Lake Maintenance History:
In 1992, Hydrilla growth filled the lake to a point where it could not sustain aquatic life (i.e. fish, turtles, etc.). Slowly dying fish drew various wildlife who attempted to eat the dead fish, often leaving partially eaten carcasses lying around in yards and on the roofs of surrounding homes. The smell made it impossible for residents to venture into their back yards. A second effect, caused from the Hydrilla was that the weed limited all natural water movement which caused terrible algae blooms and a very unsightly mess.
Many neighbors gathered together to address the situation and a small group researched options for recovering the lake which included contacting both the City of Largo and Pinellas County for answers and assistance. We found that the lake is considered “private”, and is the responsibility of the property owners to maintain it. We also found that we have no control of the storm drainage systems that flow into it. (Note: I have original copies of various letters from city officials regarding this should anyone wish to review.)
The first decision was to purchase “Chinese Grass Carp“, which eat Hydrilla and some types of algae. I obtained permits, from the State of Florida, to purchase and paid for them myself. After some time, it was apparent that the Carp alone would not be able to control the weed growth and we agreed to contract with Aquatic Solutions for monthly chemical treatments and that is when we started requesting the surrounding property owners to contribute towards this service.
Chemical Treatment Results:
For a number of years, the monthly chemical treatments did a good job maintaining the water quality and weed control however there were instances of algae blooms and fish kills. These occurrences were not necessarily due to improper chemical maintenance, but due to a variety of natural circumstances such as low rain fall, high temperatures, and times of the year where surrounding homeowners fertilize their lawns and the runoff nutrients flow into the lake via the storm drainage systems.
Starting 2017, excessive algae has been the issue. Discussing the problem, with the lake maintenance management, we agreed to a full run of tests to determine the best solution. Alum (Aluminum Sulfate) was chosen as an additive to the lake, the purpose to capture the excessive phosphate (fertilizer compounds) that contribute to the excessive growth. This costly solution was successful, however not one that lasts for ever.
As time passed, the Alum dissipated, mostly due to the out-flowing of water after rain storms. Also, over time, the lake maintenance staff has changed, including ownership. On top of that, the City of Largo rebuilt local street drains and added additional ‘run-off’ into the lake. With all these changes, currently the lake is barely manageable regarding excessive-uncontrolled algae growth.
My hope is:
- That the surrounding property owners continue to support these types of maintenance efforts of Grove Lake.
- The lake maintenance company readdresses their commitments to control algae and weeds
- My dream is that someday, we may be able to secure a lawyer to address issues with the City ‘dumping’ into the once ‘Spring-fed’ lake (supposedly against environmental laws’), and commit them to aid in the maintenance of these issues.
This webpage was created by Kurt Klotz for the purpose of distributing/sharing information about the Weed Control efforts of Grove Lake, and as such, take no responsibility for the accuracy of any information contained within these pages.