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Alum a Temporary Solution for Toxic Algae
Acknowledging that treating polluted Waughop Lake with alum is only a Band-Aid solution, the Lakewood City Council on Monday nonetheless accepted a plan that recommended the treatment as a first step in killing toxic algae in the Fort Steilacoom Park lake.

Council members said the city now can’t afford the preferred solution to the lake’s problems, dredging. That solution could cost up to $15 million. Treating the lake with alum to temporarily eliminate phosphorus in the water that feeds toxic blue-green algae would cost roughly $250,000.

Waughop Lake advocates Tom McClellan and Don Russell have told the council the alum treatment will only buy a few years’ time. They say alum will trigger explosive growth of aquatic weeds in the lake, a problem that itself will require an extensive treatment regimen to control.


 
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