10 Tips to Help Keep Lakes & Rivers Clean

Clean River

Water is in Wenck’s DNA – and the quality of that water for recreation in lakes and rivers across the globe has been becoming of greater concern to the public. Over the last three decades plus, we’ve gotten to know water pretty well, offering more than 20 services helping to improve, protect, and reuse water resources for clients and communities.

We all love posting that perfect lakeside picture. Waking up at the cabin with a freshly brewed cup of coffee, the warm in your hands and the breeze on your face. The smell. Fishing on the dock with the family dog. Group boat selfie, mesmerizing tree line in the background. Sooner or later, this won’t be the case. More and more lakes are getting polluted, past the threshold for safe swimming, everyday recreation, fishing, and sustaining key aquatic life.

Everybody has a role to play. Whether you live on private waterfront property, or have a cabin up north, here are some essential tips to help keep lakes and rivers clean – so you can get back to posting those pictures with an extra bit of pride.

  1. Avoid lawn fertilizers and pesticides. If you must, use mulch and vegetation to keep soil from washing away into lakes and rivers. When the chemicals make their way to the water, huge doses of nitrogen are unleashed, making the algae grow abnormally, which has its own host of problems. Consider native plants that require less fertilizer.
  2. Capture runoff water with a rain garden or rain barrels from your roof. Have as little pavement as possible, or implement permeable pavement options. This will help contain contaminants.
  3. Compost and maintain yard waste. Rake up grass and leaves that might make it down storm drains. Rivers and lakes are not yard waste receptacles. Too much organic material can clog streams, and even as the grass, leaves, and sticks are broken down, they can upset water chemistry.
  4. Don’t litter. This shouldn’t need to be said, but it does. Collect your trash, don’t toss it on the ground or in the water.
  5. Ensure your septic tank is functioning properly and meets current standards.
  6. Pick up pet waste. Not unlike the above, this material has bacteria that upsets water chemistry.
  7. Dispose of household chemicals and medicines properly.
  8. Keep your vehicles repaired and free of leaks. We’ve all seen the oil spots in parking spaces, garages, and driveways. Find a friendly neighborhood mechanic to fix it up.
  9. Use less road salt in the winter. Chloride from road salt is building up in lakes and aquifers that receive runoff from highways.
  10. Wash your car on the grass or at a commercial car wash. Soaps and shampoos have nutrients and pollutants that are good for skin and hair, but bad for lakes and the organisms living in them. That means don’t treat the lake as a bathtub, either.

Want to see what Wenck is doing to help keep lakes, rivers, and streams clean?

Check out these videos: 

Wenck helped secure funding and construct a wastewater treatment facility for the small, rural Cedar Beach community, a city originally running on private septic systems. Wenck’s new system upgrade not only protects Lake Zumbro and its surrounding areas, but also increases the overall quality of life for local residents:


Our biochar biobox filters in action: http://kstp.com/news/biobox-clean-water-shingle-creek/4507224/ 


Wenck Author

Paul Rousseau

Marketing Copywriter