Lake cleanup could cost Sussex $10K

Make text smaller Make text larger


  • PHOTO BY MARK LICHTENWALNER Larry Kovar addresses the Sussex Borough Council concerning Clove Lake.

The Sussex Borough Council was left with one very big question to answer after a presentation from Larry Kovar of Aquatic Analysis at Tuesday night’s meeting.

What will be the future of Clove Lake?

The council is left to ponder a $10,600 plan to remove invasive species from the lake and will vote on a proposal at the next meeting.

Kovar, who has been contracted by the borough to do an initial survey of the lake, presented some of his findings, and a tentative action plan in going forward with the treatment of the lake, which has become ecologically unstable.

“The goal for now,” Kovar said, “is to get the lake in good ecological balance.”

Kovar noted that the lake suffers from invasive species of both plants and animals, limiting its use to the residents of the borough.

Of six different species of aquatic plants observed by Kovar and his team, two were found to be non-native to New Jersey.

Eurasian Watermilfoil, which is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and Curly-Leaf Pondweed, native to Eurasia, has besieged the lake, and is choking out the native vegetation.

Kovar noted that several lakes across New Jersey are dealing with these invasive species as well.

The non-native species out-compete the native species along what is called the littoral zone. The littoral zone is the shallow shelf, about 6 feet deep, where sunlight can still penetrate the water. It encircles the main body of the lake.

The littoral zone is critical for wildlife, erosion control, and the overall ecological balance of the lake.

The native species of aquatic plants naturally grow shorter and remain submerged, while the non-native species grow taller and may breach the surface. The non-native species, in-effect, choke out the native species by limiting the amount of sunlight they receive.

By growing to the surface, the non-native species also limit the natural movement of the water, causing stagnation, which can lead to dangerous algae growth.

The other, and perhaps more serious threat to the lake is the waterfowl, specifically, the geese.

Not only do the geese bring in these invasive species, but what they leave behind is damaging the lake as well.

The nutrient load from all the geese waste can be as much as a 1,000 gallon septic-system, according to Kovar.

The geese also bring in water chestnuts, another invasive species that, according to Kovar, “once it (water chestnut) gets into an eco-system, it’s very hard to manage it.”

Some actions have been taken to control the geese population, who have nested at what was an active community beach in the 1950’s.

Kovar also noted the threat of blue-green algae, which can form in the summer months. Not only does blue-green algae kill plants and animals, it can be toxic to humans.

All the negative factors affecting the lake can result in dangerous Ph-levels and less dissolved oxygen in the water, which can kill just about anything that lives beneath the surface of the water, and pollute bodies of water downstream.

Kovar proposed a plan for the summer, which includes bi-weekly surveys of the lake; 4-5 algae treatments, and 1-2 weed treatments.

But even after getting the lake in a good ecological balance, Kovar asked the council to consider what their goals are for the lake and community.

If the council decide it wants to make the lake available for recreational swimming and watersports, a more aggressive, and more costly, solution to cleaning up the lake could be pursued.

Another option could be to just make the lake safer for activities like fishing and boating, or they could decide that having the lake in a good ecological balance and be aesthetically pleasing is enough.

Kovar asked the Borough council to consider what their goals are for Clove Lake, and requested a meeting at the end of summer to discuss future possibilities.

Make text smaller Make text larger


Pool Rules


Vernon school board to attend retreat
The Vernon Township Board of Education members will meet at the Appalachian Hotel at Mountain Creek on Saturday, Oct. 14.
NAMI, St. clare's plans family support
NAMI Sussex and Saint Clare’s Intensive Family Support Services will co-host a panel presentation to raise awareness about...
Image Benefit concert features Music Together's 'Uncle' Gerry
Sing A Song, Music Together of Sparta and Hampton and Bumble Song Music Together of Vernon and...
Image The Loyalist
In the middle of the night of May 21, 1780, with the American Revolutionary War in its sixth bloody year, there came a loud rapping at the old Sussex County Courthouse door,...


Sign up to get our newsletter emailed to you every week!

  • Enter your email address in the box below.
  • Select the newsletters you would like to subscribe to.
  • Click the 'SUBSCRIBE' button.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Community Newspapers


Hometown History
The Loyalist
  • Sep 21, 2017
Local News
Sussex considers smoking ban
  • Sep 21, 2017
Local News
Vernon school board to attend retreat
  • Sep 22, 2017
Letters to the Editor
Sewer expansion endorsement
  • Sep 18, 2017
Local News
NAMI, St. clare's plans family support
  • Sep 22, 2017
Business & Real Estate
Right time to enter lake community
  • Sep 18, 2017


Find more about Weather in Lafayette, NJ