Simple practices such as using rain barrels, rain gardens, and installing vegetative buffers along the shoreline are practical ways to help protect the water quality of the Lake of the Ozarks, according to presentations made at a Nov. 16 water quality workshop held at Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach. Ameren Missouri and the Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Alliance co-sponsored the event, which included participation by homeowners, master naturalists, master gardeners, landscape contractors, and others interested in keeping pollutants out of the lake.
Bryan Vance, Ameren Missouri shoreline management field coordinator, says presenters at the event discussed the common pollutants in storm water runoff and real world examples of successful rain garden and bio-retention areas that have been installed in other communities.
“We were happy with the attendance at the workshop and input customers gave us. The majority told us the event gave them a better understanding of what pollutants storm water can carry into the lake,” Vance says. “Participants came away with some valuable ideas on ways shoreline land owners can modify their landscapes to do their part in protecting the Lake.”
Here are some of the key tips for shoreline property owners that were presented:
1. Treat storm water runoff from your property as a resource that can be captured and re-used. Installing one or more rain barrels on your property to capture water for re-use in appropriate applications around your home is a good way to reduce run-off. Install a rain garden of native plants to help absorb and filter storm water runoff before it enters the lake.
2. Make sure you are using the right amount of fertilizer and pesticides. Have your soil tested for nutrient needs and follow all application rates for fertilizer and pesticide usage.
3. Don’t add extra nutrients to the lake by blowing leaves or other organic debris into the lake. Not only does this activity add unnecessary nutrients to the lake, it presents a real aesthetic problem for other lake residents and visitors.
Copies of the presentations covered at the workshop can be found at the Lake of the Ozarks Watershed Alliance website: www.soslowa.org.
Ameren Missouri conducts a range of shoreline management activities at the Lake of the Ozarks under provisions of its federal license for the operation of Bagnell Dam and Osage Power Plant, which created the lake in 1931. Details can be found by going to “Lake of the Ozarks” at AmerenMissouri.com.
Contacts: Mike Cleary, 573-681-7137, firstname.lastname@example.org
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Ameren Missouri has been providing electric and gas service for more than a century, and our electric rates are among the lowest in the nation. We serve 1.2 million electric and 126,000 natural gas customers in central and eastern Missouri. Our mission is to meet their energy needs in a safe, reliable, efficient and environmentally responsible manner. Our service area covers 63 counties and more than 500 communities, including the greater St. Louis area. For more information, visit AmerenMissouri.com.