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Years After Accidental Fish Kill, Wapato Lake to Get Algae Treatment Again
Nine years after a botched chemical treatment to get rid of algae at Wapato Lake massacred its fish, Metro Parks is preparing to try it again.

The 34-acre lake, in a pocket of South Tacoma surrounded by homes, highways and businesses, is prone to blooms of toxic blue-green algae. The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department has raised alerts or closed the lake 10 times since 2013. 

In 2008, with conditions that made Wapato among the state’s most toxic lakes — and a danger to people and pets who splashed in it — Metro Parks tried remedying this by using an alum treatment. The alum binds with the phosphorous and settles on the water, which keeps algae on the surface from using the phosphorous as a nutrieunt.

Unfortunately tens of thousands of gallons of an incorrect mix of chemicals were dumped into the lake from tanker trucks.  The lake got so acidic from the treatment that hundreds of fish died.

A postmortem found that too much alum went in and too little of the buffer chemical to bring down the acidity was added.

 
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Increasing Aquatic Plants Populations in the Chesapeake - Federal and state regulators are working to restore submersed aquatic vegetation populations in the Chesapeake by planting new stands of wild celery, redhead grass, coontail and other aquatic plants.


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