinking from Cazenovia Lake. There is no restriction on use of lake water for non-potable purposes such as bathing, showering, or washing dishes and clothing," the town said.
The letter is available at townofcazenovia.org/content/Generic/View/47.